WWW Site for John Lawrence Bencze, Associate Professor, Science Education, OISE/University of Toronto
© J. L. Bencze, 2009.

Educational Resources
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Action Research
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Welcome!
Through this site, I hope visitors will increase their familiarity for and commitment to action research. The site contains rationale and methods for action research, along with links to various websites in this field. Information and resources available through this site are linked to text at right. This page is, along with my Research & Development Links page, one of two sections of my Research & Development Resources, which, in turn, is one of four sections of my Educational Resources. Please feel free, also, to send links, suggestions, comments, etc. to me @ E-mail to Larry.
About AR.
AR Methods.
AR WWW Links.
AR Bibliography.





About Action Research
What is action research?
Action research is a special kind of research. It is, simply, research people conduct to determine effectiveness of actions they take to improve a situation. In education, for example, action research is a way for educators to attempt to improve teaching and learning and, as they do so, to conduct research into those efforts. The table at right represents a way of depicting this view of educational action research. In essence, educators attempt to improve the sorts of outcomes listed on the right by changing conditions like those listed on the left. In general, the research component attempts to document and explain actions taken to improve educational outcomes. Educational action research also has a strong political agenda. It is about who controls teaching and learning; i.e., teachers and students or those outside of actual teaching and learning. Often, outsiders attempt to overly direct what happens in teaching and learning, despite not being familiar with many of the myriad factors that can determine 'success' in any teaching and learning situation. Therefore, educational action research can be a way to empower teachers and students to take more control over what happens in educational situations. This is exceedingly important, especially in the current market-driven environment, in which business interests have more control over curriculum and instruction than those being educated and those charged with responsibility to help learners achieve what is best for them.
CONDITIONS
OUTCOMES
  • gender of teacher
  • numbers of students per cooperative group
  • teachers’ use of modeling
  • frequency of short quizzes
  • use of A/V presentations
  • the level of ‘certainty’ of teachers’ language when explaining scientific ideas
  • teachers’ tendency to negotiate methods with students
  • students’ level of control of their learning
  • teacher's promotion of critique
  • gender ratio of student participation
  • average student scores on math problems in science
  • students’ abilities to design & analyze experiments
  • students’ ability to explain abstract concepts
  • students’ beliefs about the certainty of scientific knowledge
  • students' abilities to analyze new situations
Some action research project topics that could be based on the above examples are:
  • What effects do variations in the teachers' tendencies to negotiate methods with students have on the gender ratio of student participation in educational experiences, and for what reasons?
  • How can we increase the fraction of students able to process abstractions, what factors contribute to this and how can such changes be explained?
What are benefits of action research?
For its originator (Kurt Lewin, 1946; also see: Lewin), and for many others since, action research is a process of empowering those on the 'front lines' of action to conduct research into their own practices, rather than relying on and - more importantly - being subject to - research findings of 'outsiders.' In education, for example, teachers are encouraged to conduct research and curriculum development into their own teaching activities. Educational action research is, in a sense, an educational technology, in which teachers take action to improve student learning and, at the same time, gather data to demonstrate possible reasons for and usefulness of that action. It is an ongoing quest by teachers to develop the best possible learning experiences for students. Traditionally, teachers' main job has been to implement what others tell them needs to be taught, using methods others develop. However, those not closely involved in teaching and learning often miss many important factors affecting education and, perhaps more importantly, sometimes do not have the best interests in mind of all students being educated. Action research is, therefore, an opportunity for teachers to take control of curriculum research and development, as well as their traditional roles; i.e., that as implementers of curriculum and teaching strategies. Indeed, as Carr and Kemmis (1986) suggest, action research is "a form of self-reflective enquiry undertaken by participants in social situations in order to improve:
  • the rationality and justice of their own practices,
  • their understanding of these practices, and
  • the situations in which the practices are carried out" (p. 162).
Action research viewed this way is, therefore, not just a technical matter; i.e, only concerned with improving student learning. Rather, it is about freedom and justice for all. It is about bringing equity, as well as excellence, to education. While Lewin (1946) suggested action research involves (as depicted below) successive cycles of reflecting (e.g., Reviewing Teaching & Learning), planning (e.g., Planning & Developing curricular solutions), acting (e.g., Teaching) and observing (e.g., Data-collection), a special feature setting action research apart from other forms of research is that research is conducted at the same time as action is being taken to improve the practices. Consequently, research findings are spontaneous and unique. In other words, because is research is conducted as changes are being implemented, new, unforeseen perspectives emerge as the action research proceeds. This can lead to changes in action which, in turn, lead to new findings.
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Action Research Methods

Introduction
There are many ways to conduct action research. Many of these are depicted at the various AR websites linked below. As with many activities, however, sometimes it is difficult to - metaphorically - 'see the forest for the trees' regarding action research. Up close, in detail, it can appear to involve many different activities. Some of these are depicted in the model of action research activities, below. However, viewed more broadly, action research essentially consists of two main activities; i.e., action and reflection. Frequently, emphasis on these two alternate, often in the order of: reflection --> action --> reflection. In other words, educators generally:
  • reflect to identify concerns about teaching and learning (T&L);
  • plan new actions (e.g., teaching approaches) that may improve teaching and learning and, then,
  • carry out the new actions and, again,
  • conduct research to determine the effectiveness of their actions.
To assist educational action researchers with these two general kinds of activities, a series of resources are linked to the text at right.
Action Research Activities.
Research Resources.

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Reviewing Teaching & Learning
INTRODUCTION
Broadly, action research shares much with science and technology. As depicted at right, science and technology (and action research) involve interactions between "Data" (i.e., 'phenomena,' 'the real world,' empirical 'observations') and "Abstractions" (e.g., relationships between "Possible Cause Variables" and "Possible Result Variables."). In other words, they involve reciprocal interactions between phenomena and ideas in peoples' heads. Overall, educators aim - through action research - to make improvements in "Result Variables" (also called, 'objectives,' 'outcomes' or 'expectations'). Where certain "Result Variables" (e.g., students' skills) are unsatisfactory, they would like to make appropriate changes in "Possible Cause Variables" (e.g., teaching strategies) to cause the "Result Variables" to improve. Tying "Cause" and "Result" variables together are "Hypotheses"; that is, explanations for how "Possible Cause Variables" may affect "Possible Result Variables." The research component of action research involves gathering and analyzing "Data" in order to support the "Abstractions." Generally, there are two ways research can proceed (although they could be going in both directions 'simultaneously'). Through "Induction," researchers gather data to form abstractions. With "Deduction," researchers check data to support abstractions. Keeping this in mind can help action researchers to note areas of concern and take appropriate action(s) - and, as well, gather data to support this work.

IDENTIFYING POSSIBLE DOMAINS OF INTEREST/CONCERN
Educators can begin action research by thinking about "Possible Result Variables" that are important to them and to societies. There are many views about what 'outcomes' are important in science and technology education, for example. Some suggestions are provided at: Many curricula around the world promote the following three general domains for learning in science and technology: i) Concepts of S&T; e.g., laws, theories & inventions, such as law of magnetism, the particle theory of matter, and how pulleys work; ii) Nature of S&T; e.g., what it is like to do science investigations (e.g., it can involve trial-and-error), how science & technology relate to each other (e.g., they depend on each other), and how inventions may affect societies and environments (often negatively, as well as positively); and iii) Skills of S&T; e.g., skills, strategies & habits of mind required for scientific inquiry & technological design, such as an ability to conduct and analyse experiments. Many also would add various attitudes. For example, they may want students to acquire a greater desire to promote a healthy balance of materials and processes in ecosystems. 

Once educators have identified some 'outcomes' (Result Variables) that are important, they could (should?) attempt to identify some outcomes that are not being well achieved. For example, as shown in the table at right, they may note that students' "ideas about natural phenomena" (e.g., theories about living things) are inadequate. Or, they may note that students' "skills" (e.g., abilities to design controlled experiments) could be improved. 

At this stage, there are - at least - two general ways action researchers can proceed. In a classic sense of their meanings, action researchers could  conduct: i) 'science' or ii) 'technology.' If they were to begin with a 'scientific' goal, they would collect data to gain evidence and develop explanations for relationships between "Possible Cause Variables" and "Possible Result Variables." In other words, they would want to understand how natural (e.g., education) systems work. For example, they could gather data to describe and explain how "classroom layout" may be affecting students' development of appropriate "ideas about natural phenomena." They may find, for example, that the seating arrangements in their room hinder development of ideas, because not much conversation can occur among students. Once they have sufficient data to explain such relationships, they could then conduct a kind of educational "technology"; that is, they could take certain actions (e.g., rearranging seating and encouraging discussions) to improve students' development of ideas about natural phenomena. Again, they would collect data to support their claims that the actions they took did lead to improvements in student outcomes. However, it is important to note that action researchers could 'skip' or delay the 'scientific' goal and begin with 'technological' interest; that is, they could go straight into taking what they (or others) consider to be appropriate actions in order to improve student outcomes. There is legitimacy in educators taking action very quickly, in the sense that there is acknowledgement that educators have a wealth of practical experience and, from that, can make legitimate judgements about what aspects of teaching and learning may require improvement. In short, they often know what is not working and likely reasons for disappointing results.

If educators choose to start with a 'scientific' goal, they would likely begin by brainstorming (and gathering data to support) how "Possible Cause Variables" may be leading to poor achievement in "Possible Result Variables." A result of brainstorming about such relationships could be, as indicated in the table below:
 
LEARNING CONDITIONS
LEARNING OUTCOMES
Conditions such as:
  • teaching strategies
  • classroom layout
  • availability of resources
  • availability of equipment
  • curriculum standards
  • community involvement
  • parental involvement
  • students' cultural backgrounds
  • students' cognitive development
Students':
  • ideas about natural phenomena (e.g., theories)
  • skills (e.g., for experimenting)
  • ideas about science (e.g., how systematic are its methods)
  • attitudes (e.g., to conserving energy)
  • confidence (e.g., for doing scientific investigations)
  • gender participation

For example, a teacher may suggest that the prescriptiveness of curriculum standards are limiting students' development of skills - because of the hypothesis that standard curriculum requires more teacher direction (and more teacher direction limits students' opportunities to develop skills on their own). While this may be a possible relationship, teachers should consider relationships about which they may be able to take positive actions. It may be difficult, in other words, to quickly change the prescriptiveness of the curriculum.

Another relationship worth exploring would be between certain teaching strategies (e.g., lecturing) and students' development of ideas about natural phenomena. This may be a worthwhile area for initial exploration because it is something teachers can (eventually) more easily change - although that should not stop them from trying to change more difficult conditions.

Again, teachers may be quite anxious to get on with trying to improve learning outcomes, letting the science of how factors affect outcomes be derived later. They may want, for instance, to develop ways to affects students' attitudes towards energy conservation. This is a 'technological' goal, since the aim is to improve education, rather than just understand it (which would be a 'scientific' goal).

For whatever goal educators plan to conduct research, it generally is a good idea to have various theories in mind to help explain the possible relationships. For example, to explain how a predominance of lecturing would limit students' development of ideas about natural phenomena, they could draw on constructivism. This learning (and knowledge development) theory suggests that learners learn by changing ideas that are already in their minds and, because many of these ideas are subconscious, it is important to encourage learners to explore and clarify their ideas before instruction begins. Considering such theories is very important and, indeed, may be among the first things that action researchers should do. Some other educational theories are at: Learning.


DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS
In order to make claims about teaching and learning that people might believe, educators often need to systematically collect relevant data. Such data collection and analysis often occurs several times during an action research project. It may occur, for instance, in the beginning in order to determine current conditions of teaching and learning. Then, after appropriate actions are taken, data collection and analysis likely will have to be repeated - in order to gain evidence to support the idea that the actions likely were the reasons for changes in outcomes.
To support educators in their research, this page has a special section about research methods. It is located:  My website also contains a collection of links to other websites that relate to educational research methods:

Planning & Developing New Actions

INTRODUCTION
After teachers have conducted some diagnostic research into the nature of the current teaching and learning situations, some significant concerns may have surfaced. Again, as outlined above (Reviewing T&L), this may have involved collecting and analyzing data (also refer to Research Resources) regarding cause-result relationships between educational conditions and outcomes. Having identified at least one area of concern, action researchers need to plan and develop new actions to improve teaching and learning.

DETERMINING CONDITIONS TO CHANGE (i.e., Actions to Take)
Data may suggest, for example, that the amount of time the teacher gives students after a question is asked ('wait-time') may be limiting students' participation in class discussions and this may, in turn, be limiting their achievement in other domains. A natural solution to this problem may be to increase wait-time. While this may seem straightforward, student learning often depends, however, on several factors, all acting in different ways at the same time. While some students may require greater wait-times, for instance, others may get bored waiting! Therefore, to improve overall participation, teachers may need to take several kinds of actions. Therefore, action research is often about multi-variable questions like, 'What factors can we change to get the best results in one kind of outcome (e.g., class participation)?,' rather than about single-variable questions like, 'What amount of wait-time produces the maximum class participation?' Some complex questions of this sort are:

  • What kinds of teaching strategies or new learning environments could help students to learn better in particular domains?
  • What teaching strategies can be used to improve students’ abilities to conduct their own experiments?
  • What experiences can students be given to make them accept gender equity for careers in science & technology?
In each case, there may be several things teachers can do to achieve the desired results in students’ learning. For example, regarding the question, ‘What can teachers do to ensure gender equity in conducting hands-on activities in a science programme?’, the teacher/researcher may: i) team-teach with someone of the opposite sex, ii) purposely segregate boys and girls in group, from time to time, iii) mandate that the task of doing hands-on activities in cooperative groups must be rotated regularly, etc. This, perhaps, suggests to you that action research lacks precision; that its focus is too broad. While some action researchers would, indeed, take that view and, accordingly, limit themselves to action research involving simple questions like, "How well can students compare the motion of objects on different surfaces if teachers use frequent short quizzes?," others might take a more holistic view. They may argue that, because teaching and learning are so complex, with myriad factors affecting teaching and learning in any one context, research should work in that way.

Working with such broad questions, like "What teaching strategies can be used to improve students’ abilities to conduct their own experiments?," demands considerabe brainstorming, discussions with others, and reading of educational literature (for example). Moreover, this suggests that planning action also involves going back to the earlier stage of action research - i.e., "Reviewing Teaching & Learning" - and re-examining the concerns for which actions may be planned. Indeed, as the chart at right is meant to indicate, planning actions may involve further analysis of cause-result relationships between educational conditions and outcomes. The analysis may tell you that, if conditions are unsatisfactory (leading to poor outcomes), then a solution may be to reverse the conditions or develop new conditions that may lead to improved outcomes. So, for example, a teacher finding that students seem to lack skills for conducting experiments, may try to develop activities to specifically develop these skills. The chart at right lists several kinds of action teachers might take in a science and technology programme. Other ideas may arise through discussions with colleagues, with specialists in the field and through reading journals, magazines, books, websites, etc. An excellent place for action researchers to start is by examining reports of others' action research; e.g., at Queen'sU AR.

Possible Actions
Possible Outcomes
To improve outcomes, educators could use:
  • male vs. female role models;
  • cooperative group learning;
  • modeling of behaviours;
  • frequent short quizzes;
  • multi-media presentations;
  • greater student control of learning;
  • hidden messages about S&T; e.g., that debate about conclusions may be allowed;
  • assessment rubrics;
  • common ESL strategies;
  • innovative sources of equipment & supplies;
  • guest speakers;
  • appropriate pacing of lessons for the particular students;
  • strategies for encouraging students to express pre-instructional ideas, skills, attitudes, etc.;
  • apprenticeship activities for skill development;
  • appropriate classroom management strategies;
  • Tribes strategies;
  • peer mentoring;
  • multi-media supported review activities;
  • internet-based resources;
  • teacher demonstrations prior to 'cookbook' labs.;
  • student-directed, open-ended scientific investigations and invention projects;
  • peer assessment;
  • approaches; re: Multiple Intelligences Theory;
  • increased wait-times for responses to questions;
  • field trips;
  • integrations with other subjects, such as Drama, Visual Arts and Language Arts;
  • volunteer programme; e.g., with local Seniors;
  • Project Based Learning (PBL).
Before and after action, assess students' abilities to improve in one or more of the following domains (from the Ontario curriculum):

Concepts of S&T
(Understand Basic Concepts)

  • describe the properties of liquids and solids, using their observations;
  • recognize and state the relationship between gravity and buoyancy.
Nature of S&T
(STSE or 'The World Outside the School')
  • explain the benefits and disadvantages of using some technological innovations;
  • describe, with examples, how scientific conclusions depend on the people involved;
  • describe, with examples, how science and technology depend on each other.
Skills of S&T
(Skills of Inquiry, Design & Communication)
  • ask questions about and identify needs and problems relating to [any phenomenon];
  • plan investigations to answer questions or solve problems;
  • compile data gathered through investigation in order to record and present results, using tally charts, tables, and labelled graphs by hand or with a computer;
  • communicate the procedures and results of investigations for specific purposes, using demonstrations, drawings, and oral and written descriptions.

PLANNING RESEARCH
If action research is to be systematic, data should be gathered as the actions are being taken ('Formative Research') and at an end point, after the major actions have been taken ('Summative Research'). Basic questions being asked again have to do with cause-result relationships involving conditions and outcomes; e.g., 'What was the nature of the conditions during the action?' and 'What outcomes appeared to occur as a result of the actions?' Some typical methods of research to examine these conditions and outcomes include: i) Samples of students’ work; e.g., assignments, quizzes, tests, journal entries, etc.; ii) Interviews with teachers, a sample group of students, parents, etc.; iii) Written records of observations; e.g., watching children while they work; iv) Questionnaires, surveys. Further suggestions for data to collect and how they might be analyzed are @ Research Resources.

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Teaching & Data-collecting
Once plans for action and research have been developed, it may seem trivial to mention the need to, essentially, carry out those plans; that is, in education, to teach (in a new way, perhaps) and collect data about it. However, because action research has its strength in allowing teachers to take control of curriculum development and research (as well as their traditional role as implementers of plans), and, crucially, because teachers are closer to teaching and learning situations than others interested in education, they may recognize needs to change the plans while the action is being carried out. Indeed, this is a unique feature of action research; that is, it is a naturalistic sort of research. The actions and research plans may be changed as teachers detect results that suggest new ways to act, new reasons to take different actions, etc. This is, in essence, the Formative Research mentioned above. 
For example, if the teacher had an action research project under way that involved using assessment rubrics for getting students to become more metacognitive (to think about and take more responsibility for their own learning), it could be that, once under way with the action (e.g., constructing rubrics with students), the teacher may find that, although students are doing reasonably well with constructing rubrics, classroom management has become a problem. This may force the teacher to re-examine the immediate goals for action research, returning to Reviewing Teaching and Learning or Planning & Developing New Actions. In such cases, incidentally, it is clear that action research can be much more 'fluid' than what is depicted above. On other occasions, on the other hand, action research can be fairly one-directional, with the teacher being able to follow through, without interruption, on plans for action and research and, afterwards, develop reports of the action research.
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Reporting Action Research

INTRODUCTION
Because each teacher conducts action research on different topics and using different methods, how this is reported can vary. The general purpose of a report is to describe research findings about how well the actions taken have worked to improve education. You may, if you have gotten that far, report results (formative and summative) of your actions, as well as findings of your diagnostic (pre-action) research. 

POSSIBLE REPORT FORMATS
Reports can, of course, be oral or written and, often include use of visual aids. In whatever case, it may be possible to think of them as being similar to 'lab. reports' of science or technology investigations. As such, sections might include:

Title
This should very briefly provide clues as to the action(s) taken and area(s) of concern (outcomes assessed). e.g., Wait-time as it affects class participation."

Introduction
Using an essay style, describe:

  • Concerns about Outcomes; e.g., This may involve the nature of difficulties students may be having with achieving Specific Expectations, enjoyment of learning, etc. For example, students may be experiencing difficulties expressing their ideas in writing;
  • Possible Reasons for Poor Outcomes: Explain possible reasons that outcomes are not being achieved. Is it something to do with the students? Is it related to the learning environment? Could teaching approaches be different?;
  • Possible Actions to Take: Included here may be a broad overview of a variety of possible actions but, then, a more detailed description of the planned actions and, as well, reasons for taking them.
This is the last part of what is, essentially, the Introduction to the report. Because of the concerns, with possible reasons, outlined above, one is led to ask a formal question (or questions) for the  project focus. Questions are usually very specific; i.e., They often deal with one (or a few) possible actions teachers could take and one (or a few) particular student outcomes to monitor. For example, teachers of Science & Technology might ask, ‘To what extent might a ‘Reading Buddies’ programme help students better express their ideas in writing?’
Action Plans
This section describes, in significant detail, methods actually followed in order to achieve the findings discussed below. Overall, the 'action plan' would include both plans for action and plans for (diagnostic, formative and summative) research. Relevant sections of this web page dealing with these include: Findings
This is, in essay form, a discussion of the results of  action research. In it, one is basically trying to use evidence and arguments to defend claims about the extent to which the action(s) led to improvements in the outcomes studied. A ‘Reading Buddies’ programme may have, for instance, enabled students to learn terms used in Science & Technology and, as a result, become better able to express themselves in writing. There should be a detailed discussion of results of analyses of data; e.g.., What aspects of the actions were important? and What kinds of achievement resulted from the action(s)? One should, as well, discuss how confident you are in conclusions. 

Implications
This is, basically, a continuation of the discussion in the Findings section above. One should briefly describe the project --- what actions were taken and what results occurred --- and then attempt to make an overall (general) conclusion. The work may have provided evidence for how well a certain teaching strategy can work, and under what particular conditions. It is possible, however, that the study suggests the actions taken were not, necessarily, better than ones previously used. One can finish with recommendations about how teachers might use the actions  studied. Suggestions for future action research projects in this area of interest also could be made.

Other sources:
Some sample action research reports are available on-line at:

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Research Resources

INTRODUCTION
'Research' involves, generally, collection and analysis of evidence from research actions in order to support claims or statements researchers make in research reports. Clearly, if someone wanted to claim that Multiple Intelligences (MI) strategies, for example, led to improvements in concept learning for a large proportion of students, then the researcher would need evidence to describe the cause-result relationships involved; that is, evidence to describe the MI activities used and, possibly resulting from that, evidence for improved concept development by many students. In a sense, like 'Doubting Thomas' from the New Testament of the Bible, people require evidence before they may believe claims people make.

DATA TYPES AND SOURCES
There are at least two major paradigms in which to conduct research; that is,

  • Rationalistic Research: In general, rationalistic researchers plan to make particular observations and/or measurements and, therefore, do not plan to change their methods once they are established. Generally, this stance is taken because of Positivist positions on reality. That is, researchers believe that what is observed with the senses matches reality and that standard scientific methods can enable the researcher to determine precise causes and effects of what is observed. Because of their position on knowledge, rationalistic researchers tend to use quantitative methods of research. Written surveys and questionnaires, for example, are common.
  • Naturalistic Research: This position is the opposite of that above. Naturalistic researchers might have some plans for research but, crucially, be prepared to modify them as new observations and conclusions are made. They tend to believe that knowledge about phenomena is best determined by groups of people arriving at a consensus, usually through many tests and debates. Naturalists tend to use qualitative methods of research, including, for example, semi-structured interviews and coding of samples of students' work.
Since I consider myself a naturalistic researcher, methods I recommend tend to fall into that paradigm:
  • Interviews with teachers, students, parents, etc.: Commonly, this involves a conversation stimulated by a few general guide questions. Interviews can occur during or outside of class, with the participant's permission. Interviews should be tape-recorded for later reference, with pseudonyms used. Typically, specific quotes from these people are used to make a claim in reports;
  • Repertory Grid Interviews: There are various more quantitative techniques that can be combined with interviewing. One of these is repertory grid technique
  • Representative samples of students' work: With permission, collect assignments, quizzes, etc from a representative samples of students; i.e., some below average, some average ones and some above average. You could, for example, describe how well students achieved on tests for the expectation(s) on which you are focusing;
  • Field notes of observations of regular class events: With participants' permission, make notes about objects and events as the programme proceeds. Teachers might, for instance, make notes on how well students seem to be enjoying the work using the chosen strategies. Here, you could report quotes from your own notes;
  • Surveys or questionnaires: Ask students and/or teachers to complete a survey or questionnaire. These may be qualitative and/or quantitative. These may be summarized scores or, if written responses were provided, quotes from these are given in your report;
  • A test that is not part of the programme: Ask students to complete a test apart from regular class work.
Further support for approaches to research is available at:

ENSURING RELIABILITY AND VALIDITY
It is important to ensure reliability and validity. The former term refers to how repeatable are the results. This can be ensured by repeating the method of assessment soon after the first attempt. Validity refers to the extent to which the conclusions of the assessments can be trusted. In other words, how well does the method of assessment judge what it is intended to judge? For example, how well does a test judge a person's understanding of a concept? One common way to ensure validity is to only draw conclusions where there are at least two sources of data. For example, if you wanted to claim that students understood a concept, it would not be enough to demonstrate they could answer a test question. They should also demonstrate their understanding in assignments. The most valid ways to assess students are, as well, the most natural ones; e.g., samples of their regular class assignments are likely better than how they respond to surveys. Again, to be able to say that conclusions are valid or ‘trustworthy,’ one needs to have two or (better still) three types of data that would lead to the same conclusion. For example, if students say they like activities, that is not enough. However, if they can be seen smiling during them and they spontaneously ask for more of them, then the conclusion may be more valid. Finding three data types that support the same conclusion (claim) is called 'triangulation.' As a final check on conclusions, a teacher might have an associate examine them, along with data used to make these claims.

Some further hints for classroom research include:

  • Work with collaborators to help ensure reliability and validity;
  • Connect research notes to teaching notes;
  • Develop an easy-to-use filing system for data;
  • Students' normal work should be photocopied and promptly returned;
  • Conduct a 'trial run' (if possible) of your methods and then refine them;
  • Plan all phases of the research (diagnostic, formative and summative) and action, leaving sufficient time for analysis and conclusions.
METHODS OF ANALYSIS
As data from multiple sources are collected, it is important to soon examine them, look for trends and consider conclusions. Suggestions for analyzing qualitative data are:
  • Read over all the data and, on separate paper, build an index of findings (e.g., a column for findings and a column for where it is located);
  • As one reads through the data, 'code' it; i.e., label the data as having a meaning; i.e., signifying 'power.'
  • One thing to do is to classify outcomes (achievement) into different categories. In Science & Technology, for example, one can group comments by teachers about kids’ achievements and, as well, samples of kids’ work, into four domains; e.g., @ S&T Domains. One also could classify kids’ achievement in terms of Bloom’s Taxonomy. Did the student understand? Can they analyze something? How good at synthesizing (inventing) are they? You should, of course, sort out the data according to whether it is pre-action (diagnostic) or post-action (formative or summative).
  • One also could code (analyze into categories) the possible causes of the outcomes (which, hopefully, are due to the action(s) you took). This means that one analyzes the actions into some of its elements. For example, if the action was to use Reading Buddies to help kids better express themselves in writing, it may help  to analyze the Reading Buddies programme; e.g., Who should choose the stories?, How long should they be?, How should the older students be coached? In your analysis of the possible causes of the outcomes, you also could note (code) some possible factors that affected how well the outcomes were achieved. Were there any patterns in how well the outcomes were achieved? Did the time of day make a difference? What may be reasons for these patterns?
  • Analysis can work in two ‘directions’; i.e., one can think of categories (codes) and look at the data for evidence of them. This is a deductive process. Or, one can look at the data and notice what categories (codes) are apparent from the data. This latter method is an inductive process. Many researchers use a combination of the two methods. This method is sometimes called, "Constant Comparative Methods," based on  "Grounded Theory." One is attempting to use data to ground (support) theories (explanations). It is done by going back and forth between the data and theories about it, in the inductive/deductive process described above. It comes from Strauss & Corbin (1998). Some practical suggestions for this are available here: CCM.
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Action Research Web Links
Journals Books and Guides AR @ Universities

General Action Research Resources

AR Reports


 

Action Research Bibliography

Books
  • Altrichter, H., Posch, P. & Somekh, B. (1993). Teachers Investigate Their Work: An introduction to the methods of action research. NY: Routledge.
  • Argyris, C., Putnam, R., McLain-Smith, D. (1985). Action Science:  Concepts, Methods, and Skills for Research and Intervention. San Francisco, California, U.S.A.: Jossey-Bass Inc.
  • Atweh, B., Kemmis, S. & Weeks, P (Eds.) (1998). Action research in practice: Partnerships for social justice in education. London: Routledge.
  • Burnaford, G., Fischer, J. & Hobson, D. (Eds.) (1996). Teachers doing research: Practical possibilities. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum Associates.
  • Carr, W. (1995). For education: towards critical educational inquiry. Buckingham, UK: Open University Press.
  • Carr, W. and Kemmis, S. (1986). Becoming Critical:  Education, Knowledge and Action Research. Lewes: Falmer Press.
  • Carson, T. & Sumara, D. (Ed.) (1997). Action research as a living practice. NY: P. Lang.
  • Cochrane-Smith, M. & Lytle, S. (1993). Inside/outside: Teacher research and knowledge. NY: Teachers College Press.
  • Connelly, F.M. & Clandinin, D.J. (1988). Teachers as curriculum planners. New York: Teachers College Press.
  • Elliot, J. (1991). Action research for educational change. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.
  • Glanz, J. (2004). Action research: An educational leader’s guide to school improvement. Norwood, MA: Christopher-Gordon.
  • Grundy, S. (1987). Curriculum: Product or praxis. London: Falmer Press.
  • Hendricks, C. C. (2005). Improving schools through action research: A comprehensive guide for educators. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
  • Hodson, D., Bencze, L., Nyhof-Young, J. Pedretti, E. & Elshof, L. (2002). Changing Science Education Through Action Research: Some Experiences from the Field. Toronto: Imperial Oil Centre for Studies in Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, OISE/UT, in association with University of Toronto Press.
  • Hollingsworth, S. (Ed.) (1997). International action research: A case book for educational reform. London: Falmer Press.
  • Holly, M. L., Arhar, J. & Kasten, W. C. (2005). Action research for teachers: Traveling the yellow brick road. New York: Prentice Hall.
  • Hopkins, D. (1993). A teacher’s guide to classroom research (2nd edition). Buckingham: Open University Press.
  • Kemmis, S. & McTaggart, R. (1990). The action research reader (3rd edition). Geelong: Deakin University Press.
  • Kemmis, S. & McTaggart, R. (1982). The action research planner. Geelong, Victoria: Deakin University Press.
  • Kincheloe, J. L. (1991). Teachers as researchers: Qualitative inquiry as a path to empowerment. London: Falmer Press.
  • Lankshear, C. & Knobel, M. (2004). A handbook for teacher research: From design to implementation. London: Open University Press.
  • Maykut, P. & Morehouse, R. (1994). Beginning qualitative research: A philosophic and practical guide. London: Falmer Press.
  • McNiff, J. & Whitehead, J. (2002). Action research: Principles and practice (2nd ed.). London: RoutledgeFalmer.
  • McNiff, J., Lomax, P. & Whitehead, J. (2003). You and your action research project (2nd ed.). London: RoutledgeFalmer.
  • McTaggart, R. (1991). Action research: A short modern history. Geelong: Deakin University Press.
  • Miles, M. B. & Huberman, A. M. (1994). Qualitative data analysis: An expanded sourcebook (2nd edition). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Mills, G. E. (2003). Action research: A guide for the teacher researcher (2nd edition). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
  • Myers, K. (Ed.) (1996). School improvement in practice: Schools Make a Difference Project. London: Falmer Press.
  • Newman, J. (1998). Tensions in teaching: beyond tips to critical reflection. NY: Teachers College Press.
  • Rudduck, J. (Ed.) (1995). An education that empowers: A collection of lectures in memory of Lawrence Stenhouse. Philadelphia: Multilingual Matters.
  • Sagor, R. (2000). Guiding school improvement with action research. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
  • Schön, D. (1983). The reflective practitioner: How professionals think in action. New York: Basic Books.
  • Schön, D. (1987). Educating the reflective practitioner. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
  • Stenhouse, L. (1975). Introduction to curriculum research and development. London: Heinemann Educational Publishing.
  • Strauss, A. L. & Corbin, J. M. (1998). Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory (2nd edition). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
  • Stringer, E. T. (2004). Action research in education. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson-Prentice Hall.
  • Tomal, D. R. (2003). Action research for educators.  Lanham, MD: Scarecrow.
  • Wells, G. (Ed.) (1993). Changing schools from within: Creating communities of inquiry. Toronto: OISE Press.
Chapters in Books
  • Bencze, J. L. (2002). Pre-service elementary teachers’ receding phobia towards student determined knowledge building: Epistemological, methodological and ontological considerations. In D. Hodson (Ed.), OISE Papers in STSE Education 3 (pp. 231-255). Toronto: University of Toronto Press. 
  • Bennett, N. & Desforges, C. (1985). Ensuring practical outcomes from educational research. In J. P. Keeves (Ed.), Educational research, methodology and measurement: An international handbook (pp. 109-23). London: Pergamon Press.
  • Clandinin, D. J. and Connelly, F. M. (1992). Teacher as Curriculum Maker. In  P. W. Jackson (Ed.), Handbook of Research on Curriculum (pp 363-401). New York:  MacMillan Publishing Co.
  • Désautels, J., Fleury, S. C. & Garrison, J. (2002). The enactment of epistemological practice as subversive social action, the provocation of power, and anti-modernism. In W.-M. Roth & J. Désautels (Eds.), Science education as/for sociopolitical action (pp. 237-269). New York: Peter Lang.
  • Driver, R (1988). Theory into practice II:  A constructivist approach to curriculum development. In  P. Fensham (Ed.), Development and dilemmas in science educaton (pp. 133-149). London: Falmer Press. 
  • Elliot, J. (1985). Facilitating action-research in schools: Some dilemmas. In R. G. Burgess (Ed.), Field methods in the study of education (pp. 235-262). London: Falmer Press.
  • Elliot, J. (1988). Teachers as researchers. In J. P. Keeves (Ed.), Educational research, methodology and measurement: An international handbook (pp. 78-81). London: Pergamon Press.
  • Elliot, J. (1992). The fundamental characteristics of action research. In J. Elliot (Ed.), Action research for educational change (pp. 49-56). Philadelphia: Open University Press.
  • Feldman, A. & Atkin, J. M. (1995). Embedding action research in professional practice. In S. E. Noffke & R. B. Stevenson (Eds.), Educational action research: Becoming practically critical (pp. 127-137). New York: Teacher's College Press.
  • Guba, E. G. & Lincoln, Y. S. (1988). Naturalistic and rationalistic enquiry. In J. P. Keeves (Ed.), Educational research, methodology and measurement: An international handbook (pp. 81-85). London:  Pergamon Press.
  • Kemmis, S. (1988). Action research. In J. P. Keeves (Ed.),  Educational research, methodology and measurement: An international handbook (pp. 42-49). London:  Pergamon Press.
  • Kincheloe, J. L. & McLaren, P. (2000). Rethinking critical theory and qualitative research. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), Handbook of qualitative research (pp. 279-313). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Lincoln, Y. S. & Guba, E. G. (2000). Paradigmatic controversies, contradictions, and emerging confluences. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (eds.), Handbook of qualitative research (pp. 163-188). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Noffke, S. E. (1995). Action research and democratic schooling: Problematics and potentials. In S. E. Noffke & R. B. Stevenson (Eds.), Educational action research: Becoming practically critical (pp. 1-10). New York: Teacher's College Press.
  • Noffke, S. E. (1997). Professional, personal, and political dimensions of action research. In M. A. Apple (Ed.), Review of Research in Education 22 (pp. 305-343), Washington, DC: American Educational Research Association.
  • Pedretti, E., Bencze, L., Hodson, D., Decoito, I, & Di Giuseppi, M. (2003). Building and sustaining communities of practice beyond the fold: Nurturing agency and action.  In J. Wallace and J. Loughran (Eds.), Leadership and professional development in science education: New possibilities for enhancing teacher learning (pp. 218-236). London & New York: RoutledgeFalmer.
  • Zeichner, K. M. &  Gore, J. M. (1995). Using action research as a vehicle for student teacher reflection: A social reconstructionist approach. In S. E. Noffke & R. B. Stevenson (Eds.), Educational action research: Becoming practically critical (pp. 13-30). New York: Teacher's College Press.
Refereed Journal Articles
  • Adelman, C. (1993). Kurt Lewin and the origins of action research. Educational Action Research, 1(1), 7-23.
  • Atkinson, S. (1994). Rethinking the principles and practice of action research: The tensions for the teacher-researcher. Educational Action Research, 2(3), 383-401.
  • Bell, B. & Gilbert, J. (1994). Teacher development as professional, personal and social development. Teaching and Teacher Education, 10, 483-97.
  • Bencze, L., Di Giuseppe, M., Hodson, D., Pedretti, E., Serebrin, L. & Decoito, I. (2003). Paradigmic road blocks in elementary school science ‘reform’: Reconsidering nature-of-science teaching within a rational-realist milieu. Systemic Practice and Action Research, 16(5), 285-308.
  • Bencze, L. & Hodson, D. (1999). Changing practice by changing practice: Toward more authentic science and science curriculum development. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 36(5), 521-39.
  • Bencze, L. & Hodson, D. (1998). Coping with Uncertainty in Elementary School Science: A Case Study in Collaborative Action Research. Teachers and Teaching, 4(1), 77-94.
  • Bowen, R. (1998). Graphic approaches to describing action research methodology. Educational Action Research, 6(3), 507-526.
  • Carson, T. (1990). What kind of knowing is critical action research? Theory Into Practice, 29(3), 167-173.
  • Cochrane-Smith, M. & Lytle, S. (1990). Research on teaching and teacher research: The issues that divide. Educational Researcher, 19(2), 11-22.
  • Cook-Sather, A. (2002). Authorizing students’ perspectives: Towards trust, dialogue, and change in education. Educational Researcher, 31(4), 3-14.
  • Driver, R. & Oldham, V. (1986). A constructivist approach to curriculum development in science. Studies in Science Education, 13, 105-122.
  • Elliot, J. (1993). What have we learned from action research in school-based evaluation? Educational Action Research, 1(1), 175-86.
  • Elliot, J. (1994). Research on teachers’ knowledge and action research. Educational Action Research, 2(1), 133-37.
  • Feldman, A. (1994). Erzberger’s dilemma: Validity in action research and science teachers’ need to know. Science Education, 78, 83-101.
  • Feldman, A. (2000). Decision making in the practical domain: A model of practical conceptual change. Science Education, 84(5), 606-623.
  • Gilbert, J. (1994). The construction and reconstruction of the concept of the reflective practitioner in the discourses of teacher professional development. International Journal of Science Education, 16(5), 511-22.
  • Giroux, H. (1980). Critical Theory and Rationality in Citizenship Education. Curriculum Inquiry, 10(4), 329-66.
  • Guba, E. G. (1981). Criteria for assessing the trustworthiness of naturalistic inquiries. Educational Communication and Technology Journal, 29(2), 75-91.
  • Hodson, D. & Bencze, L. (1998). Becoming critical about practical work: Changing views and changing practice through action research. International Journal of Science Education, 20(6), 683-94.
  • Hoepfl, M. C. (1997). Choosing qualitative research: A primer for technology education researchers. Journal of Technology Education, 9(1), 47-63.
  • Jennings, L. E. & Graham, A. P. (1996). Postmodern perspectives and action research: Reflecting on the possibilities. Educational Action Research, 4(2), 267-278).
  • Johnston, S. & Proudfoot, C. (1994). Action research: Who owns the process? Educational Review, 46, 3-14.
  • Kosmidou, C. & Usher, R. (1991). Facilitation in action research. Interchange, 22(4), 24-40.
Refereed Jounal Articles, continued...
 
  • Lewin, K. (1946). Action research and minority problems. Journal of Social Issues, 2(4), 34-46.
  • McTaggart, R. (1994). Participatory action research: Issues in theory and practice. Educational Action Research, 2(3), 313-37.
  • McCutcheon, G. & Jung, B. (1990). Alternative perspectives on action research. Theory Into Practice, 29(3), 144-151.
  • McTaggart, R. (1994). Participatory action research: Issues in theory and practice. Educational Action Research, 2(3), 313-337.
  • Oberg, A. & McCutcheon, A. (Eds.) (1990). Teacher as researcher (special issue). Theory into Practice, 29(3).
  • Oberg, A. (1990). Methods and meanings in action research: The action research journal. Theory Into Practice, 29(3), 214-21.
  • Pedrettti, E. (1996). Facilitating action research: An experience in reflective practice. Educational Action Research, 4(3), 307-27.
  • Pedretti, E. (1997). Septic tank crisis: A case study of science, technology and society education in an elementary school. International Journal of Science Education, 19(10), 1211-1230.
  • Pedretti, E. & Hodson, D. (1995). From rhetoric to action: Implementing STS education through action research. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 32(5), 463-86.
  • Rearick, M. L. & Feldman, A. (1999). Orientations, purposes and reflection: A framework for understanding action research. Teaching and Teacher Education, 15(4), 333-349.
  • Sanger, J. (1990). Awakening a scream of consciousness: The critical group in action research. Theory Into Practice, 29(3), 174-178.
  • Somekh, B. (1994). Inhabiting each other’s castles: Towards knowledge and mutual growth through collaboration. Educational Action Research, 2(3), 357-81.
  • Tripp, D. H. (1990). Socially critical action research. Theory Into Practice, 29(3), 158-166.
  • van Manen, M. (1990). Beyond assumptions: Shifting the limits of action research. Theory Into Practice, 29(3), 152-157.
  • Wallace, J. & Louden, W. (1994). Collaboration and the growth of teachers’ knowledge. Qualitative Studies in Education, 7(4), 323-34.
  • Whitehead, J. (1985). An Analysis of an Individual’s Educational Development: The Basis for Personally Oriented Action Research. In M. Shipman (Ed.), Educational Research: Principles, Policies and Practices. London: Falmer Press.
  • Whitehead, J. (1993). The growth of educational knowledge: creating your own living educational theories. Bournmouth, UK: Hyde.
  • Winter, R. (1998). Finding a voice — thinking with others: a conception of action research. Educational Action Researcher, 6(1), 53-68.
  • Zeichner, K. M. (1993). Action Research: personal renewal and social reconstruction. Educational Action Research, 1(2), 199-219.


Readings Relevant to Reform in Science & Technology Education
(NOTE: This list is relatively narrow, but provides some guidance towards problems and solution for action research)

  • Abd-El-Khalick, F. & Lederman, N.G. (2000). Improving science teachers’ conceptions of nature of science: A critical review of the literature. International Journal of Science Education, 22(7), 665-701.
  • Aikenhead, G.S. & Jegede, O.J. (1999). Cross-cultural science education: A cognitive explanation of a cultural phenomenon. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 36(3), 269-287.
  • Apple, M. W. (1990). Ideology and Curriculum. New York: Routledge.
  • Apple, M. (2000). Official knowledge: Democratic education in a conservative age (2nd edition). New York: Routledge.
  • Apple, M. W. (2001). Educating the ‘right’ way: Markets, standards, God, and inequality. New York: RoutledgeFalmer.
  • Apple, M. W. (1998). Teaching and technology: The hidden effects of computers on teachers and students. In L. E. Beyer and M. W. Apple (Eds.), The curriculum: Problems, politics, and possibilities (pp. 314-336). Albany, NY: SUNY Press.
  • Barnett, J. & Hodson, D. (2001). Pedagogical context knowledge: Toward a fuller understanding of what good science teachers know. Science Education, 85(4), 426–453.
  • Bartholomew, H., Osborne, J. & Ratcliffe, M. (2004). Teaching Students ‘‘Ideas-About-Science”: Five dimensions of effective practice. Science Education, 88(5), 655-682.
  • Beane, J. A. & Apple, M. W. (1995). The case for democratic schools. In M. W. Apple & J. A. Beane (Eds.), Democratic schools (pp. 1-25). Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
  • Beyer, L.E. (1998). Schooling for democracy: What kind? In L. E. Beyer & M. W. Apple (Eds.), The curriculum: Problems, politics, and possibilities (pp. 245-263). Albany, NY: SUNY Press.
  • Chinn, C. A. & Malhotra, B. A. (2002). Epistemologically authentic inquiry in schools: A theoretical framework for evaluating inquiry tasks. Science Education, 86(2), 175–218.
  • Clandinin, D. J. (1985). Personal practical knowledge: A study of teachers’ classroom images. Curriculum Inquiry, 15(4), 361-85.
  • Claxton, G. (1991). Educating the Inquiring Mind: The Challenge for School Science. London Harvester Wheatsheaf.
  • Cobern, W. W. & Loving, C. C. (1998). The card exchange: Introducing the philosophy of science. In W. F. McComas (Ed.), The nature of science in science education (pp. 73-82). Dortrecht: Kluwer.
  • Connelly, F.M., & Clandinin, D.J. (1985). Personal practical knowledge and the modes of knowing: Relevance for teaching and learning. NSSE Yearbook, 84, 174-198.
  • Cunningham, C.M. & Helms, J.V. (1998). Sociology of science as a means to a more authentic inclusive science education. Journal of Research in Science Teaching 35(5), 483-499.
  • DeBoer, G.E. (2000). Scientific literacy: Another look at its historical and contemporary meanings and its relationship to science education reform. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 37(6), 582-601.
  • Delpit, L. (1988). The silencing dialogue: Power and pedagogy in educating other people’s children. Harvard Educational Review, 58, 280-298.
  • Désautels, J., Fleury, S. C. & Garrison, J. (2002). The enactment of epistemological practice as subversive social action, the provocation of power, and anti-modernism. In W.-M. Roth & J. Désautels (Eds.), Science education as/for sociopolitical action (pp. 237-269). New York: Peter Lang.
  • Dewey, J. (1910). How we think. New York: Heath.
  • Dewey, J. (1929). The sources of a science of education. New York: Liveright.
  • Doll, W. E. (1993). A Post-modern perspective on curriculum. New York: Teachers College Press.
  • Eisenhart, M., Finkel, E. & Marion, S. F. (1996). Creating the conditions for scientific literacy: A re-examination. American Educational Research Journal, 33(2), 261-295.
  • Fensham, P.J. & Gardner, P.L. (1994). Technology education and science education: a new relationship? In D. Layton (Ed.), Innovations in science and technology education, Volume V (pp. 159-170). Paris: UNESCO.
  • Fensham, P.J. & Harlen, W. (1999). School science and public understanding of science. International Journal of Science Education 21(7), 755-763.
  • Franklin, U. M. (1999). The real world of technology. Toronto: Anansi.
  • Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York: Continuum.
  • Goodson, I. (2000). Professional knowledge and the teacher’s life and work. In C. Day, A. Fernandez, T. E Hauge & J. Møller (Eds.), The life and work of teachers: International Perspectives in Changing Times (pp. 13-25). London: Falmer.
  • Gott, R. & Duggan, S. (2003). Understanding and using scientific evidence: How to critically evaluate data. London: Sage.
  • Habermas, J. (1972). Knowledge and human interest (trans. J. J. Shapiro). London: Heinemann.
  • Harlen, W. & Holroyd, C. (1997). Primary teachers' understanding of concepts of science: Impact on confidence and teaching, International Journal of Science Education, 19(1), 93-105.
  • Helms, J. V. (1998). Science—and me: Subject matter and identity in secondary school science teachers. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 35(7), 811–834.
  • Hodson, D. (1998). Teaching and learning science: Towards a personalized approach. Buckingham, UK: Open University Press.
  • Hodson, D. (1999). Science Fiction: The continuing misrepresentation of science in the school curriculum. Curriculum Studies 6(2), 191-216.
  • Hodson, D. (2003). Time for action: Science education for an alternative future. International Journal of Science Education, 25(6), 645–670.
  • Hodson, D. & Dennick, R. (1994). Anti-racist science education: A special role for the history of science and technology. School Science and Mathematics 94, 255-262.
  • Jenkins, E. (2000). ‘Science for all’: Time for a paradigm shift? In R. Millar, J. Leach & J. Osborne (Eds.), Improving science education: the contribution of research (pp. 207-226). Buckingham, UK: Open University Press.
  • Koballa, T. & Tippins, D.  (2000). Cases in middle and secondary science education: The promise and dilemmas. Columbus, OH: Merrill Prentice Hall.
  • Kuhn, T. S. (1970). The structure of scientific revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Lemke, J. L. (2000). Multimedia literacy demands of the scientific curriculum. Linguistics and Education, 10(3), 247-271.
  • Lemke, J. L. (2001). Articulating communities: Sociocultural perspectives on science education. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 38(3), 296-316.
  • Longbottom, J. E. & Butler, P. H. (1999). Why Teach Science?: Setting Rational Goals for Science Education. Science Education, 83(4), 473-492.
  • McLaren, P. (2000). Che Guevara, Paulo Freire, and the pedagogy of the revolution. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
  • McLaren, P. & Baltodano, M. P. (2000). The future of teacher education and the politics of resistance. Teaching Education, 11(1), 47-60.
  • McLaren, P. & Farahmandpur, R. (2005). Teaching against global capitalism and the new imperialism. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
  • McMurtry, J. (1999). The cancer stage of capitalism. London: Pluto.
  • McMurtry, J. (2002). Value wars: The global market versus the life economy. London: Pluto.
  • McGinn, M.K. & Roth, W-M. (1999). Preparing students for competent scientific practice: Implications of recent research in science and technology studies. Educational Researcher 28(3), 14-24.
  • Noble, D. D. (1998). The Regime of Technology in Education. In L.E. Beyer and M.W. Apple (Eds.), The curriculum: Problems, politics and possibilities (pp. 267-283). Albany, NY: SUNY Press.
  • O’Loughlin, M. (1992). Rethinking science education: Beyond Piagetian constructivism toward a sociocultural model of teaching and learning. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 29(8), 791-820.
  • Pedretti, E. (2003). Teaching science, technology, society and environment (STSE) education: Preservice teachers’ philosophical and pedagogical landscapes. In D. Zeidler (Ed.), The role of moral reasoning and socioscientific discourse in science education (pp. 219-239). Dortrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer.
  • Polanyi, M. (1958). Personal knowledge. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
  • Rodriguez, A. J. (2001). From gap gazing to promising cases: Moving toward equity in urban education reform. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 38(10), 1115-1129.
  • Roth, W.-M. (2001). Learning science through technological design. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 38(7), 768-790.
  • Roth, W.-M. & Bowen, G.M. (1995). Knowing and interacting: A study of culture, practices, and resources in a grade 8 open-inquiry science classroom guided by a cognitive apprenticeship metaphor. Cognition and Instruction, 13(1), 73-128.
  • Rudolph, J.L. (2000). Reconsidering the ‘nature of science’ as a curriculum component. Curriculum Studies, 32(3), 403-419.
  • Shulman, L.S. (1986). Those who understand: Knowledge growth in teaching. Educational Researcher, 15, 4-14.
  • Solomon, J. & Aikenhead, G. S. (editors) (1994). STS education: International perspectives on reform. New York: Teachers College Press.
  • Sutton, C. (1996). Beliefs about science and beliefs about language. International Journal of Science Education, 18(1), 1-18.
  • Tobin, K. & McRobbie, C. J. (1997). Beliefs about the nature of science and the enacted science curriculum. Science & Education, 6(4), 355-371.
  • Tsai, C.-C. (2000). Relationships between student scientific epistemological beliefs and perceptions of constructivist learning environments. Educational Research, 42(2), 193-205.
  • Van Driel, J.H., Verloop, N. & De Vos, W. (1998) Developing science teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 35(6), 673-695.
  • Waks, L. J. (2001). Donald Schon’s philosophy of design and design education. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 11, 37–51.
  • Wellington, J. (2001). What is science education for?. Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education, 1(1), 23-38.
  • Wood, G.H.  (1998). Democracy and the Curriculum. In L.E. Beyer & M.W. Apple (Eds.), The Curriculum: Problems, Politics and Possibilities (pp. 177-198). Albany, NY: SUNY Press.
  • Ziman, J. (2000). Real science: What it is, and what it means. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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