graphic: Action Research

This handbook is about how to use action research in workplace education programs. It was based on a project funded by the National Literacy Secretariat and is crafted around the idea that action research can help change literacy practices in teaching and learning. The main thrust of the resource illustrates how an instructor can actually become a researcher.

What was this project all about?

The purpose of this project was to help instructors use action research in various workplace practice settings. It was intended to train instructors on how to conduct action research and actually design and carry out a research project that focussed on getting a better understanding of a problem or achieving a real change or improvement in a practice context. The basic design of the project was to select eight instructors from across the country, who are currently teaching in a workplace literacy program. Using the Conference Board of Canada (1999-2000), Awards for Excellence in Workplace Literacy Directory, these programs were chosen from small, medium and large businesses. In the first phase of the project, the instructors were brought together in a training workshop where the basic stages of action research methodology were taught. A second objective of the workshop was to identify a workplace problem and to decide where and how to intervene in this problem.

In phase two of the project,the instructors were coached through the methods of their workplace project. The Project Director acted as a mentor for each of the eight instructors and provided the support and assistance required to complete an action research project. In the final phase, the actual write-up of the project was completed which resulted in this handbook.

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