Action Research in Teaching and Learning: A Practical Guide to Conducting Pedagogical Research in Universities (Paperback) book cover

Action Research in Teaching and Learning

A Practical Guide to Conducting Pedagogical Research in Universities

By Lin S. Norton

© 2009 – Routledge

288 pages

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Paperback: 9780415437943
pub: 2008-11-28
Hardback: 9780415468466
pub: 2008-11-28
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pub: 2009-05-07
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A practical, down-to-earth guide for those who work in teaching and learning in universities, this book will be indispensable reading for those who would like to carry out action research on their own practice. Lin S Norton's concept of 'pedagogical action research' has come from over twenty years' experience of carrying out such research, and more than six years of encouraging colleagues to carry out small scale studies at an institutional, national and international level.

This accessible text illustrates what might be done to improve teaching/supporting learning by carrying out action research to address such questions such as:

  • What can I do to enthuse my students?
  • What can I do to help students become more analytical?
  • How can I help students to link theory with their practice?
  • What can I do to make my lecturing style more accessible?
  • What is going wrong in my seminars when my students don't speak?

Action Research for Teaching and Learning offers readers practical advice on how to research their own practice in a higher education context. It has been written specifically to take the reader through each stage of the action research process with the ultimate goal of producing a research study which is publishable. Cognisant of the sector’s view on what is perceived to be ‘mainstream research’, the author has also written a substantial theoretical section which justifies the place of pedagogical action research in relation to reflective practice and the scholarship of teaching and learning.


"Norton masterfully walks the reader through the gathering of data from questionnaires and interviews and then invites the analysis of data using concrete examples of how to do thematic and content analysis. This book will not overwhelm the beginner researcher who only has limited time at their disposal with the educational theory of action research. Instead it provides a useful, tacit knowledge that will help any professor of religious studies or theology discover ways rooted in research for improving their pedagogical teaching practices."—Teaching Theology and Religion

Table of Contents

Foreword: Why do You Want to Improve Your Teaching and/or What Your Students Learn? Part 1: The Theoretical Background 1. What are the Pressures On Those Who Work with University Students? 2. Why be a Reflective Practitioner? 3. Why Engage with the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning? 4. What is the Case for Pedagogical Action Research? Part 2: The Practical Part 5. Where do You Start a Pedagogical Action Research Study? 6. What are the Most Suitable Research Methodologies? 7. What are the Ethical Issues? 8. Are there any Useful Tools? 9. How Can You Grow the Influence of Your Findings?

About the Author

Lin S Norton is Professor of Pedagogical Research and Dean of Learning and Teaching at Liverpool Hope University. She was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship in 2007 and continues to champion the importance of learning and teaching by extensively publishing in journals and books.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Research