Spring 2018 - EDUC 807 G012

The Foundations of Action Research (5)

Class Number: 3512

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 4:30 PM – 9:20 PM
    SWH 10061, Burnaby



Surveys the philosophical and sociological dimensions, moral and ethical considerations, and empirical findings of action research. Only students admitted by Field Programs are allowed to enrol for this course.


Course Description

Teachers with classroom experience are uniquely positioned to undertake educational research, and when joining theory to practice, are encouraged to learn how to present their knowledge within the frameworks of scholarship. This course will advance the ideas and skills acquired in Education 866, building on what it means to be a teacher inquirer. In the early classes, we will revisit some of the theoretical concepts previously introduced, review research plans, collaborate on intended directions, and discuss challenges. Goals for the semester are to explore methods of data collection, models of analysis, coding and deeper reflection. A particular focus will be on making sense of experience through narrative and arts-based inquiry, as well as other forms of creative representation that free the researcher to envision concepts through new and unique perspectives. Through examination of self, students, community and curriculum, 807 students will explore connections and patterns in the complexity of being educators, and reconsider assumptions, beliefs and practices to advance personal and professional development.    

Assignments: Reflective commentaries and synthesis (40% of final mark) Inquiry journal and data collection (viewed at 1:1 meetings) Presentation of inquiry in progress (end of semester) Method of analysis and learning statements (60% of final mark)  

Readings: Students will choose one reading to summarize for the class. Articles or chapters will be provided on Canvas or handed out in class.  

·      attend all classes and arrive on time
·      complete readings and engage with them in thoughtful, meaningful ways
·      contribute to discussions of the readings as they relate to practice and/or inquiry
·      participate in in-class activities and homework assignments
·      develop and share drafts of inquiry write-up 
·      support the learning of others
·      submit assignments by the deadlines  

All members of the University community share the responsibility for the academic standards and reputation of SFU. Academic honesty is a condition of continued membership in the university community. Please review the Policy at http://www.sfu.ca/content/sfu/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html

Assignment Details  

1.     Reflective Commentaries AND Synthesis (Due March 5, 40% of final grade)

-Reflective Commentaries (part 1- ongoing Jan 8 to Feb. 26) From January 8- Feb. 26, write a total of 5 reflective commentaries related to the articles and activities covered in class (~250 words). Avoid summaries; rather, extend the ideas into your scholarly interests, teaching experiences or how you connect with them personally. These are reflections on the “big ideas” and how they inform your inquiry, practice, and understandings of yourself as a learner and teacher inquirer. Post your reflective commentaries over the semester on our Canvas site in Discussions. Also, respond to the commentaries of at least 3 other classmates.   The goal of this work is to encourage reflection, meaning making, collaborative knowledge construction, and the documentation of thinking. (Save by date in one Word doc.)

-Reflective Synthesis (part 2-- Feb. 26- Mar. 5) Review your 5 reflective commentaries, as well as your 3 responses to others. Notice how your ideas have evolved, and how they have either been confirmed, rejected or taken on a greater sophistication. Write a synthesis of your reflections and how they have contributed to your learning this semester (3- 4 pages double spaced). All documents due March 5 via email  

2.     Informal presentation of inquiry in progress (April 9 - required but not graded) Briefly share with your colleagues the ‘Narrative of your Inquiry’ (so far). Explain the focus of your inquiry and how you made meaning of the data, as well as what you are learning, how you know what you know, and possible implications for practice. Each person will have approximately 5 minutes. Any presentation method is welcome. Presented in class April 9  

3.     Method of Analysis and Learning Statements (Due April 3-12, 60% of final grade) Document your process of analysis and develop learning statements supported by evidence.  

3a. Codebook- (not handed in – I will view in 1:1 meetings or in last class) - Document the sets of codes you have used to analyze your data. Provide an explanation of each code, as well as an example, and/or index each occurrence in your data (see Shagoury Hubbard & Miller Power, 2003, p. 99-105). Your codebook should inform your Method of Analysis and your Learning Statements.  

3b. Method of Analysis - Write up - Describe your data sources and your method of analysis. Describe how you worked with your data to make sense of it and generate your learning statements in a systematic or disciplined way. Approximately 1-2 pages double-spaced.  

3c. Learning Statements - Based on your analysis, generate “learning statements” (i.e., I am learning that …, I am learning to …). Provide evidence from your data to support your learning statements. Discuss implications for practice, dis/connection to theory, new questions, and where your inquiry will take you next. This is a snapshot of your learning up to this point. Be sure to include your inquiry question(s). Approximately 4-6 pages double-spaced.

(Both 3b and 3c are due via email during April 3-12. Email: Susan_Barber@sfu.ca)  

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://students.sfu.ca/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html