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Action Research & the Implications for Ethics in Human Research

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❶Ethical Guidelines Personal integrity is crucial - and acknowledge possible bias or influence in findings. Qualitative data and the local relevance of research outcomes are paramount.

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This is also why ethics committees need to recognise qualitative methodologies and paradigms. It is also important to recognise that particular research situations and conditions attract an action research approach, including:. The main people who use AR are practitioners who want to improve their practice ie bring about change as well as improving their understanding of their field ie theory. Another use of AR emphasises activism and improvement of social condition via engagement of their clients as co-researchers.

However, although many consultants ie practitioners would claim to do action research in the normal course of their work, for most it would be difficult to demonstrate enough reflective thought and theory development. Consultancy and AR are not the same although some common methods and research situations would be evident.

Needless to say the philosophies and rigour under-pinning AR are different and often in dispute with the more accepted paradigms derived from the scientific method eg experimental and statistical approaches. Nor is AR the same as ethnographic methods observational and interview although data collection and analysis can be similar.

In the latter the action phase would not be a required outcome. Social science, education, management and health science departments would also have staff with action research interests. For university research ethics committees the main issues from AR to consider are philosophical and methodological. Together with other new research approaches like systems approaches and grounded theory, AR proponents are well versed in scientific philosophy and the need to justify their alternative approaches, however, none would purport to replace the traditional approaches.

The main points that need to be appreciated is the occurrence of increasingly complex problems of society, the environment and socio-economic circumstances of the world, and the inadequacy of traditional research methods in dealing with them.

At the methodological level AR purports to be 'scientific' in that it uses theoretical ie rational and 'of the mind' and empirical ie observation and 'of the senses' rigour. Results and findings are, however, not often expressed in numerical terms. They are more likely to be seen in strategies for action and descriptive understanding of the research situation.

The Human Research Ethics Committee should examine its ability to evaluate and approve research that:. In summary I can assure the committee that Action Research is widespread, has a variety of methodological rigour and a sound basis in scientific philosophy. AR and similar unconventional research approaches are well established responding to the increasingly complex world and problems we face.

The will pose challenges to all academic disciplines and administrative structures because they are invariably cross or inter-disciplinary. Dick, Bob 'Action Research frequently asked questions. Electronic discussion list 'arlist', Southern Cross University. Swepson, Pam 'Action Research: Understanding it's philosophy can improve your practice. Electronic discussion list 'arlist'. Skip to main content. Introduction and Background to Action Research Action Research AR is a research paradigm which is being adopted by a range of multi-disciplinary and social science researchers.

The AR Process and Research Context Action Research enables researchers to develop knowledge and practice at the same time in a repeating and cyclical process. It is also important to recognise that particular research situations and conditions attract an action research approach, including: The need for flexibility, often because the problem is unclear. The need to include people - especially the practitioners and affected parties or not to exclude them in the research situation.

The need to bring about change from the research activity. Problems with codes of ethical conduct Codes of ethical or professional conduct are only ever relatively finished products Small, Codes are Not Enough, The principles listed in such codes are not always: Individual researchers must therefore make choices weigh up competing ethical and other methodological considerations produce ethically and methodologically defensible position.

Press Relationship of researcher to participants Prior relationship 3. Always be aware that individuals have a right to access information organisations may be keeping on them. Ethical Guidelines Personal integrity is crucial - and acknowledge possible bias or influence in findings.

Both would argue they were being academically rigorous and ethically sensitive. Recorded personal data will be destroyed as soon as appropriate. Ethical Guidelines A way of finding things out Finding out how to do things better Finding out why we do things the way we do Gaining an understanding of how things work or happen Challenging our assumptions What is research?

Action research flings the windows open Research offers the world a window onto our practice breach confidentiality. Unethical to; suppress data or skew findings.

The Power Imbalance This also relies upon the integrity of the researcher Anyone who wants to collect personal data must say how the information will be used, who will have access to it, and that it will not be stored or shared any longer than necessary. This gives priority to personal privacy and protection of personal information. Covert or overt observation? Non-participant or participant observer? Ethnography - capturing behaviour when people do not feel they are being observed.

There are some grey areas though…… Personal responsibility to be honest throughout. Professional code of conduct will require adherence to ethical guidelines and principles. It is concerned with the way people act or behave. Using your Resources for Effective Study. Creating downloadable prezi, be patient. Delete comment or cancel.


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Action Research (AR) is a research paradigm which is being adopted by a range of multi-disciplinary and social science researchers. Although the term 'action research' was first used by Kurt Lewin (the famous social psychologist who coined the term 'group dynamics') over 50 years ago.

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action research. Once these three models are briefly explained, the paper proceeds to justify why ethical dilemmas are an intrinsic part of action research, precisely.

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A Guide to Ethical Issues and Action Research [1] JANE ZENI University of Missouri–St Louis, USA ABSTRACT Traditional ‘human subjects’ reviews may not address the ethical As teacher educators, we began to see that a “new paradigm code of ethics”. What is Ethics in Research & Why is it Important? What is Ethics in Research & Why is it Important? Databases; ethics and law are not the same. An action may be legal but unethical or illegal but ethical. We can also use ethical concepts and principles to .

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whether participants would have right to see/amend transcripts, comment on provisional data analyses etc. achievable e.g. fully informed consent; avoidance of harm compatible e.g. pursuit of knowledge versus fully informed consent / avoidance of deception. Table of Contents 1 Foreword 2 Introduction 3 Action Research as Professional Development 6 Questions of Ethics in Action Research 9 Developing a Research Question