02 SES 10 A, The Contribution of Methodologies to VET Research
Eikeland (2006) talks about several challenges related to demonstrating the validity of action research and research based on human activity in general. He points out that validity is dependent on all participants documenting exactly what has been done in the project and not what they wish they should have done. Participants may also deliberately omit things from the descriptions that were not quite as they anticipated. Eikeland also says it is more common than the opposite that we claim we have acted in such a way that we cover over things to make them look better, more innovative and politically correct etc. than they actually are. Challenges of this kind in my PhD project, related to the generation and analysis of data, is the background of the issue of validity in this abstract. The discussion of validity will focus on documenting change processes in action research. The discussion will be related to the interaction process, observations and analysis of texts, logs and reports. It will also be related to questions on triangulation of methods and ethical challenges as well. Validity is about how the documentation demonstrates the credibility of action research. The main objective of this presentation is to show how the validity of action research can be safeguarded.
Previous research has shown a vast demand for more research within the field of vocational education studies (Dahlback et al., 2011; Hiim, 2010; SSB, 2014). This is an important field of research since a number of recent vocational studies show that the education is not perceived as relevant for the vocations they are intended for (Hiim, 2013, 2015; Sylte, 2015). One of the objectives of my Ph.D-project was to study the relationship between curriculum in vocational education and the needs for qualifications in the actual vocations.
The theoretical basis for the Ph.D-project is highlighted by a pragmatic pedagogical and didactic perspective on learning and curriculum. This pragmatic learning perspective emphasizes that vocational learning and knowledge are contextual and practice based, and is particularly suited to illuminate what characterizes vocational and professional education. The main difference between this pragmatic educational thinking and conventional educational thinking is that the curriculum is seen as contextual and based on the actual vocational task and on vocational practice instead of abstract theory (Dewey, 1910; Dreyfus & Dreyfus, 1986; Hiim, 2013, 2015a; Kolb, 2012; Schön, 1983).
The project was running as an action research project involving 37 teachers at different vocational schools and 4 university researchers over a period of 4 years. The aim of the project was to develop knowledge on vocationally relevant curriculum in VET thorough a collaborative action research project where the researchers and teachers together developed and tried out new forms of curriculum.
Some of the challenges in action research is how to document people's opinions and experiences without bias. The results should be developed and documented in a credible way, so others can learn from it. The purpose of action research is that researchers and teachers have the opportunity to learn in and from research. It is crucial to document the educational and professional development in such a way that new theory, practice and knowledge is generated (Hiim, 2010). How to demonstrate validity in action research is provided by Whitehead’s & McNiff’s (2006, p. 80) advice about interpreting the data and generating evidence, and establishing standards for assessment:
- “Generating evidence and establishing standards of judgement.
- Deciding which kinds of standards are appropriate for judging the quality of practitioners` action research accounts”.
Bjørndal, B. & Lieberg, S. (1978). Nye veier i didaktikken. Oslo: Aschehoug. Dahlback, J., Hansen, K., Haaland, G. & Sylte, A.L. (2011). Yrkesdidaktisk kunnskapsutvikling og implementering av nye læreplaner - Veien til yrkesrelevant opplæring fra første dag i Vg1. Rapporter og utredninger, Skriftserien. Kjeller: Høgskolen i Akershus. Eikeland, O. (2006). The Validity of action research. In Nielsen, K. AA. & Svensson, L. (Ed.) Validity in action research. (2006/193-240). Maastricht: Shaker Publishing. Elliott, J. (1991). Action Research for Educational Change. Buckingham: Open University Press. Dewey, J. (1910). How we think. Boston: D.C. Heath. Dreyfus, H. & Dreyfus, S. (1986). Mind over Machine. The Power of Human Intuition and Expertice in the Era of the Computer. New York: Free press. Hiim, H. (2007). A Strategy for Practice Based Education and Research, built on experience from educating vocational teachers. In Ponte, P. & Smith, B. (Ed.) The Quality of Practitioner Research. Rotterdam: Sense Publisherers, 2007. Hiim, H. (2015b). Educational Action Research and the Development of Professional Teacher Knowledge. In Gunnaraaon, E., Hansen, H.P., Steen Nielsen, B. & Sriskandarajah, N. (Ed.) Action Research for Democracy (p. 147-161). London: Routledge. Hiim, H. (2015a). Kvalitet i yrkesutdanningen. I Norsk Pedagogisk Tidsskrift, 2015, nr.2 (p.136-148). Hiim, H. (2010). Pedagogisk aksjonsforskning. Tilnærminger, eksempler og kunnskapsfilosofisk grunnlag. Oslo. Gyldendal Akademisk. Hiim, H. (2013). Praksisbasert yrkesutdanning. Hvordan utvikle relevant yrkesutdanning for elever og arbeidsliv? Oslo. Gyldendal Akademisk. Hiim, H. & Hippe, E. (1989). Undervisningsplanlegging for yrkesfaglærere. Oslo: Gyldendal Norsk Forlag AS. Kemmis, S. (2007). Participatory Action Research and the Public Sphere. In Ponte, P. & Smith, B. (Ed.). The Quality of Practitioner Research. Rotterdam /Taipei: Sense Publishers. Kolb, D. A. (2012). Erfaringslæring – processen og det strukturelle grundlag. In Illeris, K. (Ed.), 49 tekster om læring. Fredriksberg: Samfundslitteratur. McNiff, J. (2002). Action Research. Principles and Practice. London: Routledge Falmer. McNiff, J. & Whitehead, J. (2006). All you need to know about Action Research. London: Sage. Reason, P. & Bradbury, H. (2002). Handbook of Action Research. London, Sage Publications. Schøn, D. (1983). The reflective practitioner. New York: Basic Books. SSB (2014). Gjennomstrømning i den videregående skole, 2008 – 2013. 18.08.2015: https://www.ssb.no/utdanning/statistikker/vgogjen/aar/2014-06-19. Stenhouse, L. (1975). An Introduction to Curriculum Research and Development. Oxford: Heinemann. Sylte, A.L. (2015). Aksjonsforskerrollen ved bruk av Bourdieus begreper sett i forhold til erfaringslæring – en analyse. I T. Inglar (Ed.). Erfaringslæring (p.114-138). Kristiansand: Portal Akademisk. Whitehead, J., & McNiff, J. (2006). Action research: living theory. London: SAGE.
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
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