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Graduate Course Proposal Form Submission Detail - EDF7426
Tracking Number - 2982

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Current Status: Approved by SCNS - 2016-07-01
Campus: Tampa
Submission Type: New
Course Change Information (for course changes only):
Comments: elective for PhD in C&I: Teacher Ed Conc.. GC approved 5/11/16. To USF Sys 5/18/16; to SCNS after 5/25/16. Apprd eff 7/1/16

Detail Information

  1. Date & Time Submitted: 2012-10-19
  2. Department: Teaching and Learning (T&L)
  3. College: ED
  4. Budget Account Number: 0171400
  5. Contact Person: Allan Feldman
  6. Phone: 8139742471
  7. Email:
  8. Prefix: EDF
  9. Number: 7426
  10. Full Title: Action Research in Schools
  11. Credit Hours: 3
  12. Section Type: D - Discussion (Primarily)
  13. Is the course title variable?: N
  14. Is a permit required for registration?: N
  15. Are the credit hours variable?: N
  16. Is this course repeatable?:
  17. If repeatable, how many times?: 0
  18. Abbreviated Title (30 characters maximum): Action Research in Schools
  19. Course Online?: C - Face-to-face (0% online)
  20. Percentage Online: 0
  21. Grading Option: R - Regular
  22. Prerequisites: None
  23. Corequisites: None
  24. Course Description: Introduction to action research, a form of self-reflective systematic inquiry by practitioners on their own practice. The major assignment for the course will be the completion of an action research project.

  25. Please briefly explain why it is necessary and/or desirable to add this course: Needed for program/concentration/certificate change
  26. What is the need or demand for this course? (Indicate if this course is part of a required sequence in the major.) What other programs would this course service? This course is an elective for students enrolled in the Teacher Education doctoral concentration. Many will elect to take it because they will be doing research in schools with teachers. As such they may use action research as a methodology for their dissertation studies, and/or study the ways in which teachers or other school professionals engage in action research or other forms of practitioner inquiry. In addition, students enrolled in other programs in the College of Education, or in other units of the University, may find it desirable.
  27. Has this course been offered as Selected Topics/Experimental Topics course? If yes, how many times? Yes, 2 times
  28. What qualifications for training and/or experience are necessary to teach this course? (List minimum qualifications for the instructor.) Experience in conducting action research
  29. Objectives: Course objectives:

    • Upon completion of this course, students will:

    • Be prepared to do action research in schools and other educational setting;

    • Be familiar with the diverse literature on action research;

    • Become aware of the effects of implicit and explicit power relationships in educational settings; and

    • Recognize their own expertise.

  30. Learning Outcomes: Student Learning Outcomes:

    • At the completion of the course the student should be able to:

    • Identify a suitable topic, problem or concern for action research.

    • Engage in and complete an action research project.

    • Uncover implicit and explicit power relationships in educational settings.

  31. Major Topics: Major Course Topics:

    • What is research?

    • The nature of action research and finding a starting point for research. The research notebook and Informed Consent

    • Self-study and existentialism

    • Data collection for action research

    • Data analysis for action research

    • Facilitating action research

    • Issues of validity

    • Action research in International settings and Arts-Based action research.

    • Precursors to action research and multiple traditions

    • Critical theory and action research

  32. Textbooks: Altrichter, H., Feldman, A., Posch, P., & Somekh, B. (2007). Teachers Investigate Their Work: An Introduction to Action Research across the Professions (2nd ed.). New York: Routledge.

    Note: A new edition of this text is in preparation and should be available by the next time the course is taught.

  33. Course Readings, Online Resources, and Other Purchases: Course readings:

    Ahmadian, M. J., & Tavakoli, M. (2011). Exploring the utility of action research to investigate second‐language classrooms as complex systems. Educational Action Research, 19(2), 121-136.

    Altrichter, H., Feldman, A., Posch, P., & Somekh, B. (2007). Teachers Investigate Their Work: An Introduction to Action Research across the Professions (2nd ed.). New York: Routledge.

    Altrichter, H., Kemmis, S., McTaggart, R., & Zuber-Skerritt, O. (2002). The Concept of Action Research. Learning Organization, 9(3), 125-131.

    Avgitidou, S. (2009). Participation, roles and processes in a collaborative action research project: A reflexive account of the facilitator. Educational Action Research, 17(4), 585-600.

    Barrett, T. (2011). Breakthroughs in action research through poetry. Educational Action Research, 19(1), 5-21.

    Burchell, H. (2010). Poetic expression and poetic form in practitioner research. Educational Action Research, 18(3), 389-400.

    Calhoun, E. (1994). How to use action research in the self-renewing school. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

    Calhoun, E. J. (2002). Action Research for School Improvement. Educational Leadership, 59(6), 18-24.

    Cochran-Smith, M., & Lytle, S. (1993). Inside/Outside: Teacher research and knowledge. New York: Teachers College Press.

    Coles‐Ritchie, M., & Lugo, J. (2010). Implementing a Spanish for Heritage Speakers course in an English‐only state: a collaborative critical teacher action research study. Educational Action Research, 18(2), 197-212.

    do Nascimento Botelho, M., Kowalski, R., & Bartlett, S. (2010). Buttercups and daisies: building a community of practice amongst teachers in a Brazilian university. Educational Action Research, 18(2), 183-196.

    Eisner, E. (1981). On the differences between scientific and artistic approaches to qualitative research. Educational researcher, 10(4), 5-9.

    Feldman, A. (2002). Existential Approaches to Action Research. Educational action research, 10(2), 233-252.

    Feldman, A. (2007). Validity and Quality in Action Research. Educational action research, 15(1).

    Feldman, A., & Capobianco, B. (2000). Action Research in Science Education. ERIC Digest. (pp. 4). Columbus, OH: ERIC Clearinghouse for Science, Mathematics, and Environmental Education.

    Feldman, A., & Minstrell, J. (2000). Action research as a research methodology for the study of the teaching and learning of science. In E. Kelly & R. Lesh (Eds.), Handbook of Research Design in Mathematics and Science Education. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

    Feldman, A., Paugh, P., & Mills, G. (2004). Self-study through action research. In J. Loughran, M. L. Hamilton, V. K. LaBoskey & T. Russell (Eds.), International Handbook of Self-Study of Teaching and Teacher Education Practices. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

    Grundy, S. Beyond Professionalism: Action Research as Critical Pedagogy Vol. 2 pp. 179-480 (PhD thesis, 1985)

    Halai, N. (2011). How teachers become action researchers in Pakistan: emerging patterns from a qualitative metasynthesis. Educational Action Research, 19(2), 201-214.

    Heikkinen, H. L. T., Huttunen, R., & Syrjälä, L. (2007). Action research as narrative: five principles for validation. Educational action research, 15(1), 5-19.

    Jacobs, G., & Murray, M. (2010). Developing critical understanding by teaching action research to undergraduate psychology students. Educational Action Research, 18(3), 319-335.

    Kajamaa, A. (2012). Enriching action research with the narrative approach and activity theory: analyzing the consequences of an intervention in a public sector hospital in Finland. Educational Action Research, 20(1), 75-93.

    Karen, G. (2003). Facilitating Action Research in the Context of Science Education: reflections of a university researcher. Educational Action Research, 11(1), 41-64.

    Khoo, E., & Cowie, B. (2011). Cycles of negotiation and reflection: a negotiated intervention to promote online teacher development. Educational Action Research, 19(3), 345-361.

    Lather, P. (1986). Research as Praxis. Harvard Educational Review, 56(3), 257-277.

    Losito, B., Pozzo, G., & Somekh, B. (1998). Exploring the Labyrinth of First and Second Order Inquiry in Action Research. Educational Action Research, 6(2), 219-240.

    Lytle, S. L., & Cochran-Smith, M. (1990). Learning from Teacher Research: A Working Typology. Teachers College Record, 92(1), 83-103.

    Maginess, T. (2010). Medium as message: making an ‘emancipating’film on mental health and distress. Educational Action Research, 18(4), 497-515.

    Magyar, A., & Mayer, M. (1998). Multi-level negotiations in constructing an action research: a case study on the explicit and implicit negotiations between facilitators and practitioners. Educational Action Research, 6(3), 471-491.

    McCutcheon, G., & Jung, B. (1990). Alternative Perspectives on Action Research. Theory Into Practice, 29(3), 144-151.

    McNiff, J. (1992). Action research : principles and practice. New York: Routledge.

    Orland-Barak, L. (2004). What Have I Learned from All This? Four Years of Teaching an Action Research Course: Insights of a "Second Order". Educational Action Research, 12(1), 33-57.

    Percy‐Smith, B., & Carney, C. (2011). Using art installations as action research to engage children and communities in evaluating and redesigning city centre spaces. Educational Action Research, 19(1), 23-39.

    Phillips, D. C. (1987). Validity in qualitative research: Why the worry about warrant will not wane. Education and urban society, 20(1), 9-24.

    Platteel, T., Hulshof, H., Ponte, P., van Driel, J., & Verloop, N. (2010). Forming a collaborative action research partnership. Educational Action Research, 18(4), 429-451.

    Schön, D. (1983). The Reflective Practitioner: How professionals think in practice. NY: Basic Books.

    Somekh, B. (2010). The Collaborative Action Research Network: 30 years of agency in developing educational action research. Educational Action Research, 18(1), 103-121.

    Takaki, R. T. (2008). A different mirror : a history of multicultural America. New York : Back Bay Books/Little, Brown, and Co., 2008.

    Thang, S. M., Hall, C., Murugaiah, P., & Azman, H. (2011). Creating and maintaining online communities of practice in Malaysian Smart Schools: challenging realities. Educational Action Research, 19(1), 87-105.

    Tremmel, R. (1993). Zen and the art of reflective practice in teacher education. Harvard educational review, 63(4), 437-458.

    Tripp, D. H. (1990). Socially Critical Action Research. [Article]. Theory Into Practice, 29(3), 158.

  34. Student Expectations/Requirements and Grading Policy: Your grade in this course will be determined by the level of quality and the level of completion of all assignments and your participation in the class. Your participation in class, including preparedness to discuss readings and attendance, is an important component of your grade. Your participation in class, including preparedness to discuss readings and attendance, is an important component of your grade. Read the syllabus carefully and see the instructor if you have any questions about what is required of you. The final grades will be calculated based on the percentage of points accumulated by the student compared to the total number of points.

    A+ 100 Plus

    A 95-100

    A- 90-94

    B+ 87-89

    B 84-86

    B- 80-83

    C+ 77-79

    C 74-76

    C- 70-73

    D+ 67-69

    D 64-66

    D- 60-63

    F Below 60 points

  35. Assignments, Exams and Tests: Course Outline:

    Week 1: Course overview and introductions. 
What is research? The Ladder of Inference

    The Gap [M8] and the Analytic Discourse [M9]
 (Note: the “M” assignments are from the assigned text).

    Tremmel, R. (1993) [On “Readings list” in Canvas]

    Week 2: The nature of action research and finding a starting point for research. The research notebook and Informed Consent


    Reading Questions: Nature of research

    Altrichter et al. Ch. 2, Somekh (2010), Feldman (1998), Feldman & Capobianco (2000)
and Calhoun (2002)
[On “Readings list” in Canvas]

    Informed consent materials from USF eIRB website:

    Week 3: The nature of action research (part 2). 

    M3 DUE

    Reading Questions: Cochran-Smith and Lytle

    Altrichter et al. Ch. 3

    Lytle & Cochran-Smith (1990) and Lytle & Cochran-Smith (1992) [On “Readings list” in Canvas]

    Week 4: Self-study and existentialism. Acknowledging starting points

    M5, M6 OR M7 DUE



    Reading Questions: Self-Study and Existentialism DUE

    Altrichter et al. Ch. 4

    Feldman (2002) or Feldman, Paugh, & Mills (2004) [On “Readings list” in Canvas]


    Week 6: How to do action research: Data Collection


    Reading Questions: D

    Altrichter et al. Ch. 5

    Week 7: Data Analysis

    M12, 13, or 15 DUE


    Altrichter et al. Ch. 6

    Calhoun (1994) Ch. 6 and McNiff (1992) Ch. 6 [On “Readings list” in Canvas]

    Week 8: Facilitating Action Research

    Elliott (1988) and Choose of one article from “Facilitating AR” on Readings list in Canvas).

    Reading Questions: Facilitating action research

    FIRST "M" ASSIGNMENT FROM CHAPTER 5 DUE (your choice M19-M31) 


    Week 10: Issues of validity


    Reading Questions: Validity

    Jigsaw: Group 1 reads Feldman (1994a) and Lather (1986) [On “Readings list” in Canvas]

    Group 2 reads Eisner (1981) and Phillips (1987) [On “Readings list” in Canvas]

    Group 3 reads Feldman (2007) and Heikkinen, Huttunen, & Syrjala (2007) [On “Readings list” in Canvas]

    Week 11: Action research in International settings and Arts-Based action research. 

    SECOND "M" ASSIGNMENT FROM CHAPTER 5 DUE (your choice M19-M31) 

    Reading Questions: AR in international settings, Artistic approaches

    Choice of one article from “International” and one from “Artistic approaches” on Readings list in Canvas).

    Week 12: Precursors to action research and multiple traditions. 

    Metaphor Assignment [M37] DUE 

    Reading Questions: Acoma and AR

    The Acoma Pueblo – Grundy [Canvas]

    Schön (1983) Ch. 2 [Canvas]

    McCutcheon & Jung (1990); 
Altrichter, Kemmis, McTaggert & Zuber-Skerritt (2002) [On “Readings list” in Canvas]

    November 22: Thanksgiving (no class)

    Week 13: Critical theory and action research; Making research public

    "M" ASSIGNMENT FROM CHAPTER 6 DUE (your choice) 

    Altrichter et al. Chs. 7 & 8

    The Acoma Pueblo revisited [Canvas]

    Tripp (1990), Coles‐Ritchie & Lugo (2010) [On “Readings list” in Canvas]

    Critical Theory from Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

    Week 14: Course Closure

    Final Report Presentations 

    Evaluation of Student Outcomes:

    1. A significant part of this course will be class discussions of readings assigned for each week. Therefore successful completion of this graduate level course requires attendance of all classes and active participation in the discussions. Carefully read assigned readings for each class. Come to class prepared to contribute your critical reflections on both your own experiences and ideas and those of others as presented in the readings. Your reflections on the readings should be recorded in your research notebook (see 3 below).

    2. Weekly reading assignments. Most weeks you will need to complete a reading assignment that relates to the readings for that class session. All reading assignments should be completed and submitted via Canvas before the class begins.

    3. Keep a research notebook in which you regularly (at least weekly) record your experiences in carrying out action research. The purpose of the notebook is to help you to reflect on your practices, formulate ideas for action or changes in practice, and evaluate those actions. You will be using your research notebook as a data source for writing an analysis of your action research project. The research notebook can be electronic.

    4. Prepare an informed consent form and IRB Certificate. This will be due in Week 4. Please submit the consent form to me via Canvas. A final copy of your consent form should be included with your action research report (assignment #7). 

    5. Write the text for a Starting Point Speech [M11] to a group of colleagues explaining why the problem of thematic concern you have identified for your project is educationally important. This speech is due to be presented in class in Week 5, and submitted to me via Canvas, after revising in response to feedback received in class, in Week 6.

    6. In order to receive feedback on your on-going efforts, a 2-3 page interim report of your project, including a statement of your thematic concern or general idea for inquiry and the results of reflecting on your initial data collection, should be submitted to me via Canvas by Week 10, incorporating feedback received as part of the data workshop (Week 9).

    7. Complete an analysis (in approximately 10-15 pages) of your action research project according to guidelines to be provided by the instructor (see calendar for URL). Make sure to include the final version of your consent form. A presentation to the class during the last sessions will be expected and the final report will be due on the last class meeting. 

    8. In addition to the above assignments, there will be shorter assignments that help move you through the research process. These include the Slice of Life [M3]; Consent form; a Data Collection Plan; and other "M" assignments from Altrichter et al. You are required to submit all written work to the instructor via Canvas

  36. Attendance Policy: Attendance is very important in a course like this, where so much of the learning happens during class, in contact and conversation with the instructor and peers. In addition, there may be unannounced in-class assignments that will be part of your grade. Inform the instructor ahead of time via email if you will not be in class, and find out from a classmate what you missed. If you do not e-mail the instructor in advance of an absence YOUR ABSENCE WILL BE CONSIDERED UNEXCUSED. Unexcused absences will negatively affect your grade. One unexcused absence will lower your grade by an amount to be determined by the instructor and two unexcused absences could result in a failing grade. If a student misses more than three classes, excused or not, then the present course requirements are cancelled and the student must renegotiate her/his class requirements. Students who do not attend beyond the first day of class will be dropped from the course.

    Course Attendance at First Class Meeting – Policy for Graduate Students: For structured courses, 6000 and above, the College/Campus Dean will set the first-day class attendance requirement. Check with the College for specific information. This policy is not applicable to courses in the following categories: Educational Outreach, Open University (TV), FEEDS Program, Community Experiential Learning (CEL), Cooperative Education Training, and courses that do not have regularly scheduled meeting days/times (such as, directed reading/research or study, individual research, thesis, dissertation, internship, practica, etc.). Students are responsible for dropping undesired courses in these categories by the 5th day of classes to avoid fee liability and academic penalty. (See USF Regulation – Registration - 4.0101,

    Attendance Policy for the Observance of Religious Days by Students: In accordance with Sections 1006.53 and 1001.74(10)(g) Florida Statutes and Board of Governors Regulation 6C-6.0115, the University of South Florida (University/USF) has established the following policy regarding religious observances: (

    In the event of an emergency, it may be necessary for USF to suspend normal operations. During this time, USF may opt to continue delivery of instruction through methods that include but are not limited to: Blackboard, Elluminate, Skype, and email messaging and/or an alternate schedule. It’s the responsibility of the student to monitor Blackboard site for each class for course specific communication, and the main USF, College, and department websites, emails, and MoBull messages for important general information.

  37. Policy on Make-up Work: All course work must be completed and handed in to the instructor by the last day of classes. If for some reason this cannot happen, the student must make arrangements with the instructor to complete the work before a mutually agreed upon date. The student and instructors will draw up a contract specifying the work that needs to be completed and the completion date. They will sign the contract and each will receive a copy.

    Plagiarism is defined as “literary theft” and consists of the unattributed quotation of the exact words of a published text, or the unattributed borrowing of original ideas by paraphrase from a published text. On written papers for which the student employs information gathered from books, articles, or oral sources, each direct quotation, as well as ideas and facts that are not generally know to the public at large must be attributed to its author by means of the appropriate citation procedure. Citations may be made in footnotes or within the body of the text. Plagiarism also consists of passing off as one’s own, segments or the total of another person’s work.

    Punishment for Academic Dishonesty will depend on the seriousness of the offense and may include receipt of an “F” with a numerical value of zero on the item submitted, and the “F” shall be used to determine the final course grade. It is the option of the instructor to assign the student a grade of F or FF (the latter indicating dishonesty) in the course.

  38. Program This Course Supports: C&I concentration in Teacher Education
  39. Course Concurrence Information: It will be open to all doctoral students in the College of Education. There is also the possibility that doctoral students in other colleges may elect to take this course.

- if you have questions about any of these fields, please contact or