The Power of Student Resistance in Action Research: Teacher Educators Respond to Classroom Challenges

Sep. 01, 2010

Source: Educational Action Research, Volume 18, Issue 3, p. 305–318. (September 2010).

The goal of the present research was to explore the design and implementation of a newly developed, two-semester, action research course in a Master of Arts in Teaching program.

Over a four-year period, the instructors used action research methodologies for analysis and evaluation of the course.

Throughout this study, students expressed varying reactions to the process of action research, ranging from enthusiasm and acceptance to continual and persistent reluctance to accept the process as 'real research'. This resistance is the focus of the current study.

Four years of reflection on the data points to the following reasons for student resistance:
lack of understanding about what action research is and its purpose;

a discomfort with the emphasis of process over product and the associated investment of time and ability to multi-task; and

willingness to embrace the transformational process of action research as part of learning to teach.

Updated: Jan. 23, 2011