The action in action research: mediating and developing inclusive intentions

A J. Howes, J. Frankham, M. Ainscow, P T. Farrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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The authors of this article reflect on their experiences as facilitators of an action research network aiming to provide a context for participating schools to identify and address barriers to pupils’ learning and participation. Within the network, action research is seen to have different meanings for individuals within and between schools in terms of the relationship between action, data and changes at the personal, group and institutional levels. In nearly all schools in the study, however, it importantly signifies a measure of autonomy over the direction of development, in an era of strongly imposed external agendas. The relationship between the action research process and the values associated with inclusion is explored with the use of school-level data, and interpreted through attention to the actions developing in the schools. Some of the consequences of these actions are described, both intentional and unintentional, and the possible significance of developing rhetoric within and between schools is suggested. The article concludes that action research as described in this network may sustain the development of more inclusive schools, by creating possibilities for critical reflection on the relationship between values and practice within the institution.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-258
JournalEducational Action Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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