Action Research Program Development and Evaluation

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The following collection focuses on introducing the theoretical and methodological foundations of action research (AR). First, in the form of a primer in deploying and evaluating AR. This primer is designed to be relatively simple, but mainly interactive and, also, context- and client-based. That is, we discuss the different components of an action research program based on how relevant a particular component was thought to be for the intended context and as a result of the intended process for the clients. Needless to say, the different websites listed in this collection will be revised and updated as we receive comments and suggestions from the readers/participants.

Click here to view the eCommons entry for the AR Primer.

Relevant publications on the subject of action research teaching, evaluation, the ethics of AR Pedagogy, and participatory feminism are also posted on this site.

Please send your comments and suggestions to Dr. Nimat Hafez BARAZANGI:


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 7 of 7
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    Action Research Pedagogy in a New Cultural Setting: The Syrian Experience.
    Barazangi, Nimat Hafez (Sage, 2007-09)
    I discuss a unique action research (AR) pedagogical experience of professors at four public universities (Damascus, Aleppo, Al-Ba'ath, and Tishreen) in the Syrian Arab Republic. The approach in this experience began by contextualizing some lessons and experiences of AR pedagogy at Cornell University and issues about university reform in a very different cultural and academic setting, under the program "Higher Education and Training Program in Contemporary Social Sciences (HETPCSS)." This collaborative program in Syria was a unique opportunity to address new dimensions of action research in a developing country, where a real gap exists in paying attention to many aspects of conducting any serious research in the social sciences and the humanities. The program was intended to partially remedy this gap through introducing AR in Syria. Few are those universities in the US or Europe that have contextualized AR and the relation between university and society in an effective pro-social way. The experience of the Syrian universities is unique in that some of their professors are being educated in AR despite the adverse national political and economic conditions. One may even suggest that we are able to educate these professors in action research because of the contemporary adverse conditions.
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    Is Language the Object of Literacy among United States Female Adult Learners?
    Barazangi, Nimat Hafez (The New York State Reading Association, 1999)
    We present a case-study of adult females becoming "literate." Low income female learners in Adult Basic Education (ABE) and recent immigrant learners in English as a Second Language (ESL), and their teachers in Central New York State were involved in a Participatory Action Research (PAR). The goal is to present conceptual and attitudinal issues of adult literacy in the United States (US), including ESL and feminist pedagogy. The results suggest that language literacy by itself may not lead to a sustainable autonomous individual and group development. We discuss literacy within attitudinal change about female learner's self-realization vis-a-vis her productivity and social mobility.
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    Future of Social Sciences and Humanities in Corporate Universities: Curricula, Exclusions, Inclusions, and Voice
    Barazangi, Nimat Hafez (The Cornell Institute for European Studies Working Papers Series, 2001)
    During three preceding sessions of the Institute for European Studies (IES) Topical Seminar, three themes were discussed: (1) The university as a corporation, focusing on faculty involvement and partnership with the corporation and the corporate world beyond the university, (2) the students as inheritors of culture and the university as the means of perpetuating cultural norms, and (3) the economic base of higher education. In my focus on the curriculum, I am basically looking at the philosophical, ethical, and pedagogical dynamics of all the above elements when mapping and disseminating knowledge. I am also looking at how knowledge itself, a main asset of the university, is manipulated between research, teaching, and learning by the old and new guard of academia. Though the three essays (Barazangi, 1993; hooks, 1994, Middleton, 1993) being analyzed under the curriculum theme were written for different cases and from different worldviews, they share the same historical context. A time when the New Right movements were back lashing at the different cultural groups, including women, as these groups voiced their concerns about curricular inclusions and exclusions, these reactions were manifested in the multicultural vs. mainstream curricula, in the affirmative action admission and testing practices, and in social welfare policies. The contemporary context consists, in addition, in recent emphases by funding agencies on educational components in research proposals even by NSF, especially in K-12. Residential learning among college students, is replacing ethnic-based dorms or language houses. Yet, the old philosophy of dichotomized subject matters and fields of studies still prevails in recent discussions of liberal arts curricula. A recent report by the Curriculum Committee of the Cornell College of Arts and Sciences still classifies reasoning skills into quantitative and qualitative, with an add-on of moral reasoning. Furthermore, engagement in learning is mainly still treated as a practical skill for the arts and sciences and not part of their main mission, and so on.
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    Evaluation Model for an Undergraduate Action Research Program
    Barazangi, Nimat Hafez; Greenwood, Davydd J.; Burns, Melissa Grace; Finnie, Jamecia Lynn (The University of Victoria, 2004)
    In this paper, we will articulate how the model of "evaluation being central to learning, teaching, and living Action Research (AR)" has evolved. This model was developed as part of the Bartels Undergraduate Fellows Program at Cornell University who are collaborating with surrounding communities. The model is centered on the Fellows' participation in the reflective analysis of their self-generated data. The goal is to learn about AR by actually using its tools to understand their own learning process and how their acquired learning behaviors are, to a certain extent, stand in the way of their being able to help their community partners solve issues of joint interest. These community partners are interested in finding sustainable and fair solutions to issues of North American Indian women's health, hazing, stereotyping, homelessness, youth conflicts and empowerment, incarceration, migrant farm workers, and community development that have been reinforced by the passive learning/teaching/research approach. This reflective view is what we hope will 'click' among the fellows when they examine their own self-evaluation data. From this, we hope to learn how: (1) the undergraduate seminar instructional process is imparting the epistemology and methodology of Participatory Action Research with the participating Fellows, and what have been limiting or facilitating the process, and (2) how the university organizational structure is providing support or limitation to the faculty and staff who mentor the participating Fellows in service learning. In other words, we hope to understand how best to realize AR in a participatory learning environment that is based in a participatory community development.
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    An Ethical Theory of Action Research Pedagogy
    Barazangi, Nimat Hafez (SAGE Publications, 2006)
    The theory of action research (AR) pedagogy presented in this article is, at its core, ethical in nature. For teaching, learning, and evaluating AR, the theory's goal is to increase individuals' capacity to act on their own behalf and preventing themselves from becoming an authoritarian expert. Achieving such an increased individual capacity requires the integration and deployment of multiple dimensions of ethical principles and understanding their implications for the ethics of AR pedagogy. An integration of Ibn Miskawayh's Islamic philosophy of ethical pedagogy, Iris Young's theory of justice, Greenwood and Levin's criteria for ethical participation, and my own model of participatory action research evaluation that is central to the learning process constitutes the basis of this ethical theory of AR pedagogy.
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    A Bilingual Primer in Deploying and Evaluating Action Research:
    Barazangi, Nimat Hafez (Nimat Hafez Barazangi, 2005-12-15)
    A Primer in Deploying and Evaluating Action Research. The following pages/slides (images) focus on introducing the State-of-the-art in theoretical and methodological foundations of action research (AR) in the form of a primer in deploying and evaluating AR. This primer is designed to be relatively simple, but mainly interactive. We searched both printed references and Internet sites looking for such a comprehensive document, but without any success. Of course, we did find publications that discuss different approaches to action research and different ways of instructing in AR. We have used different elements from these available publications while developing our own system (see references). This document represents an interactive action research framework that is also context- and client-based. That is, we discuss the different components of an action research program based on how relevant a particular component was thought to be for the intended context and as a result of the intended process for the clients. Needless to say, this document will be revised and updated as we receive comments and suggestions from the readers/participants.Please send your comments and suggestions to Dr. Nimat Hafez BARAZANGI
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    Participatory Feminsim (PARFem)
    Barazangi, Nimat Hafez (Nimat Hafez Barazangi (web site), 2001-07-31)
    Given that Participatory Action Research (PAR) and Feminisms (Fem) share "process" as one of the fundamental principles in their philosophy and practice, we can only set the preliminary goal and objectives of the PARticipatory FEMinism Web Site (PARFem). This web site allows access to the following documents: 1.A Reader, "Selected Writings on Feminisms and Action Research," Prepared by Monica Ruiz-Casares and Nimat Hafez Barazangi 2.A Case Study, "Muslim Women in North America" (Audio) wherein Nimat Hafez Barazangi, based on her collaborative research, discusses the challenges facing American Muslim women in search of identity. 3.An electronic Bibliographic list, "Selected Writings on Feminisms and Action Research," compiled by Monica Ruiz-Casares (You may add/update any existing reference). 4.A video tape,"Feminisms and the Academy - Going Out of Business," by Patricia Maguire. 5. Another Case Study, A video tape, "The Logic and Practice of the Participatory Action Research Paradigm," by Yoland Wadsworth. 6.A working paper, "Future of social sciences and humanities in corporate universities: Curricula, exclusions, inclusions, and voice," by Nimat Hafez Barazangi. 7.A link to the discussion of the conference theme, "Feminisms and the Academy - Going Out of Business," and to the bibliography theme.