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ERIC Number: EJ766149
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jun
Pages: 16
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 28
ISSN: ISSN-0305-764X
Action Research and the Challenge of Complexity
Radford, Mike
Cambridge Journal of Education, v37 n2 p263-278 Jun 2007
Contemporary models of action research that are complementary to and in some cases promoted in UK Government policy tend to follow a loosely scientific methodology. They are reductionist in character and work on the assumption that linear processes of balanced interaction between causes and effects enables the practitioner to make controlled interventions and observe and record the effects. They are complementary to the school effectiveness paradigm and to the current climate of specific target setting and teacher accountability. Understanding educational situations and events in terms of complexity theory seriously challenges this view of how practitioners might research their work. Complexity theory leads us to view classroom events as subject to a multiplicity of variables that are non linear and dynamic in their interactions. This means that, to a substantial extent, educational events are much less predictable and far less under the control of particular elements, e.g., practitioners specific interventions, than this form of action research methodology leads one to expect. Teaching might have more in common with creative artistry and research taking something of the role of critique. This does not mean that practitioners cannot research their own practice but the relationship between the process of practice and research will need to be reviewed. The teacher researcher might take a broader and more holistic view of practice with a reduction in expectations with respect to planned outcomes.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom