Certification Development

Action Research Methods: Plain and Simple by Sheri R. Klein PhD (eds.)

By Sheri R. Klein PhD (eds.)

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Initially viewing her position as researcher/practitioner as an asset, Fryer eventually realized it created some difficulties and concluded that the drawbacks far outweighed the benefits. There are also problems of conflicting confidentiality when a teacher or employer is also a researcher. Tickle (2001), a teacher educator, conducted an action research project involving his preteaching and first-year placement students. The conditions of the study included mutual openness about the student-teaching and first-year experiences so as to better record and analyze the lifeworlds of new teachers.

Arranging preliminary meetings is often overlooked. Many researchers assume that an extra meeting will waste a participant’s time, but this is not the case. Much time can be saved by a thirty-minute preliminary meeting where all aspects of the interview study can be presented and questions answered. Setting up your preliminary meeting in a neutral location (with food) will allow you to provide an approachable presence along with important information about your study to potential participants so that they can make an informed decision to take part in the research study.

In some cases, an interviewer will have to step in to refocus the direction of the interview, or to handle a participant who likes to talk. Patton (2002) provides several suggestions on how to politely intervene when an interviewee talks excessively, such as telling the participant, “Let me stop you here for a moment. I want to make sure I fully understand something you said earlier” (p. 377). The interviewer would then ask a more focused question to bring the interview back on track. Also consider the IRB’s stance on protecting the rights of participants.

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