Action research and the micropolitics in schools

  • Eilertsen T
  • Gustafson N
  • Salo P
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Abstract

This paper is based on the assumption that action research always affects the micropolitical balance characteristic of a certain school setting. The authors claim that micropolitics, that is the patterns of formal power and informal influence, has largely been neglected in the literature on action research in schools. This means that action researchers appear to be ‘micropolitically illiterate’. Firstly in the paper the authors present the concept of micropolitics and a model consisting of three arenas for understanding micropolitics in schools. Thereafter they exemplify the different aspects and expressions of micropolitics by referring to their own action research projects. The focus is particularly on initiative to and engagement with action research. Finally they reflect on some micropolitical dilemmas characteristic of action research and the contradictory role of the action researcher.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Action research
  • Micropolitics
  • School organisation
  • The role of the action researcher

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Authors

  • Tor Vidar Eilertsen

  • Niklas Gustafson

  • Petri Salo

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