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Social identity and parallel text dynamics in the reporting of educational action research

By Sue Wharton

Abstract

This paper focuses on textual issues in the reporting of action research. There exists a large body of text-analytical work on research reports from various fields, examining for example the organisation and rhetorical purpose of research articles or sections thereof. However, less has been done on the specific issues of reporting action research, and this paper seeks to fill that gap by an exploration of text dynamics in action research reports. It focuses on three small corpora of educational action research reports: page-length reports intended to share classroom practice, medium-length article reports which situate pedagogic interventions in some detail, and lastly, full length research article reports.\ud \ud The research discussed in this paper indicates possible relationships between text patterns and action research processes, and facilitates examination of the issues involved when attempting to represent a cyclical and often recursive process in textual form. It allows an exploration of the textually articulated relationships between the researcher and other aspects of the research context, be they structures or actors. This is a particularly complex and important issue in action research where groundedness, collaboration, appropriacy and reflexivity are key values.\ud \ud The paper has teacher education implications. Given the role of action research modules on in service teacher education programmes there is a need to facilitate, for new action researchers, an insight into forms of discourse that may assist them to articulate their experiences. To be of maximum benefit, such insights should also be educational in the sense of facilitating the development of discursive literacy.\ud \u

Topics: LB, HM
Publisher: Elsevier
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:3288

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