Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE The Action Researcher

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Leadership for Learning and Innovation

DESCRIPTION In this study-unit educators will understand the paradigm of this research method set in the social sciences family. It will help students familiarize with this paradigm epistemology and its research cycle. They will be exposed to the myriad of approaches and tools that can be used to research a hypothesis in action while understanding the tools' limitations. Educators will thus understand the value of active learning, searching, problem solving and collaborative inquiry. The difference and similarities of action learning and action research will be also examined where action research needs to be more methodical, precise, analytical, verifiable, and revealed to the research community. This unit will finally analyze some good research examples in the educational field.

Study-unit Aims:

This study-unit aims to:
1. Familiarize the students with the action research paradigm;
2. Provide an understanding of action research epistemology;
3. Expose its contribution for change practices;
4. Reveal its 'praxis' value;
5. Promote action-based learning.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

1. Know the characteristics of action research;
2. Understand its contribution and limitations;
3. Distinguish between every phase of the action research cycle i.e. planning-acting-observing-reflecting;
4. Identify different tools to be used to generate data;
5. Specify the advantages and disadvantages of the chosen tools and methods of data analysis;
6. Define where action research can be applied;
7. Apply action research in different contexts;
8. Understand its contribution to educational contexts.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

1. Analyse and categorise the use action research - when and where;
2. Plan and employ every phase of the action research cycle;
3. Integrate different tools for the purpose of the research;
4. Manage and analyse data gathered;
5. Evaluate conclusions for change or start a new research cycle.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main texts

- Kemmis, S., McTaggart, R., & Nixon, R. (2013). The action research planner: Doing critical participatory action research. Springer Science & Business Media.
- McKernan, J. (2013). Curriculum action research: A handbook of methods and resources for the reflective practitioner. Routledge.
- McNiff, J. (2014). Writing and doing action research. CA: Sage.

Supplemetary text

- Edwards-Groves, C., & Kemmis, S. (2016). Pedagogy, Education and Praxis: understanding new forms of intersubjectivity through action research and practice theory. Educational Action Research, 24(1), 77-96.
- Gibbs, G. (1988) Learning by doing: a guide to teaching and learning methods. Oxford: Further Education Unit.
- Kemmis, S., McTaggart, R., & Nixon, R. (2014). Introducing Critical Participatory Action Research. In The Action Research Planner (pp. 1-31). Springer Singapore.
- McNiff, J. (2016). You and your action research project. Routledge.
- Zuber-Skerritt, O. (2001). 'Action learning and action research: paradigm, praxis and programs'. Effective change management through action research and action learning: Concepts, perspectives, processes and applications, 1-20.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Blended Learning

Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Fieldwork Yes 100%

LECTURER/S James Calleja (Co-ord.)
Mark A Farrugia

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.