Using Action Inquiry in Engaged Research
An Organizing Guide

Foreword by Timothy K. Eatman
Afterword by Rick Dalton
Paper: 978 1 57922 835 4 / $25.00
 
Published: January 2017  

Cloth: 978 1 57922 834 7 / $95.00
 
Published: February 2017  

Lib E-Book: 978 1 57922 836 1 / $95.00  
About Library E-Book

Published: January 2017  

E-Book: 978 1 57922 837 8 / $19.99
 
Published: January 2017  

Publisher: Stylus Publishing
116 pp., 6" x 9"
19 illus

Series: Engaged Research and Practice for Social Justice in Education
Using Action Inquiry in Engaged Research: A Professional Guide offers higher education and school professionals practical guidance and methods for using the Action Inquiry Model (AIM) in engaged research initiatives and community partnerships. Replete with group exercises and case studies, this guide was originally developed to supplement workshops for faculty, administrators and students working on action initiatives that focused on critical educational issues facing local communities. It provides a useful framework and straightforward techniques for building empowering partnerships.

The Action Inquiry Model (AIM) includes four stages:
Assessment: Using research and experience to identify critical challenges facing the university with respect to the improvement of educational opportunities
• Organization: Developing workgroups to collaborate on initiatives that address critical challenges; providing financial support for new initiatives; and providing release time and professional development opportunities for faculty and staff who engage in reform initiatives
Action Initiatives: Treating reforms as pilot tests for new strategies, as a means of promoting organizational learning, professional development, and student success
Evaluation: Integrating the evaluation of current programs and incorporating new initiatives into the reform process.

This guide provides two methods for learning the inquiry process: a step-by-step process for defining tasks for teams of researchers and practitioners working together to use research to inform the educational improvement; and sets of case studies on assessment and action inquiry to inform groups in collectively discussing problems and strategies, an approach that supports the classroom use of the Guide.

The key tasks in action inquiry initiatives include:
1. Build an understanding of the challenge
2 Identify the causes of the challenge using data to test hypotheses
2. Look internally and externally for solutions
3. Assess possible solutions
4. Develop action plans
5. Implement pilot test, and evaluate

This guide is appropriate for professional development programs and as a text for higher education Masters and Ph.D. programs.

Table of Contents:
Tables
Figures
Foreword—Timothy K. Eatman
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1) Getting Started
2) Focus on Barriers to Social Justice
3) Organizing for Change
4) Using Information for Change
5) Learning From Experience
Afterword—Rick Dalton
References
About the Contributors
Index


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Reviews & Endorsements:
“St. John’s book is an essential read for any activist, educator or researcher committed to effecting meaningful social change. It is a clear and critical elaboration on the use of the Action Inquiry Model (AIM) in educational partnerships to identify, assess and address issues relating to gaps in opportunity. St. John uses a range of case studies to demonstrate the power of a structured learning partnership between university, school and non-profit and to re-define organizational boundaries and roles in the process – researcher as learner, educator as researcher, CEO as research student, student as agent of social change. St. John demonstrates that it is through this re-definition of roles and how we understand organizational boundaries that we can bring data to life and use it to change our world.”
- Cliona Hannon, Director, Trinity Access Programmes , Trinity College (University of) Dublin
From the Foreword:
“Let Using Action Inquiry in Engaged Research help you better understand your environment, practices and beliefs and to see your students, your strategies and even your organization in new ways. Dynamic organizations are forever shifting and adapting as they respond to an ever more rapidly changing external environment. Never waver from your core beliefs. Never take your eye off the ball (helping underserved populations), but keep testing your theories and approaches through action inquiry. You and the students you serve will be the beneficiaries.”
- Rick Dalton, CEO , College For Every Student