Action research in cooperative education projects : developing lifelong capabilities for improving practice
Ferkins, Lesley and Fleming, Jenny 2006, Action research in cooperative education projects : developing lifelong capabilities for improving practice, in NZACE 2006 : Using cooperative education and work-integrated learning to develop lifelong learning skills, proceedings of the 9th annual New Zealand Association for Cooperative Education conference, New Zealand Association for Cooperative Education, [Hamilton, N.Z.], pp. 32-37.
NZACE 2006 : Using cooperative education and work-integrated learning to develop lifelong learning skills, proceedings of the 9th annual New Zealand Association for Cooperative Education conference
Coll, Richard K.
New Zealand Association for Cooperative Education Conference
New Zealand Association for Cooperative Education
Place of publication
There are natural synergies between action research as a method of inquiry and the practice of cooperative education. In the search to integrate theory and practice, action research is underpinned by a philosophy of experiential learning. Similarly, cooperative education is underpinned by the belief that in order to learn, there also needs to be action. The work of cooperative education students is also founded on data-based reflection is highly context based and usually collaborative; important characteristics of action research (Cardno, 2003). These similarities between action research and cooperative education provide a starting point in conceptualizing the adoption of action research for sport cooperative education projects. How can action research be integrated within cooperative education projects? This paper will discuss the theoretical basis of action research and illustrate through the use of case studies why and how action research has been utilized in cooperative education projects in sport and recreation. Sport students undertake a range of activities in the cooperative education setting. Some complete basic day to day tasks in recreation centers and with sports teams and others act as volunteers in major events. While these types of roles can fulfill desired outcomes for cooperative education program (for student, industry organization and institution), the adoption of action research can add a further dimension because it aims to create change within the setting under investigation. Through the use of cooperative education projects, students are in a unique position to frame a problem, integrate theory, determine action, and implement and evaluate that action. This paper explores how action research is used in cooperative education projects to help develop capabilities for improving practice.