A student, a practitioner or a researcher? An attempt to reconcile the three roles through an undergraduate action research module

Journal article

Papadopoulou, M. 2021. A student, a practitioner or a researcher? An attempt to reconcile the three roles through an undergraduate action research module. Educational Action Research. 29 (2), pp. 206-225. https://doi.org/10.1080/09650792.2021.1886959
AuthorsPapadopoulou, M.

This paper reflects on the tensions and possibilities offered by a newly developed Action Research (AR) module in a Higher Education (HE) institution. The module, that has now run its first presentation, was offered to final year, undergraduate Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) students who are already working in the early years sector. Its aims were two-fold: first, to support students in developing the research and academic skills needed to obtain degree results; second, to become an emancipa- tory and political tool that can help practitioners critically examine the conditions that shape their practice. Drawing on the principles of critical, collaborative AR, students were supported in developing Communities of Practice (CoP) and in gradually moving from peripheral participation to assuming more central, expert positions. AR was also used by the tutor in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the module. Results from the latter suggest that the first, academic aims were met successfully. However, the second, emancipatory agenda faced challenges as the students seemed to assume a different, learners’ agenda. This paper makes topical the apparent tensions between the roles of practitioner, student and researcher and considers whether a reconciliation between the three is possible.

KeywordsCollaborative action research; Early years practitioners; Communities of practice; Communities of students; Student identities; Reflection
JournalEducational Action Research
Journal citation29 (2), pp. 206-225
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/09650792.2021.1886959
Official URLhttps://doi.org/10.1080/09650792.2021.1886959
Publication dates
Online15 Feb 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted04 Feb 2021
Deposited08 Mar 2021
Accepted author manuscript
Output statusPublished

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