Potential Of Educational Standards Education Essay

Potential Of Educational Standards Education Essay

The grounds for the survey were outlined in the prologue. In this subdivision the purposes thereof are explained and a motive for the research is provided. This stage expounds the research methodological analysiss adopted and provides the motive and justification for the pick of research methodological analysis every bit good as a description of the nature and character of action research. The research doctrine is explored and the methods of roll uping informations discussed.

I was fortunate to be presented with an chance to develop an educational programme which would ensue in the publicity of four black supervisors to direction places. This led to an exploratory and experimental procedure that addressed the research job: How to plan and present a direction instruction and development programme for people who did non hold the needed educational makings to inscribe for formal direction programmes at a third establishment.

This, in bend, translated into the undermentioned research inquiries?

Do people without the necessary educational criterions have the possible and the ability to go effectual directors?

What cognition, accomplishments and attitudes are necessary to be an effectual director and how are these cognition, accomplishments and attitudes best acquired in a workplace?

Research purpose

The purpose was to better my pattern through the design and execution of a non-traditional direction instruction programme. While at the same clip, righting some of the instabilities ensuing from historical political prejudice that had deprived many black people of the chance to carry through their managerial potency and in so making do a meaningful part to four people ‘s lives. It was besides intended to do a part to direction development, concern betterment and socio-economic transmutation.

Research aims

In trying a undertaking of this nature, there were many obstructions and jobs to confront that were both complex and sensitive and I needed a clear apprehension of what I planned to accomplish through carry oning the research survey. These aims would besides hopefully separate this research undertaking from “ masqueraded consulting ” ( Eriksson & A ; Kovalainen, 2008:204 )

After careful consideration, the undermentioned list of aims were identified for the survey:

Investigate premises and patterns that I thought needed to be challenged ;

Develop an apprehension of the construct of instruction and in peculiar grownup instruction and how it relates to larning in a workplace ;

Explore and experiment with course of study design for a non-traditional emancipatory direction instruction procedure in a workplace ;

Implement the procedure and happen possible barriers to implementation in order to better and alter the bing state of affairs ;

Bringing approximately positive transmutation ; and

Gain professional cognition.

Aim of the survey

The motive to accept the challenge was based on the premise that direction accomplishments and leading behavior can be developed through relevant preparation and expert guided experience and the strong belief that willing and able non-managerial Black employees can and should be developed to travel into direction places.

The purpose of the survey was hence to develop and present a feasible and sustainable method of grownup instruction for the development and promotion of four black female supervisors to direction places, by:

Locating the programme in values of equality and justness with regard for human self-respect ;

Approaching grownup instruction in such a manner that the participants would be involved in their ain acquisition experience ;

Identifying the practical deductions of presenting the invention into a specific workplace and implementing the programme ; and

Measuring the programme, with peculiar mention to its relevancy to the participants and their alteration in behavior.

From the literature reviews discussed subsequently in the survey, there appeared to be a wide consensus that larning and organizational alteration require a scope of development, preparation and acquisition attacks ; that the traditional external class, while moderately effectual as a briefing device for advancing consciousness, is hapless at advancing behavioral and organizational alteration ; that alteration is more likely to be achieved via techniques specifically aimed at peculiar larning marks related to the person ‘s practical undertakings and experience ; and that development, preparation and coaching should, when appropriate, take topographic point as stopping point to the work state of affairs as possible.

This meant that for the invention to win the company had to accommodate and aline itself both structurally and culturally to altering fortunes and new attacks, which resulted in the add-on of the undermentioned standards:

Involving the whole administration in the procedure, utilizing a systems attack, and turn toing issues of socialization, civilizations, values, attitudes and perceptual experiences.

THE Setting

The survey was conducted in a fabrication company in Gauteng, in South Africa. It is the most advanced metropolitan part in the state and the industrial hub. Although it covers less than two per centum of South Africa ‘s entire land mass it contributes more than 50 per centum of Gross Domestic Product and accommodates about one one-fourth of the entire population ( De Beer, 1990 ) .

The town in which the mill was situated was populated by preponderantly Afrikaans talking White people and in 1994 was a Conservative Party fastness. Until the early 90s a curfew bell was still sounded at 9pm every eventide to guarantee that the town remained ‘White by dark ‘ .

The direction instruction programme was implemented in a fabrication administration. It is a in private owned company that employed about 80 people and had a turnover in surplus of five million Rand per annum in 1994. The fabrication procedure is complicated and labour intensive with most phases of production necessitating a skilled labor force.

The chosen trainees were all Black females with formal instruction degrees runing from class 9 to rate 12. Unfortunately even the two ladies with a matriculation certification were unable to derive entry to third establishments as the topics they had completed were non recognised for higher acquisition, for illustration Bible Studies and Agriculture. All of them were loyal employees who had at least 15 old ages of work experience in the company and all were employed in a supervisory capacity.

Their elected wise mans and managers were both White males. The Factory / Production Manager had a sheepskin in Production Management and a figure of old ages of production and direction experience. The General Manager had an undergraduate commercialism grade and many old ages of direction experience, but had non been actively involved in the production procedure and was more concerned with the administrative elements of the company.

Unlike many research workers who enter new and unusual research environments, I had ready entree to the site and was fortunate plenty to be familiar with the people involved in the research procedure and the workplace scene. This made my entry into the state of affairs comparatively easy as I did non hold to confront the debatable state of affairs of acquiring to cognize the participants or the workplace environment. However, on contemplation this factor created a new set of complexnesss and jobs.


Choice of methodological analysis

I am of the sentiment that given the research involvements, inquiries, purposes and aims of this qualitative survey together with my theoretical position that action research was an appropriate attack.

My multiple and frequently complex functions of adviser, facilitator, instructor and scholar, and ‘objective ‘ research worker in the survey were a possible quandary, nevertheless, this was resolved by following an action research methodological analysis. This determination is substantiated by Eriksson & A ; Kovalainen who province that:

It is of import to understand that, in action research, there is no large difference between the research worker and the researched group aˆ¦ Often the differences between the research worker and direction adviser diminish and even disappear, as academic research is geared towards accomplishing apprehension of real-life jobs related to concern activities and bring forthing alteration procedures and solutions for the job ( 2008:194 )

Action research differs from conventional or traditional research because as Coghlan and Brannick assert it focuses upon “ research in action, instead than research about action ” ( 2005:4 ) . The other distinguishing characteristic of action research is that it does non put the doctorial pupil as research worker in an “ aˆ¦external ‘objective ‘ function but alternatively locates her within the research puting to research whether the rhythms of intercessions chosen really work to alter the debatable state of affairs to which the research job is addressed ” ( Greenwood & A ; Levin, 2007 cited in Grogan, Donaldson & A ; Simmons, 2007:6 ) .

The experimental nature of the research undertaking besides required an alternate attack to more traditional qualitative research. Eriksson and Kovalainen suggests that “ action research is specifically utile when researching procedure related jobs in organisations, such as acquisition and alteration ” ( 2008:199 ) . They further assert that:

Action research is thought to be particularly suited when the research inquiry is related to depicting an unfolding series of actions that are taking topographic point over clip in a certain group aˆ¦ Besides, if the research inquiry is related to understanding the procedure of alteration, development or betterment of some existent job, so, in order to larn from it, action research is an appropriate application for research ( 2008:193-194 )

Corey states that the value of traditional research is “ determined by the sum of reliable cognition it adds ” , while that of action research “ is determined chiefly by the extent to which findings lead to betterment in the patterns of people engaged in the research ” ( 1953:13 ) . This is confirmed by Carr and Kemmis, who assert that “ aˆ¦the testing land for educational research is non its theoretical edification or its ability to conform to standards derived from societal scientific disciplines, but instead its capacity to decide educational jobs and better educational pattern ” ( 1986:109 ) .

Action Research

For some readers the construct of action research will be portion of their pattern, for others it may look a unusual attack to research.

As action research does non needfully do a immense difference between research and action, it may give an imprecise and ill-defined feeling of research as a procedure. It can be argued that it is exactly here where action research has its power: when it remains ‘close ‘ to its research objects and is based on mutual activities, when done decently, it can besides authorise its participants, non merely the scientific discipline community ( Eriksson & A ; Kovalainen, 2008:202-203 )

Action Research has been widely used to better pattern in educational scenes ( Carr and Kemmis, 1986:162 ) . It is acknowledged as “ an appropriate research paradigm for educational, professional, managerial and organizational development ” ( Zuber-Skerritt, 1996:3 ) and was the merely obvious pick of methodological analysis for this survey. As a methodological analysis action research is based on alternate research paradigms.

There is no universally accepted definition of action research in literature and there are a assortment of action research theoretical accounts available. As Nofke asserts there has been “ aˆ¦exceptional growing in the extent of action research patterns ” and we should besides be cognizant of the “ aˆ¦proliferation of significances and utilizations of the term action research ” ( 1994:9 )

Those of us in South Africa interested in action research recognise that there are contested points of position about what ‘action research ‘ agencies and what patterns constitute it. aˆ¦ It is the acknowledgment of the potency of action research as informed, automatic and transformative action, nevertheless, that holds sway ( Walker, 1988:153 ) .

Whitehead and McNiff suggest that most of the action research literature negotiations about bettering pattern, but negotiations less about bettering acquisition as the footing of improved pattern, and even less about how this should be seen as new theory and an of import part to the universe of thoughts. They believe that theory itself needs to be reconceptualised, non as an abstract, apparently esoteric field of survey, but as a practical manner of believing about societal personal businesss and how they can be improved ( 2006:8 ) .

The beginnings of action research can be found in the instructions of Marx, Gramsci and Freire who were engaged in altering societal constructions and patterns for the benefit of those who had been oppressed or marginalised by the position quo ( Reason & A ; Bradbury, 2001 ) . Lewin is credited with gestating action research which was so farther developed by Kolb ( 1984 ) , Carr and Kemmis ( 1986 ) and others. Historically Revans ( 1986 ) is its recognized title-holder. Pulling from the work of Jean Piaget, Revans contended that larning “ stems from responsible experience ” ( 1982:2 ) , that is, “ all acquisition is the merchandise of action ” ( 1982:772 ) .

Action research spiral

Lewin ‘s action research spiral, is described as follows by Lewin cited in Burgess ( 1985:162 ) :

The first measure is to analyze the thought carefully in the visible radiation of the agencies available. Frequently more investigative about the state of affairs is required. If this first period of planning is successful, two points emerge: viz. , ‘an overall program ‘ of how to make the aim and secondly, a determination in respect to the first measure of action. Normally this planning has besides slightly modified the original thought ( Lewin, 1948:205 ) .

The following measure is composed of a circle of planning, put to deathing, and reconnaissance or fact happening for the intent of measuring the consequences of the 2nd measure, and fixing the rational footing for be aftering the 3rd measure, and for possibly modifying once more the overall program ( 1948:206 ) .

To assist cover with the issues refering the nature of direction development, course of study development and grownup instruction in a structured, yet flexible, mode Lewin ‘s ( 1946 ) action research spiral was used as a theoretical account.

Initially, I had non considered utilizing the attack to carry on a research survey but instead to utilize the action research spiral as a theoretical account to help with the design and bringing of an experimental direction instruction programme because of its iterative nature and accent on continual betterment.

Lewin ‘s theoretical account specifies a spiral of activities in the undermentioned sequence:

Clarifying and naming a job state of affairs for pattern ;

Explicating action schemes for deciding the job ;

Implementing and measuring the action schemes ; and

Further elucidation and diagnosing of the job ( and so into the following spiral of contemplation and action ) .

Lewin ‘s coiling recognises the demand for action programs to be flexible. In complex societal state of affairss it is ne’er possible to expect everything that needs to be done and in this theoretical account the deliberate imbrication of action and contemplation allow alterations in programs for action as the participants learn from and reflect on their ain experience. The procedure is summarised in the diagram of an action research coiling below.

Upward spiral of bettering practiceFIGURE 1: Action research spiral

Beginning: hypertext transfer protocol: //education.qld.gov.au/students/advocacy/equity/gendersch/action.html

My apprehension of the action research procedure, based on Lewin ‘s attack, was that action is followed by critical contemplation: – What worked? What did non work? What did we larn? How should we make it otherwise following clip? Once apprehension was achieved, decisions drawn and programs refined or new programs developed so these were once more tested in action.

This tied in with the well established larning theory of Kolb and Fry ( 1975:35-36 ) which suggests that persons pass through a rhythm of phases in the learning experience:

A period of observation ;

A period of contemplation ;

A period of conceptual modeling ; and

A period of active testing.

Therefore the completion of the acquisition procedure will affect several rhythms and may in fact ne’er terminal.

Based on the above, I envisaged a procedure where myself and the other participants in the programme developed a program of action ; acted to implement the program ; observed the effects of the action in the context in which it occurred ; reflected on these effects as a footing for farther planning, subsequent action and so on through a sequence of rhythms. This allowed for a flexible course of study that could be modified as the programme progressed and invariably evaluated and altered in footings of its relevancy to the programme ‘s purposes.

This initial theoretical account was excessively simple as in world, life does non travel “ along one path at a clip aˆ¦ ” ( McNiff, 1988:28 ) and Susman and Evered ‘s ( 1978 ) more complex representational theoretical account reproduced below, better fitted the survey.

FIGURE 2: The cyclical procedure of action research Beginning: Susman & A ; Evered, 1978:582-603 in Administrative Science Quarterly

This impression concurs with that of Walker ( 1993:107 ) who finds that the attractive force of action research lies exactly in the ne’er stoping spiral of action, contemplation, enquiry and speculating originating from and grounded in practical concerns, where the hunt is non for the right replies but towards “ practical wisdom aˆ¦ in peculiar, complex and human state of affairss ” ( Elliott, 1991:52 ) .

Lau ( 1998 ) discusses the standards which Checkland ( 1991 ) believes are indispensable for an action research survey to be accepted as a legitimate option to the more traditional methods. These standards served as a guideline to my ain action research:

There is a real-world job relevant to the research subjects of involvement to the research worker ;

Respective functions of the research worker and participants are defined in the job state of affairs ;

Inclusion of an rational model by agencies of which the nature of research lessons can be defined and the method in which the model is embodied ;

Researcher engagement in blossoming the state of affairs with a position to assist convey about alterations deemed betterments ;

Rethinking of earlier phases by doing sense of the accumulating experience through the declared model and method, and revising alterations ; and

Point of issue for the research worker in order to reexamine the experience and to pull out lessons for larning in relation to the research themes and/or definition of new subjects ( 1991:397-403 ) .

Action research includes action larning which Zuber-Skerritt defines as:

Learning from concrete experience and critical contemplation on that experience, through group treatment, test and mistake, find and larning from one another ( 1993:45 ) .

The narrative stating attack

Harmonizing to Eriksson & A ; Kovalainen, in action research

The research workers have full academic ‘freedom ‘ to utilize any stylistic elements they wish and frequently the descriptive anthropology and narrative signifiers are besides used in composing the action research studies ( 2008:207 )

Based on Elliott ‘s statement that action research workers should utilize a instance survey attack and that research studies should take a narrative signifier based on analytic memos and following a historical format: “ stating the narrative as it has unfolded over clip ” ( 1991:88 ) , elements of instance survey scheme were adopted in the experimental research stage and elements from a narrative attack with an ethnographic focal point, were used in the thesis as the manner for documenting the survey ( www.Infed.org/research ) .

It is of import to observe that, unlike research workers utilizing other qualitative attacks and methods such as instance survey research or descriptive anthropology who tend to be interested perceivers, in this survey I was an active participant ( Myers, 2008:57 ) .

Using elements of a narrative attack to direction and educational research can be described within the context of the post-modern, which gave me the freedom as writer/researcher to be personally present in the text as opposed to being the 3rd individual composing in a inactive voice, the traditionally needed ‘objective ‘ research worker. Dane asserts that “ research is an activity, and an active voice conveys that impression ” ( 1990:214 ) , this is substantiated by Van Maanen ( 1988, cited in Sikes & A ; Gale, 2006 ) who suggests that by composing in an active voice ( confessional narrative ) the research worker ‘tells it as it was ‘ instead than following traditional, formulaic and ‘objective ‘ constructions that tell of neat, tidy, elementary research undertakings.

The usage of a descriptive narrative of the journey allowed me to capture the socio-cultural scene in which the acquisition occurred and helped “ aˆ¦make expressed some of the inexplicit cognition used to understand and implement the intercession ” ( Hoadley, 2002: 2 ) .

For most people, storytelling is a natural manner of telling experience, a practical solution to a cardinal job in life, making sensible order out of experience ( Moen, 2006:2 ) .

In this thesis I adopted a multi-voiced coverage manner, where the positions and looks of all the participants were incorporated into my narrative. Their voices are actively heard in Phase 7 and 8 where infusions from their written and unwritten informations are reproduced verbatim. On completion of the bill of exchange, this study was given to them to read and formalize and this factor influenced the manner of composing used.


Research Doctrine

A research worker ‘s scientific beliefs or research doctrine is influenced by the research worker ‘s societal intent or what he/she wants to accomplish in the societal universe and why. Harmonizing to Whitehead and McNiff:

A strong relationship exists between what you hope to accomplish in footings of your being as a human being and your ontological, epistemic and methodological premises, which can act upon each other and transform each other ( 2006:24 ) .

They besides suggest that:

Where research traditions differ is how they perceive the placement of the research worker ( ontological committednesss ) , the relationship between the apprehender and what is known ( epistemic committednesss ) , the procedures of bring forthing cognition ( methodological committednesss ) , and the ends of research in footings of how the cognition will be used ( societal committednesss ) ( 2006:22 ) .


Ontology refers to a theory of being, which influences how we perceive ourselves in relation to our environment ( Whitehead & A ; McNiff 2006:10 ) .

Action research aims to lend both to the practical concerns of people in an immediate debatable state of affairs and to the ends of societal scientific discipline by joint coaction within a reciprocally acceptable ethical model ( Rapoport, 1970: 499 ) .

This can be seen as debatable in the coverage phase because

The boundaries between people begin to fade out, as people see themselves as united in a common enterprise to better their ain fortunes and inquiries can originate about who tells the research narrative, whose voice is heard, and who speaks on behalf of whom ( Whitehead & A ; McNiff 2006:11 ) .

A participative and subjective attack to research is hence built-in in action research and as Burr argues, objectiveness is:

an impossibleness, since each of us, of necessity, must meet the universe from some position or other ( from where we stand ) and the inquiries we come to inquire about that universe, our theories and hypothesis, must besides of necessity arise from the premises that are embedded in our position ” . She continues by stating that “ The undertaking of research workers hence becomes to admit and even to work with their ain intrinsic engagement in the research procedure and the portion this plays in the consequences that are produced. Research workers must see the research procedure as needfully a co-production between themselves and the people they are researching ( 1995:160 cited in Colombo, 2003 ) .

Due to my active engagement in the survey, I acknowledge the built-in subjectiveness of this survey every bit good as the impact it has had on both the procedure and the results of this research. As I reviewed my personal diaries and field notes my ain emotional reaction to certain events and people was apparent and sometimes contradictory interior voices emerged, some of these have been included in the text.

However, I subscribe to Whitehead ‘s theory of the single ‘I ‘ which is ever seen to be in company with other single ‘I ‘s ‘ , where significances and committednesss flow between lives, and people perceive themselves non as separate entities, though still alone persons, but as sharing the same life infinite as others ( Rayner 2002 ; 2003 ; Whitehead 2005 ) .


Epistemology ( Whitehead & A ; McNiff 2006:23 ) refers to a theory of cognition, which involves two parts:

A theory of cognition ( what is known ) ; and

A theory of cognition acquisition ( how it becomes known )

Heron ( 1981 ; 1982 ) suggests that action research implies that cognition includes multiple ways of knowing and that the epistemology of action research should include:

Propositional cognizing – based on theories or received wisdom ;

Experimental knowledge – gained through the direct brush with people, topographic points or things ;

Practical knowledge – gained through the making of things ; and

Presentational knowledge – gained by telling our silent experiential cognition into forms.

Harmonizing to Carr and Kemmis ( 1986:42 ) instructors ( in my instance a facilitator of an educational procedure ) have professional common-sense cognition. In add-on, they have thoughts about educational theory, a philosophical mentality, and societal and moral theories. Knowledge has the capacity to alter as cognition and thought alterations, hence, on the footing of this reflexiveness or capacity to alter, new signifiers of societal life can be created or reconstructed.

Action research is based on the epistemic premise that the intent of action research and discourse is non merely to depict, understand and explicate the universe but besides to alter it ( Reason & A ; Torbett, 2001 ) . Goodson and Walker province that “ the undertaking of research is to do sense of what we know ( 1991:107 ) ” and the sense we make is determined by the choice and political relations of our attack.

In this survey, a brooding procedure inherent in action research was used for sense-making or doing silent cognition explicit. This sense-making was introduced to the reader through a description of how the undertaking was conceived, what was intended, the rhythms of action throughout the procedure and an analysis of both the intended and unintended results.

When reexamining my epistemic stance the remark by Whitehead and McNiff was peculiarly disposed. They province that in action research “ cognition is created, non discovered. This is normally a procedure of test and mistake. Probationary replies, and the procedure itself, are ever unfastened to review ” ( 2006:27 ) .

Methodological premises

Methodologies refer to the manner that research is conducted. I found the undermentioned paragraph from Whitehead and McNiff utile in this respect and the methodological analysis used in this survey has been guided by these premises.

Unlike traditional societal scientific discipline, action questions do non take for closing, nor do practicians anticipate to happen certain replies. The procedure itself is the methodological analysis ( Mellor 1998 ) , and is often untidy, haphazard and experimental. Richard Winter ( 1998 ) negotiations about ‘improvisatory self-fulfillment in action research ‘ , where a certain grade of entrepreneurialism is involved ; and Marian Dadds and Susan Hart ( 2001 ) talk about ‘methodological ingeniousness ‘ , where we try multiple advanced ways until we find the 1 that is right for us. We look out for what might be a utile manner forward, and seek it out. One measure leads to another, and one rhythm of action-reflection leads to another. ( aˆ¦ ) Traditional ways of making research offer a completed narrative. Action research workers let their ain narrative evolve. It is every bit much about the narrator as about the narrative ( Whitehead & A ; McNiff 2006:30 ) .

Ethical considerations

Soltis believes that research workers should detect the ‘non-negotiable ‘ values of “ honestness, equity, regard for individuals and beneficence ” ( 1989:129 ) . This ties in with one of the purposes of the survey of ‘locating the programme in values of equality and justness with regard for human self-respect ‘ . In pattern this meant being unfastened and honest about the research, its intent and application ; obtaining informed consent from the participants in the procedure and guaranting them of their right to retreat from the procedure at any clip without punishment. It besides meant non harming the company or participants and if possible, go forthing them in a better place.

The research procedure and findings were guided by the ethical consideration of protecting participants ‘ individualities and obtaining permission to utilize their personal development diaries and other paperss owned by them, every bit good as obtaining participant proof of this thesis.

The purpose of action research is to better and affect. To better meant alteration that was non ever comfy for the participants and throughout the survey I endeavoured to adhere to the ideal that everybody has the right to move, the right to be heard and the right to take.

Data Collection

Hussey and Hussey province that, “ Whatever the intent of the research, empirical grounds is required. They define empirical grounds as, “ informations based on observation or experience ” ( 1997:10 ) .

Harmonizing to Eriksson & A ; Kovalainen

One of the challenges of action research in comparing with many other ‘research methods ‘ is that information analysis is frequently done collaboratively with the organisation, group of people or community involved. This is to guarantee the intimacy of consequences to the organization/group/community in inquiry. At the same clip, the analysis needs to carry through the ‘academic demands ‘ , therefore frequently including both linguistic communication and tools non known to ‘laypeople ‘ . Therefore, it is of import to add transparence and interlingual rendition of the analysis of the informations to the purpose of intercessions planned and action planning ( 2008:202 )

In this survey, informations based on observation was collected through the usage of elaborate field notes which provided a running history of what happened throughout the procedure and informations based on experience was collected as personal notes in the signifier of a diary which included notes to myself and a record of my contemplations, my feelings and reactions, ego uncertainties and inquiries, choler and defeats, and delectations. Throughout the survey I was punctilious in roll uping and updating the field notes and my diary.

Records of meetings and informal interviews and treatments with participants and other stakeholders, every bit good as the emerging directors ‘ personal development diaries entering their phases of development provided extra collaborative beginnings of informations.

Each of the informations aggregation methods used in this research undertaking could be considered portion of an overall attack to bettering the quality and cogency of the research informations through an attack known as informations triangulation. This would besides counter the possibility of low dependability.