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Understanding Collaborative Action Research

Center for Collaborative Action Research Riel Margaret, February 2019

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Summary :

The Center’s approach to collaborative action research (informed by McNiff, 2013; Fine, 2018: McNiff & Whitehead, 2010; Wood, 2017) is to define it as a process of deep inquiry into one’s professional interactions with others in service of moving towards an envisioned future, more closely aligned with social justice values. This formulation represents a tension between forces that lead to personal, professional and social change. Action research can be seen as a systematic, reflective study of one’s actions, and the effects of these actions, in a workplace, organizational, or community context. As such, it involves deep inquiry into one’s professional practice. Importantly, it is also a collaborative process as it is done WITH people in a social context and understanding the change means probing multiple understanding of complex social systems. Finally, as research, it implies a commitment to data sharing and knowledge construction.