Rethinking the architecture: An action researcher’s resolution to writing and presenting their thesis

Davis, Julie M. (2007) Rethinking the architecture: An action researcher’s resolution to writing and presenting their thesis. Action Research, 5(2), pp. 181-198.

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The thesis as a bulky ‘tome’ with a traditional structure - literature review, methodology, research design, findings and conclusions - is a concept under increasing challenge. Recently, I completed a doctoral action research project based on environmental education in a primary school. However, I found that trying to force the action research process into a linear writing structure was an unsatisfactory experience. After much anxiety and considerable experimentation, I resolved the problem of ‘fit’ between action research and the traditional thesis format by creating an alternative architecture based on each of the action research cycles. While still producing a bulky ‘doorstopper’, I feel this structure is a better reflection of the way the study evolved. This paper outlines this new architecture and discusses its rationale. It also challenges other action researchers to innovate and experiment with the ways they represent their research work. License for such innovation is rapidly developing especially with the advent of digital thesis production and performative theses. I see no reason why action researchers cannot be leaders in the creation of new forms of practice about how research theses and dissertations are represented in the academy.

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ID Code: 8677
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: The author-version of this article will be available from this site 12 months after publication : Author contact details
Keywords: Action research, thesis writing, reflexivity, thesis linearity, thesis as reportage, research as narrative, thesis examination
DOI: 10.1177/1476750307077322
ISSN: 1476-7503
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000)
Divisions: Past > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 SAGE Publications
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Deposited On: 18 Jul 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:32

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