Spring 2022 - EDUC 904 G031

Fieldwork III (5)

Class Number: 7035

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Location: TBA




To maximize understanding of IE it is essential that in-service teachers actively conduct inquiry projects in their own individual teaching contexts. As a central part of the course, each student will design an action research inquiry project in an educational setting of their choosing. Classes will focus on the philosophical and practical dimensions of research culture, as well as personal experiences with educational change, to develop an attitude of “radical epistemic doubt” and “critical reflexivity” with respect to our pedagogical practices. Lectures and class discussion will take place in-person and in an on-line forum (i.e. Zoom and Canvas).

Meeting Dates:
Nov. 5/6, Jan. 7/8, Jan. 21/22, Feb. 4/5, Feb. 25/26

Meeting Times:
Fridays: 4:30pm - 8:30 pm
Saturdays: 9am - 5 pm

Meeting Location:
Surrey Campus,  Room 3280 and On-Line (Zoom)

Additional Details:

This course provides an introduction to Action Research (AR) in the context of the historical development of qualitative research methodologies in education. It is designed to integrate ongoing learning about Imaginative Education (IE) with the lived experience of teaching in individual circumstances. This course will prepare the “teacher-as-researcher” with both the theoretical background and practical strategies to design, evaluate, and conduct an action research inquiry project “in the field.” This course will also explore why new knowledge and practices gained through research may or may not lead to lasting and meaningful educational change. The course will cover methodologies, ethics, literature reviews, research plans, action plans and reflective inquiry practices.


  • Develop a disposition of inquiry & critical reflection (i.e. Ironic Understanding) to examine education practices and educational change processes.
  • Conduct a literature review and connect readings to field study project.
  • Participate in a “critical friend group” to provide/receive thoughtful feedback to/from peers.
  • Identify a research question, design a proposal, and plan for fieldwork
  • Engage in a personal inquiry into the nature of educational change.


  • Participation in Critical Friend Groups/Class Discussion 20%
  • Initial Research Sketch (Due Feb. 15th) 20%
  • Fieldwork / Fieldwork Self-Evaluation 20%
  • Individual Critical Reflection on Educational Change 40%


  • Critical Friend Group / Discussion & Participation -- Participating in a Critical Friend Group (CFG) – providing and receiving constructive feedback on research projects – is an essential component of AR and a requirement for completing EDUC 904. Active, consistent and respectful participation in your CFG as well as thoughtful contributions to weekly activities thus comprise a large percentage of your final grade in order to emphasize its significance to the research process.
  • Initial Action Research Sketch -- Prepare a description of the topic(s) you are interested in researching, the reason(s) for your interest, what you know about the topic thus far, what you need to find more about, and some preliminary ideas about how you plan to collect the data. Describe the research context, potential allies or co-researchers, and any concerns or uncertainties you may have about conducting field work. Along with your own proposal, please comment on the proposals of all of the people in your Critical Friend Group.
  • Action Research Project Fieldwork -- Conducting research in the field always comes with surprises and unforeseeable challenges. Your fieldwork mark will not be based on the data you gather per se or whether or not your project was objectively “successful,” but on the validity of your research process, the amount of planning and care you put into gathering data with appropriate methods, and the ethical considerations you make working with participants. Remember, data collection methods can always be reworked, abandoned for more appropriate methods, or supplemented by additional methods. It is not uncommon to try one method, re-evaluate, and try again. Your fieldwork mark will be based on the rigour, validity and care you put into this process. Students will be required to write a short self-evaluation of the research process by the end of the course.
  • Individual Critical Reflection on Educational Change -- Educational research is often the catalyst for introducing new programs, practices and procedures in schools and districts. However, achieving lasting and meaningful change is very challenging. Change initiatives are rarely successful. Why? Why have there been so many changes and so little change in education? In tandem with your work as a teacher-researcher in this course, you will consider the nature of educational change at the individual level: What ideas are you thinking with when it comes to educational change? What emerging ideas from the literature we are reading can you relate to? What have you experienced? (Details will be provided in class). Note: The next course will explore educational change at organizational/school and district levels.



Parsons, J., Hewson, K., Adrian, L., & Day, N. (2013). Engaging in action research: A practical guide to teacher-conducted research for educators and school leaders. Calgary: Brush Education Inc. www.brusheducation.ca/catalog/arts-education-social-sciences/books/engaging-in-action-research

Fullan M. (2001).  The new meaning of educational change. New York:  Teacher’s College Press. (3rd Ed.)  *selected chapters only. *get this text ONLINE through the library.

Egan, K. (1997). The Educated Mind: How Cognitive Tools Shape Our Understanding. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
ISBN: 0-226-19039-0

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://www.sfu.ca/students/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


Teaching at SFU in spring 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the spring 2022 term.