Action Research

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SAGE Publications, Mar 22, 2007 - Reference - 279 pages
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Community-based action research seeks to involve as active participants those who have traditionally been called subjects and is intended to result in a practical outcome related to the lives or work of the participants. No matter the setting—organizational, institutional, or educational—there are particular skills needed to conduct action research successfully. In Action Research, author Ernest T. Stringer provides a series of tools that assist the researcher in working through the research process. The Third Edition of this popular text provides a simple but highly effective model for approaching action research: * Look: Building a picture and gathering information * Think: Interpreting and explaining * Act: Resolving issues and problems.

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Critical Annotation:
Stringer, E. (2007). Action Research (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications.
(Stringer, 2007)
Book’s Purpose:
The purpose of this book is to offer teachers, health professionals, social workers, community and youth workers, businesspeople, planners, and other people who serve in teaching, service delivery, or provide services to people in community, organizational, or institutional contexts research strategies that will enable them to deal in a more effective manner with the obstacles confronting them in work performance. Although the book is written to be useful to a wide variety of audiences, the author wrote this book mindful that if it were to be a useful resource for the intended variety of audiences then the text would need to contain relative examples using realistic case studies and research topics that will be depicted as action research opportunities.
The author provides clear guidelines to empower new practitioner researchers to move with ease through a process of inquiry that provides effective solutions to significant problems in their work. The author uses “biographical bulletins” that amplifies the text and they are designed to clarify meaning and to increase comprehensive elements of the action research process. The language of the book is notably accessible to practitioners who may be unfamiliar with the traditional research methodology. This is not only a book written for professional researchers but it is for learners at all performance levels. The author uses common vocabulary that is relevant to a variety of professions and all learning styles. The author’s purpose to trigger inquiry through action research illustrates each procedure of the process in a comprehensive format followed by step-by-step instructions. The experienced and professional researcher will benefit from this structure because it is different from the traditional research text while the new practitioner researcher will most definitely appreciate the explicit directions.
Author’s Background and Credentials:
Stringer is a visiting professor at the University of New Mexico and Texas A&M University, he has taught research methods courses and engaged in projects with African American and Hispanic community and neighborhood groups. As a UNICEF consultant he recently engaged in a major project to increase parent participation in the schools in East Timor.
Summary, Evaluation, Application and Reflection:
The book is a strong representation of the author’s personal experience with an array of action research models including cultural groups such as atypical Westerners and the Australian Aboriginals to expand the books conceptual perimeters. The reader can hear the author’s personal voice and passion for this subject through the entire book. The inclusion of the author’s work and prescriptions for the analytical process is a significantly useful feature of the book. It increases the value of the knowledge appreciating it came from the author’s personal experience. The knowledge disseminated through this book is not only possible for an expert but also possible for an everyday reader.
This book provides a resource for practitioners, to assist them in their efforts to conduct inquiry and to hone their investigative skills so that they will discover effective solutions to the significant problem issues that are obstacles from improving work performance and deny professionals quality job satisfaction. The book presents an inquiry approach to help practitioners explore systematically the real-life problems such as programs that isolate workers from their communities and families. The book provides the knowledge necessary to formulate effective and sustainable solutions that compound the lives of the people they serve while increasing their own confidence and deepen the meaning of work.
The book provides this type of research methodology through an overview of community-based action research. The text discusses the basic values
 

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About the author (2007)

Ernest T. Stringer is author of numerous influential books on action research, including Action Research in Education (2008), Action Research in Health (with Bill Genat, 2004), and Action Research in Human Services (with Rosalie Dwyer, 2005). After an early career as primary teacher and school principal, Stringer served as lecturer in education at Curtin University of Technology in Western Australia. From the mid-eighties, based at Curtin’s Centre for Aboriginal Studies, he worked collaboratively with Aboriginal staff and community people to develop a wide variety of innovative and highly successful education and community development programs and services. As visiting professor at the University of New Mexico and Texas A&M, he has taught research methods courses and engaged in projects with African American and Latino community and neighborhood groups. As a UNICEF consultant, he recently engaged in a major project to increase parent participation in the schools in East Timor. Stringer has served (until prior to publication of this book) as a member of the editorial board of the Action Research Journal and is past president of the Action Learning and Action Research Association (ALARA).

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