The work of public service professionals all over the world has become more complex in recent years as they have had to manage new realities of the intensification of work, persistent demands to raise standards without the power to influence the nature, direction or pace of these, and associated increases in bureaucracy. By regularly and systematically reflecting upon their thinking and practice and the contexts in which these take place, many professionals have found 'room to manoeuvre' and have been able to rediscover, articulate and communicate a set of core values that promote the care and concern for welfare and the public good, which are essential components of work in the public service sector. This book contains 16 articles from across the professions and from different countries which explore and examine the nature, purposes, processes and outcomes of action research, its importance to professional growth and the challenges of collaboration and change. Written by practitioners from schools and universities, health and social services, it provides a comprehensive yet focused critical appraisal which the Editors believe is essential reading for all for whom lifelong learning is a key component of being and sustaining themselves as professionals. CONTENTS: PART ONE. CONCEPTUALISATIONS OF ACTION RESEARCH: Introduction; Susan Noffke. Action Research: towards the next generation; Richard Winter. Managers, Spectators and Citizens: where does 'theory' come from in action research? Colin Biott. Latency in Action Research: changing perspectives on occupational and researcher identities; Maggie MacLure. Postmodernism: a postscript. PART TWO. PRAXIS AND PARTNERSHIP IN ACTION RESEARCH: Introduction; Christine O'Hanlon. Reflection and Action in Research: is there a moral responsibility to act? Jean-Claude Couture. Dracula as Action Researcher; Kath Green. Defining the Field of Literature in Action Research: a personal approach; Bridget Somekh. Inhabiting Each Other's Cas
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