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Action Research and the Micropolitics of School On Action Research You cannot understand a system until try to change it! Kurt Lewin On Micropolitics Power is a property of the system at rest; politics is the study of power in action Pfeffer (1981) in Power in organizations On School Change The more things change the more they remain the same. Sarason 1971 in The culture of school and the problem of change Micropolitics in Schools The roles and dilemmas of an action researcher ?? ? in a school ACTION RESEARCH close to practice, experiential, problembased participatory, collaborative, democratic, critical, reflective, conciousness- raising >>>>>> social action emanating learning (knowledge comes from/lies in doing) empowering and aiming at change HYPOTHESIS: The very nature and character of social reality as well as the (power)structures by which it is designated can be discovered/revealed when questioning and changing it. Language as the means by which social reality is created and maintained – action in language Reason and Bradbury 2006, Heikkinen 2008 Micropolitics T in Schools T T T T T A system in rest T H T T ACTION RESEARCH Micropolitics Iniative from T in Schools outside/above T T AR T T T (power) T relationships H in rest T T Micropolitics T in Schools T T TRUST AR AR AND H POWER Action research is about T T T T T Micropolitics T in Schools T T T T T Iniative from Inside (outside) AR H T T CASE: DEVELOPMENT OF POLYTECHNICS CASES: Micropolitics LEARNING CONCIOUS in Schools SCHOOL DAY T OPEN BOOK T T S S S T S T T T S AR H S T S T S S Micropolitics AR T in Schools T T T T Action research Belvedere (lighthouse) T T H T T CASE: TEACHER EMPOWERMENT AND PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE T I am a bit hesitant to the prospect of my team leader participating, she has been behind many of the initiatives that I have been questioning at my school. But I don’t think this necessarily will create conflicts between us. (Gustafson, forthcoming) T It can be a hornet’s nest among us adults... We have so much, and we must talk to each other. Our team leader conveys important messages to us in the morning. She says for example. Okay, now I have a bomb. Then we become worried like hell, and then it is only one and a half minute left to half nine. And then we must go and put on the teacher’s mask and go teaching, although we just have got to know something really weird. All of us become upset and babble (Gustafson, forthcoming) At times I feel that I talk too much [within the project]. I have a lot of things to say. But I find it very improving to be here. I am able to adopt new perspectives on different matters. My work is a treadmill, it is full speed all the time. One has to solve the everyday problems and do it quickly, solutions has to be found immediately. But during our discussions I am allowed to think in a more general way. I am somehow able to land. ……And then we just sit down and begin to talk about some- thing. I feel that I am able to dissociate myself from the ridiculous sandpit I am playing in at my school. At school we just discuss who should take care of the different duties. But the really interesting and rewarding to talk about the things we might be able to change. But when you return to school you are immediately and intensively drawn into your duties ….. But here one is able to peacefully discuss all the really important things. It is stressful to come here, because there is always have something else to take care of. But when I am here, I feel really good. (Gustafson, forthcoming) T Has this teacher become micropolitically more literate? The private arena T “As a teacher one has an immense amount of power, which is a little bit frightening. We maintain that we have high degree pupil participation and all kinds of pupil’s councils, as it should be in a school of the day. But at the end it is always the teacher who makes the decisions. The good thing with the power is that one can affect how the pupils relate to certain things. In the case of fights between pupils one is able dig deeply in to it and affect how the children look upon it. The unfortunate fact that a teacher has a lot of power ends up with something positive, me using my power” (Gustafson, forthcoming). The arena of interaction “The tradition is vigorously maintained by a handful of teachers in natural sciences. They have been in the school for ages, their teaching is highly instrumental, their approach to knowledge is narrow-minded and they expect the school to reproduce the pupils in a disciplined matter. These teachers have a powerful position amongst the school subject teachers because of the fact of their seniority, their knowledge in their own subject as well as the overall rules and regulations” (Eilertsen 1989) The public arena “All the important decisions at our school for the moment are made by the Supreme Soviet, an Olympic committee, Mafia, call it whatever” (Salo 2002, 232). The Micropolitics of ACTION RESEARCH INITIATIVE – ENGAGEMENT AIMS (hidden agendas) RESEARCH STRATEGIES TOOLS (language) IS THERE ANY ADDED VALUE IN USING THE CONCEPT OF MICROPOLITICS FOR THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF ACTION RESEARCH IN SCHOOLS?
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