My name is Deb Dole. I am a practicing midwife and faculty at the University of Cincinnati, College of Nursing. Action research and I found each other at a coffee shop in a local bookstore. I was a doctoral student with a head full of ideas, thoughts and questions surrounding the WHO, WHAT, WHY and the ever present HOW of a dissertation. I was invited by my dissertation chair to attend an informal meeting of women from many disciplines all interested in issues surrounding mothers, daughters, dialog and girls health. Someone mentioned a project involving Photovoice…a method that involves cameras, participants and the potential for real change – I was hooked! Real people…real stories…real change. I could barely contain myself. My action research dissertation was born that day. Check out this short intro video to PhotoVoice: http://www.photovoice.org/videos/pvfilm2010final.wmv
Why action research? This question was posed by the editors in the first issue of Action Research; Mary Brydon-Miller, Davydd Greenwood, and Patricia Maguire (2003) http://arj.sagepub.com/content/vol1/issue1/
My answer to "why action research?"... Health care research has primarily been conducted within the biomedical framework producing less than satisfying results for individuals, communities and researchers themselves. The quest for the perfect intervention has led us back to the community where health is defined and experienced locally and in the context of daily life. This is an example of discussion around work being done in the area of health disparities http://blog.case.edu/ccrhd/photo_voice/index
My colleagues Bernie Young and Beth Miller and I will be facilitating an ongoing discussion surrounding community health, health education and access to care issues. Please join us as we plan to devote the Thursday conversation to health related issues and action research.
Let the conversation continue…