Action Research Center
The Action Research Center was established in the Fall of 2005 to serve as the focal point for educational and community-based participatory research efforts by faculty and students from across the University working together with our partners in the community. The mission of the ARC is to promote social justice and strengthen communities, locally and globally, by advancing research, education, and action through participatory and reflective practices.
Our vision is to become a leader in action research in our community, the university, and internationally by providing a welcoming home to all forms of action research and sharing a common set of values. The Action Research Center is currently involved in a number of projects both locally and internationally including the publication of a book describing the range of projects that the ARC is engaged with here at UC including teaching, research, institutional change and community partnerships. Members of the Action Research Center are also actively contributing to the scholarship of action research. The Action Research Center Director, Mary Brydon-Miller serves on the editorial board of the journal Action Research and has recently had her work published in the Handbook of Action Research, the Handbook of Educational Action Research, and the Handbook of Social Research Ethics. She is currently working on editing the Encyclopedia of Action Research and has presented her work at conferences and invited lectures in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Australia and India in addition to numerous events in the United States. Miriam Raider-Roth serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of Jewish Education Research. Her work has been published in Teachers College Record, Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, Teaching and Teacher Education, and the Journal of Educational Change. She presents her work across North America and Israel. Lisa Vaughn is nationally and internationally known for her work in community-based participatory research on health and well-being and cultural competency. A prolific writer, she has published over 50 academic journal articles/ book chapters and three books including a volume entitled, Psychology and Culture: Thinking, Feeling and Behaving in a Global Context. She has been guest editor for journals such as Prevention and Intervention in the Community and has worked with universities and communities all over the world including Guatemala, South Africa, Lithuania, Denmark, and the Dominican Republic.
Supporting the work of students interested in using an action research model continues to be a key aspect of the work of the Action Research Center and our students have been active in publishing and presenting their work. Student projects include a partnership with Gorman Heritage Farm, a local environmental education center, studying teachers practice at Hughes STEM high school, a service learning partnership course with Sharon Woods, student and teacher learning in Place Out of Time, an on-line simulation game, a social justice leadership project with girls at a local K-8 school, a media-based partnership with middle school students to produce infomercials and comic books about healthy eating and nutrition, a support group and digital stories of Zimbabwean immigrant women. Students have also been involved in several Action Research Center community consulting projects where they are able to apply action research skills in the field and collaborate directly with Action Research Center faculty and community partners.
We also seek to provide opportunities for students, faculty, and members of the community to deepen their understanding of the theory and practice of action research through a series of guest lectures and other events including visitors from the Highlander Research and Education Center in Tennessee and presentations by well-known action researchers Randy Stoecker from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and Patricia Maguire from Western New Mexico University among many others. We have also participated with partners from the Medical School and Cincinnati Children's Hospital in sponsoring visits from community-based participatory researchers including Meredith Minkler and Sheryl Walton, Barbara Israel and Sonya Grant, and Sarena Seifer and Susan Ann Gust. We have also hosted a number of prominent international scholars including Shankar Sankaran from Australia, Victor Friedman from Israel, Anne Inga Hilsen from Norway, Gunilla Harnsten and Lars Holmstrand from Sweden, Mia Husted and Ditte Tofteng from Denmark and Annegret Wenz-Haubfleisch from Germany. In addition our students have taken part in a shared Ph.D. course which included a trip to Roskilde, Denmark and have presented at international conferences in the United Kingdom.
This year we launched the Educational Studies Action Research Ph.D. program and our goals for the future include establishing a certificate program designed to provide training opportunities in a broad range of action research methods. We are also looking forward to establishing a more formal speakers bureau to allow our colleagues at the University of Cincinnati, other local colleges and universities, and local organizations and community groups to learn from the experience of our members.
Strategic Planning Report
The mission of the Action Research Center is to promote social justice and strengthen communities, locally and globally, by advancing research, education, and action through participatory and reflective practices.
To become a leader in action research in our community, the university, and internationally by providing a welcoming home to all forms of action research and sharing a common set of values.
We believe Action Research:
- Is about community empowerment
- Is collaborative, democratic and inclusive
- Can be adapted to every discipline
- Strives to create opportunities for transformative experiences
Furthermore, as the Action Research Center:
- We support the development and dissemination of all forms of Action Research
- We respect the knowledge and experience of the people we work with
- We have a long-term commitment to work with community partners for social action and change
- We will practice an ethic of caring
- We believe every single person can engage in Action Research
- We respect the knowledge and experience of the people we work with
- We will strive to provide mentorship through a process of reflection and dialogue
- We will provide a supportive environment for researchers
- We will deepen our values through our practice
Goals and Strategies:
- Increase the number of funded Action Research Center (ARC) projects
- Disseminate, explore, and offer RFPs for Action Research projects
- Build a library of ARC publications
- Work with action researchers, community partners, and relevant IRBs to address issues of research and ethics in Action Research
- Offer peer mentoring to new or less experienced researchers and community partners
- Create a certificate program in Action Research with a field component
- Offer summer courses with professional development credits for teachers
- Teach Action Research classes through collaboration with university and community partners
- Offer to act as reviewers for faculty in Action Research going up for tenure or promotion
- Create a Speakers Bureau
- Offer professional development opportunities for ARC members as well as general faculty around Action Research
- Build formal partnerships internationally with Action Research centers and projects
- Develop and disseminate a tool kit of alternative methods for researchers to use
- Support publishing and presenting Action Research
- Secure funding to support the activities of the ARC
- Create and maintain a space to house the activities of the ARC