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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


Action Research and the Challenges of Urban Education

Mary Brydon-Miller.

Urban educational leaders are facing unprecedented challenges as they strive to provide children with safe and effective schools and classrooms within the context of communities polarized by issues of economic disparity and racial tensions. This presentation will consider both the theory and methods of action research as a key component of the recently instituted Urban Educational Leadership program of the University of Cincinnati. Specific methods such as photovoice and concept mapping will be discussed, as will approaches to teaching feminist, postcolonial and critical race theories as frameworks for transformational educational practices. A special emphasis will be placed on a discussion of innovative uses of technology in teaching educational action research. On-line dialogue among students at this Midwestern urban university with students in an institution in the rural Southwestern allowed students to consider the practice of action research in distinctly different environments and raised unanticipated issues regarding power and identity for both students and their instructors. This same technology has also made possible the establishment of a community of scholars as students at three universities participated in an authors’ forum with well-known action researchers. Specific examples of action research projects and classroom activities will be used to illustrate the potential of educational action research as a tool for social change.


Mary Brydon-Miller  (United States)
Assistant Professor Of Urban Educational Leadership and Educational Foundations
Division of Education Studies, College of Education
University of Cincinnati

Mary Brydon-Miller is an Assistant Professor in Educational Studies at the University of Cincinnati. She has edited a number of books on Action Research including Voices of Change: Participatory Research in the United States and Canada, From Subjects to Subjectivities: A Handbook of Interpretive and Participatory Methods and soon to be published, Traveling Companions: Feminisms and Participatory Action Research. She also serves on the editorial board of the journal Action Research.

  • Action Research
  • Urban Educational Leadership
  • Technology

(30 min Conference Paper, English)