[xmca] CHAT and action-research

From: Elaine Mateus (emateus@conectway.com.br)
Date: Fri Jan 12 2007 - 06:59:44 PST

Dear All,
There has been a recurrent issue among some of my brazilian peers regarding differences and/or similarities between action-research and the CHAT methodological framing. I'm also uncertain about this matter as I read Kemmis, for example, saying that:

In my view, critical or emancipatory action research is always connected to social action: it always understands itself as a concrete and practical expression of the aspiration to change the social (or educational) world for the better through improving shared social practices, our shared understandings of these social practices, and the shared situations in which these practices are carried out. It is thus always critical, in the sense that it is about relentlessly trying to understand and improve the way things are in relation to how they could be better. But it is also critical in the sense that it is activist: it aims at creating a form of collaborative learning by doing (in which groups of participants set out to learn from change in a process of making changes, studying the process and consequences of these changes, and trying again). It aims to help people understand themselves as the agents, as well as the products, of history. In my view, action research is also committed to spreading involvement and participation in the research process. (Kemmis, 1993 http://epaa.asu.edu/epaa/v1n1.html)

On the other hand, Engestrom and his colleagues in "The discursive construction of collaborative care" (2003 :433), say that:

For example, one might ask what is the difference between our work and the 'action science' practiced by Chris Argyris and his colleagues (Argyris & al., 1985). Action science is aimed at making practitioners aware of the persistent and often harmful 'single-loop' mechanisms in their talk and interaction. However, in action science literature, we don't learn much about how the practitioners actually change their practices, or what new tools and organizational structures they develop and adopt.

Can someone suggest further readings so that we can have a better understanding on this issue?
Elaine Mateus
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