Evolving New Methodologies In Practitioner Research: The Case of Visual Methods

Morwenna Griffiths, Zoe Williamson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Action research is often taken to be a methodology for problem solving. In this chapter we argue that such a view is overly narrow and can lead to a mechanistic approach to evidence and analysis. We claim that the methodological significance of action research is to be found in the use of evidence and analysis in enabling practitioners to re-frame and re-conceptualise their practice. We outline the epistemological basis of this claim, focusing on knowledge as represented in different modes of expression and on validity as productive. Using metaphors to reframe how we understand validity we foreground knowledge emerging from action research as multidimensional, partial, active and evolving. We ground the theoretical claims in a brief discussion of a range of visual methods used in our own action research. The rest of the chapter explores the ways in which visual methods were used in a collaborative study of the experiences of six teachers attempting to carry out action research in their schools. The teachers were invited to use visual methods in exploring their practice as action researchers. We show how far the use of visual methods influenced each of us in developing and rethinking our own practice.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPractitioner Research
Subtitle of host publicationTeachers' Investigations in Classroom Teaching
EditorsMyint Swe Khine, Issa M. Saleh
PublisherNova Science Publishers
Pages29-50
Number of pages22
ISBN (Print)978-1-61761-744-7
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Keywords

  • Education
  • Action research
  • visual methods
  • classroom
  • collaboration

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