Investigating Tension in Collaborative Action Research about Comics Writing

  • Author / Creator
    Nixon, Rhonda
  • This dissertation was written as a commonplace text (Havens, 2001; Sumara, 2002), where I gathered multimodal texts (print, visual, audio, video) of importance to the five teacher participants and me and interpreted them through sociocultural, historical and critical theoretical lenses to answer two research questions: How is professional learning experienced by teachers participating in collaborative action research? and What is the role of tension in critical, collaborative inquiry-based communities? The five teachers, who were new to critical, collaborative inquiry-based ways of learning, chose to engage in comics writing as a new approach to teaching narrative writing in their grades three, four, and six classrooms with me as an outside researcher over four-five months. The teacher participants found that taking on new teaching and learning identities created various tensions in their everyday planning, teaching and reflecting practices that shaped and were shaped by the diverse communities of practice that we developed in various spaces, including their two different schools. I investigate our learning experiences and the role of tension in them by conceptualizing settings as social spaces (Leander, 1999), where we cocreated patterns of practices. I examined these patterns using Kemmis, Hardy, Wilkinson, Edward-Groves and Lloyd’s (2010) emerging “ecologies of practice” theory. First, I took a macroview of the teachers’ and my social spaces by analyzing the “practice architectures” and metapractices (Kemmis & Grootenboer, 2008) or institutional practices of professional learning at work in their schools. Second, I engage in microanalyses of the teachers’ and my practices according to multidimensions (cultural/discursive, material/economic and sociopolitical) within and across our different communities of practice. Finally, I present my findings about how our social spaces developed and what the role of ethical, material/economic, emotional and relational tensions were as we learned through collaborative action research (Kemmis & McTaggart, 2005).

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2012
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.