Action Research and Reflective Practice: Creative and Visual Methods to Facilitate Reflection and Learning

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Taylor & Francis, Jan 20, 2010 - Education - 196 pages
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The use of reflection as a tool to support and develop practice is becoming increasingly recognised across education, healthcare and the social sciences. Reflection is assumed to create depth of knowledge and meaning, both for self and those practised upon. Running alongside the use of reflection is the prevalent use of action research which some see as a way of approaching the study of human beings from a philosophical perspective, in which sharing takes place within mutually supportive environments. As a result, many academics and practitioners suggest that one cannot improve the methodology of action research without considering philosophical reflection.

In Action Research and Reflective Practice, the author argues that reflective practice and action research can become mechanistic in their use unless fresh creative approaches are employed. Exploring the tension between the use of evidence-based practice, based upon solid ‘objective’ research, and reflection, with its ‘subjectivity’ and personal perception, this book argues that reflection is research. The author increases the use and effectiveness of both action research and reflection through the application of new creative and visual approaches.

Action Research and Reflective Practice demonstrates that creative approaches can be utilised effectively in critically reflexive ways, creating a new style of action research that is both innovative and theoretically robust. The resultant approach will improve evidence-based research in education, healthcare and other social sciences to enhance perception and understanding of events, identity and self. This book will be highly beneficial to undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as educational and social researchers, across a broad range of subjects within the social sciences.

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Paul's book was key in helping me align my thinking when writing my master's thesis. To my mind, his ideas have applications in multiple domains. I meant to write a review when I first read the book, when it was hot off the press and never did. Today I discovered some notes I'd made while writing my thesis and I found that Paul's ideas continue to have resonance and clarity. 

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About the author (2010)

Paul McIntosh has a background of working as a practitioner in both health and social care in the field of learning disabilities, and extensive experience of higher education for health and social care professionals. He is currently a Research Fellow at Queen Mary, University of London.

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