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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
166 pp., 6" x 9"
19 illus

Series: Engaged Research and Practice for Social Justice in Education
Using Action Inquiry in Engaged Research: An Organizing 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


Chapter 1
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Reviews & Endorsements:
"This guide demonstrates informationally rich and pedagogically intriguing strategies that can be effectively infused into practice. If readers are like me the will find themselves rolling up their sleeves while gleaning from its insights."
- Timothy K. Eatman, Dean, Honors Living Learning Community, Rutgers University-Newark
"In the Foreword to Using Action Inquiry in Engaged Research: An Organizing Guide by Edward P. St. John, Kim Callahan Lijana, and Glenda D. Musoba, Timothy Eatman persuasively observes that the text “reads in part like a synthesized collection of professional development modules” (p. xii). Drawing on a series of case studies of initiatives to promote college access, which began in 2009, the authors explain and offer examples of their Action Inquiry Model (AIM). The model calls for partnerships among schools, universities, and nonprofit organizations to develop actionable theories to identify and address gaps in opportunity for students’ access to college.

In sum, educators, administrators, and scholar-practitioners of school reform can glean useful insights from Using Action Inquiry in Engaged Research. It may be worth their while to push past the book’s issues with organization to add some new strategies to their repertoires. However, I would recommend instead that those interested in partnerships to effect deep change in issues of equity in schools turn to the body of scholarship on Participatory Action Research (PAR) for education reform (Cammarota & Fine, 2010; Fox et al., 2010; Pyne, Scott, & Long, 2013). PAR elucidates the issues that are important to a community through dialogue and collaborative data collection and analysis, and then creates and implements a plan of action to address these issues. In contrast to the Action Inquiry Model, PAR is grounded in a rich, coherent conceptual framework, and engages a broader group of participants in research to address inequities in education."
- Partnerships: A Journal of Service-Learning and Civic Engagement