Action Research Essay

1629 words - 7 pages

Action research is a journey of self-discovery, in which I learned about myself, my coping strategies, and how to create positive change in reference to a problem in my practice. The problem was addressed by reflecting on my attitudes, values, and beliefs. The journey originated from a multi-faceted question which depicts a change or an improvement that I would like to make in my classroom. By turning the gaze within, this process of research begins with an examination of self as an educator, then students or the classroom situation, and then of what might be done to address the problem. This method of problem-posing then action-taking to discover solutions stems from “Freire´s Popular Education principles, which emphasize that education should be guided by the needs and interests of the learners. Freire believed that education should be a process of dialogue, reflection, action, and transformation” (Pantoja, 2009, p.1). This philosophy is conducive to andragogy, and has practical applications which have helped to link the research on my problem to my practice in Adult Education. Action research, then, is a series actions that address the problem in a manner that is recursive and cyclic in that the results of one action determines the next, and then the next. It is a process which has helped to document my project results in a way that make sense of qualitative data. The emphasis of traditional research is to use quantitative data to document results of an experiment. This is not the focus of action research. My project is a journey which originates from the question, “How can I facilitate a healthy community at North West Regional College?” This project acknowledges a connection between my practice and the impact of the attitudes and behaviours of students. These attitudes and behaviours are directly affected by nutrition and what occurs when students make unhealthy choices. Our first action informed our second action and our second action informed the third. Finally, I was not alone on this journey. I accessed support from my learning community of critical friends and students.
Nancie Martin and Shannon Iverson are the critical friends who shared my concerns with the nutritional state of College students. Fortunately, we all work in the same building. Through our joint efforts we have shared in the planning, and acting on our concerns. We shared our tensions and the results of the actions as they unfolded throughout our project. Other participants included the Program Director (Melanie Roberts), the Basic Education Coordinator (Jennifer Rooke), Master of Education Cohort Members in our advisory group, Student Services Counsellors, Program Coordinators, as well as the students in both the Adult Basic Education Program and the Licensed Practical Nursing class. We also sought support from the Prairie North Health District, Mid-west Food Corporation, and specifically from Nutritionist Stacy Weins. Nancie and I are under...

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