I’d like to comment here on the placing of an AR module in this EdD course, while noting that I have no intention of using AR as a research paradigm for my own thesis. The EdD is a wide enough platform that includes many other types of research.
I get the logic of this AR module. As an EdD course, the focus is on practitioner research, and AR provides a seriously good set of methods for working within the institutional environment. A working knowledge of politics, leadership, systems and so on is foundational to practitioner research, and many of these aspects are addressed—perhaps most directly—in the AR literature. So, studying AR in an EdD course makes sense.
My concern is that forcing an AR research plan may not be so well thought through. I’ll offer two reasons for this. Obtaining ethics approval is a sine non qua for the UoL, but the associated participant consent requirement is a practical impossibility in my situation. There is another cultural drawback that was made known to me during an informal chat with a colleague yesterday. The staff evaluation form that we need to complete every two years has no entry for in-faculty improvement. There is a points system in place, and research output is regarded the highest. There are points for service to the public and for committee work, but AR that results in curricular change does not garner any points: hence another reason my colleagues are unwilling to commit their names to paper—in a foreign language for a foreign country. It’s all well and good for me to pursue my education, but that is a private matter in their minds.
Although I can understand the UoL’s focus on AR, the placing of an AR module after Module 7 seems unthoughtful. During Module 7, I honed my interest in and knowledge of epistemic cognition. Also, I had to consider how I should research epistemic cognition within my institution. It makes more sense to me to have Module 8 be a continuation of this preparation. Epistemic cognition does not lend itself easily to AR projects, although I will shoehorn it in to mine in this module. I’ll do this because I don’t want to lose the momentum built up over Module 7 and afterwards during the five-week break before Module 8.