01 SES 03 B, Teacher Inquiry
This paper is an account of a three-year action research professional education project conducted in a European university with a group of nine senior nurse educators, supported by myself, as part of a broader institutional commitment to developing research capacity. The project arose in response to local policy recommendations, within a broader international policy framework that nursing and health care services and delivery should be more community-based and patient-oriented (e.g. RCN, 2013; WHO, 1994), with the intent of transforming professionalism for personal and social improvement (McDonnell and McNiff, in preparation). A preferred methodology for achieving this would be action research. My role, as a native English speaker, established academic and experienced and published action researcher, was to help colleagues (all non-native English speakers and novice action researchers though experienced health care professionals) to develop expertise in doing and writing action research for publication. This paper focuses on this critical issue of writing action research for publication, itself part of developments that are increasingly relevant to the international community, including the following:
- Greater interest in practice-based research in universities, given the recognition of Mode 2 forms of knowledge (Gibbons et al., 1994) for generating theory of direct relevance to contemporary social needs;
- Increasing demands for academics to publish their work, within an audit culture where reputation depends on publication (Hyland, 2007)
- Ensuring publication of action research texts within a literary orthodoxy that demands specific forms of academic writing, and controlled by university managers and journal editors who thereby also retain control of the means of professional legitimation (Gibson, 1993; Herr and Anderson, 2005);
- Danger that the content and form of action research texts become domesticated to fit into the established literary canon, thus denying the critical, emancipatory and democratic values and knowledge-constituted interests of action research.
Consequently, the production of texts that show the processes of realising socially-oriented values through their content and form within a literary culture that prioritises outcomes and analytical forms of expression could be seen as constituting a new legitimation crisis (Habermas, 1975), where established literary structures are no longer able to support new methodological perspectives. A favoured response from managers is to obstruct publication by academic action-researchers through a range of strategies, including rejection of proposals, dissertations and articles on the pretext of ‘poor quality’. It therefore becomes the responsibility of practitioner-researchers to ensure their texts achieve the internal standards agreed by the practitioner-researcher community, and the external criteria of the established canon. My research question focused on how I could help colleagues learn how to do so.
The task was made more difficult because
- learning to do and write action research involved shifts in individuals’ self-identity, including: a self-re-identification from teacher (as a facilitator of nurses’ learning in clinical settings) to professional educator (as a member of a university college now amalgamated with a research university) to academic researcher (as fulfilling the expectations of the research university for academics to conduct research) to writer (as part of communicating results and demonstrating academic validity). The issue became how to integrate these identities within the person (Sen, 2006).
- ‘Research’ for colleagues from a healthcare background meant ‘scientific research’; intellectual and emotional discipline were required to internalise action research philosophies and methodologies;
- an increasing requirement that texts for publication should be written in English, given that writing in English is now regarded internationally as a form of academic skill (Hyland, 2007); colleagues therefore had to develop academic literacy in a foreign language.
- It also involved my learning about the practices, traditions and policies of nursing and healthcare to support the group adequately in all aspects of the project.
Barnett, R. (2000) Realising the University in an Age of Supercomplexity. Buckingham, Open University Press. Clark, R. and Ivanič, R. (1997) The Politics of Writing. London, Routledge. Gibbons, M., Limoges, C., Nowotny, H., Schwartzman, S., Scott, P. and Trow, M. (1994) The New Production of Knowledge: The Dynamics of Science and Research in Contemporary Societies. London, Sage. Gibson, J. (1993) Performance Versus Results. Albany, NY., State University of New York. Habermas, J. (1975) Legitimation Crisis. Boston, Beacon Press. Herr, K. and Anderson, G. (2005) The Action Research Dissertation. Thousand Oaks, Sage. Hyland, K. (2007) Writing in the Academy: Reputation, education and knowledge. London, Institute of Education. Marcuse, H. (1964) One-Dimensional Man. Boston, Beacon Press. McDonnell, P. and McNiff, J. (in preparation). Action Research for Nursing. McNiff, J. (2013) Action Research: Principles and Practice (3rd edition). Abingdon, Routledge. Noffke, S. and Somekh, B. (2008) The SAGE Handbook of Educational Action Research. London, Sage. Reason, P. and Bradbury, H. (2001) (eds) Handbook of Action Research. London, Sage. Royal College of Nursing (2013) Moving care to the community: an international perspective. RCN Policy and International Department, Policy Briefing 12/13, May. Online at http://www.rcn.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/523068/12.13_Moving_care_to_the_community_an_international_perspective.pdf. Schön, D. (1995) ‘Knowing-in-action: The New Scholarship Requires a New Epistemology, Change, November–December: 27–32. Sen, A. (2006) Identity and Violence. London, Penguin. World Health Organization (1994) A Declaration on the Promotion of Patients’ Rights in Europe. Copenhagen, World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
The programme is updated regularly (each day in the morning)
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.