This SIG draws on the work of Network of Educational Action Research Ireland (NEARI), a non-funded, cross-sectoral network, serving the needs of current and emerging educational action researchers.
Why join VPAR?
Practitioner researchers often have difficulty in finding a forum that recognises, supports or promotes research that is grounded in the researcher’s values. In VPAR we encourage people to engage in dialogue and help each other to demonstrate the rigour, validity and authenticity of their practitioner research.
Who will be in VPAR?
Educational action researchers, whether beginners or lifelong researchers, who would like to discuss their research and receive constructive feedback within a community of practice (Wenger-Trayner & Wenger-Trayner 2015; Glenn et al. 2017), where they will experience opportunities to reflect critically on their professional practice in a nurturing, yet challenging, environment.
How will it work?
This SIG will have face to face meetings in April, September/October and January where we will share research stories and resources and continue conversations in an online discussion forum. Meetings will be alternately in Dublin and outside the capital and will include an input from at least one international guest speaker. Delegates from the SIG will attend research conferences and report back to the SIG members and ESAI.
SIG Convenor: Caitriona McDonagh
Contact details: NEARI click here | Email email@example.com | Twitter @InfoNeari | Application form click here
The SIG is called Values Based Practitioner Action Research (VPAR) (see http://esai.ie/sigs-2020/ )and it will be an extension of NEARI. The SIG is forum for action researchers and those who teach action research. The SIG recognises, supports or promotes research that is grounded in the researcher’s values. In VPAR we encourage those interested in practitioner research to engage in dialogue and help each other to demonstrate the rigour, validity and authenticity of their research.
The first SIG meeting took place online on 24 April 2020 at 10.00 am, alongside the Spring NEARIMeet.
More details here.
The second VPAR SIG meeting took place Saturday 19 September 2020.
Mary McAteer was the invited guest.
VPAR SIG meeting of January 23 2021.
The Guest Speaker was Dr Mary Brydon-Miller of the Department of Educational Leadership, Evaluation and Organizational Development, College of Education and Human Development, University of Louisville, USA
Mary spoke on the theme of ethics in action research in her presentation entitled: “The Road to Hell” The Problem of Good Intentions in Action Research”
Her comprehensive presentation included a case study which was enthusiastically discussed by the 45 attendees at the joint VPAR/NEARI Meet.
A key question for VPAR SIG members was: Ethics and values-based action research in a COVID world – what has changed and how has this impacted your research?
You are invited to continue these discussions with other members on our Google mail group – Values-based Practitioner Action Research @google groups.com – and in “A Space for Reflection” on http://www.eari.ie/a-space-for-reflection/
Keep in touch!
Email firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter @InfoNeari | Application form for SIG click here
Interim Report: Values-based Practitioner Action Research VPAR ESAI SIG
Check out these events on www.eari.ie
The SIG was launched online at the Spring NEARImeet on 24th April 2020. Membership has grown at each joint VPAR NEARImeet – from fifteen at the second meet on 19th Sept 2020 to 45 at the third meet on 23rd January 2021. Participants were from many countries around the world. There was also a broad spectrum of ages and research expertise present.
As a SIG we were able to invite two international keynote speakers. Dr Mary McAteer, of Edge Hill University U.K., COMBER, North-West University, South Africa and the Collaborative Action Research Network gave inspirational address entitled The Values-based Researcher: a state of (constantly) becoming and it sparked much critical thinking and animated discussion. Dr Mary Brydon-Miller of the Department of Educational Leadership, Evaluation and Organizational Development, College of Education and Human Development, University of Louisville, USA spoke on the theme of ethics in action research: The Road to “Hell” The Problem of Good Intentions in Action Research. Her comprehensive presentation included a case study about ethical dilemmas which was enthusiastically discussed by the attendees. They also discussed “Ethics and values-based action research in a COVID world – what has changed and how has this impacted your research?”
As these were joint VPAR NEARI events participants shared their value located research stories – Aoife Merrins-Gallagher (DCU) on Supporting English Learners’ Contributions to Storytime Discussion; Denise Delaney (UK researcher) on The Challenge of Spiritual Leadership: Supporting the Spiritual Development of NQTs through the Delivery of a NQT Programme and Jane O’Connell (TCD) spoke about her doctoral work on Is Tusa an Múinteoir all at the second meet. On the theme of ethics Patricia O’Dea of the PDST presented on Self-Study Action Research: a Bird’s Eye View and Amy Stapleton (TRiCC) told us about her research with Dr P Mayock on A Guided Critical Reflection on Research Practice within a PAR Study with Separated Young People at the third meeting.
There were some surprises for the convenors, for example the large international presence and the willingness of international speakers to meet with us online – an indicator of the generous spirit of action research. Participants’ feedback was encouraging and insightful. Participants were open to share ideas in a variety of ways. We needed to facilitate conversations between meetings
For 2021-2022 we propose to hold three joint VPAR SIG and NEARI meets with at least one online to maintain our international members. We aim to encourage members to continue professional and research conversations between meetings in our online forums. International guest speakers will be invited to all meets thanks to our SIG status. To broaden our experiences of action research, delegates from the SIG will attend research conferences. Finally, we hope to write a paper on the work of the SIG
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Values-based Practitioner Action Research SIG (VPAR) Final Report 2020-2022
The Values-based Practitioner Action Research SIG convenors would like to thank all participants who contributed to the work of the SIG since its inception. We are especially grateful to ESAI for their support for the VPAR SIG over the past 2 years. Our website www.eari.ie holds an archive of reports from the SIG meetings, showing the scope of the conversations, presentations and slides that formed part of the process.
The SIG supports the Network for Educational Action Research in Ireland (NEARI), which is a network for action researchers. It is a values-led, independent, unfunded and non-affiliated network for practitioners at all levels of education, and it aims towards developing action research scholarship and practice. The SIG became a forum for action researchers and those who teach action research, recognising, supporting and promoting action research that is grounded in the researcher’s values.
During the life of the SIG, membership increased considerably, and at our January 2022 meeting, our international membership represented 21 countries. During the pivot to a virtual environment which was necessitated by COVID-19, we were also able to attract 6 excellent keynotes speakers of world renown: Mary McAteer; Mary Brydon-Miller; Stephen Brookfield; Hilary Bradbury; Stephen Kemmis and Jack Whitehead. They helped the SIG to open up new global connections, as well as expanding methodological horizons for the network.
There was evidence of the SIG’s stated values being enacted in the meetings. For example, the values of inclusion and equity were evident in that equal time was given at each meeting for keynote speakers and practitioner researchers/beginning researchers. Resources for extending collaboration between all participants included a wakelet; an invitation to attendees to write a blog; an opportunity to present their research in their practice; breakout rooms to provide feedback and engage in discussions during and after meetings. A new resource for extending dialogue was the completion of a Thoughts and Questions Arising Google form by each participant, which were then forwarded to all presenters.
When we examined the identifiers that participants (n80) used, we found a further example of the inclusiveness of the SIG. Equal numbers came from Higher Education Institutions (34) and individuals outside of higher education (34). A further group (12) aligned themselves to research and professional development groups.
ESAI was acknowledged, visually and verbally, at all meetings and communications involving the SIG. The SIG steering committee encouraged participants to present their research at ESAI annual conference and encouraged submission of articles to Irish Educational Studies Journal. We have begun to investigate our understanding of our new environments from our VPAR SIG platform in the following publications:
Sullivan, B., McDonagh, C., Connolly, C., Glenn, M., & Roche, M. (2022). Exploring trans-generational and trans-institutional learning: educational action research possibilities in a virtual environment. Irish Educational Studies, 1-19. DOI:10.1080/03323315.2022.2043175
Glenn, M. (2021) Extending knowledge by developing a ‘slow approach’ to action research, Educational Action Research, DOI: 10.1080/09650792.2021.1948434
Drs Bernie Sullivan , Mary Roche, Caitriona McDonagh and Máirín Glenn (Network of Educational Action Research in Ireland) and Dr Cornelia Connolly ( NUIG)