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Action research: a learning tool that engages complexity

Kenny, Michael and Hynes, Rachel (2009) Action research: a learning tool that engages complexity. In: AISHE Conference 2009 Valuing Complexity: Celebrating Diverse Approaches to Teaching & Learning in Higher Education., August 27, 2009 – August 28, 2009, National University of Ireland Maynooth. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Innovative micro-teaching to enhance student teaching/learning is increasingly using the concept of Action Research. In action research the particular focus is on the subject of the research also being a learner from the research outcome. The Kemmis Model (Cyclical Model of Action Research) introduced the notion that ‘all teachers are learners’ and ‘all learners can be teachers’. Action research emphasises the notion of self observation and self reflection. However observation and self reflection are challenging methods that value the personal nature of learning. The authors undertook an action research experiment, as part of their own professional learning, by introducing micro teaching practicum presentations video recording to a postgraduate education class of 20 adult/community educators during a curriculum development module. In this exercise the learning group was subdivided into two parts: 1. The first group of students were recorded and a DVD was made available to each presenter. The students reviewed their own recording and completed a questionnaire to identify if their learning was enhanced by self reflection using visual recording. 2. The second group were video recorded and the DVD reviewed. However, this group also received written feedback from their peers. The outcome of this micro teaching action research exercise demonstrates the complexity of self perception and self learning. It highlights that the action reflection methodology has to be very aware of complexity in learning. When that complexity is recognised and valued then action research can be an inclusive research process that encourages reflection as praxis. This experiment also suggests that group involvement in person reflection can increase complexity. The outcome of this experience shows that the recording of presentations for self reflection can encourage deeper levels of learning, and can enhance learning particularly in higher education. Table of contents 1 This conference presentation paper is drawn from a research project submitted by Hynes & Kenny to the National University of Ireland Maynooth in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Postgraduate Diploma in Higher Education 2008.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: All Ireland Society for Higher Education (AISHE) 5th International Conference 'Valuing Complexity: Celebrating Diverse Approaches to Teaching & Learning'.
Keywords: Adult Education; Community Education; Teaching and learning; Action research; Student learning; Micro-teaching; Kemmis Model (Cyclical Model of Action Research); Higher education; Third level education;Ireland; AISHE.
Subjects: Social Sciences > Education
Social Sciences > Adult & Community Education
Item ID: 1519
Depositing User: Rachel Hynes,
Date Deposited: 26 Aug 2009 08:47
Refereed: No
URI:

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