When I think back on my year in Action Research the common theme is my deep gratitude for the opportunies for community and collaboration the year brought. This speaks to what I consider one of the fundamental values that underlie our practice—the notion that working together we learn more, accomplish more, and grow closer to one another. There are so many examples of how the value and values of collaboration have touched my life this year, but I will focus on five experiences that are especially meaningful to me because of the opportunity they each gave me to deepen my own learning and to develop new and nuture existing friendships.
I begin by thanking my students. My current and past students are some of the major contributors to this blog, they are the energy behind the Action Research Center, and they continue to inspire and amaze me year after year. In December the students in my Action Research course presented on the first-person action research projects they had conducted in which they each examined the ways in which their own value system is expressed through their practice. Each and every one of these presentations was a unique and beautifully crafted expression of the kind of reflection, creativity, and openness to new learning that should be at the heart of all Action Research. I am eager to get back to them to see where our work together takes us from here!
I also want to thank my colleagues at Harmony Garden, the girls health and wellness program I work with in Cincinnati, and in particular to the members of the Community Resident Research Team, who are not only my friends, but my teachers. I am privileged to have been invited to join the Board of Directors of this phenomenal organization this year and look forward to continuing to see their work create positive change in the city of Cincinnati and beyond.
Over the past year I’ve also had the opportunity work with my colleagues Ariane Berthoin Antal, Patricia Gayá Wicks, and Victor Friedman on editing a Special Issue of Action Research devoted to Arts and Action Research. You’ll be hearing from them and from the wonderful authors who have contributed to this project over the next couple of months, but I wanted to thank them all here for the thoughtful way in which they each contributed to nurturing this project—one that I feel makes a remarkable contribution to our understanding of the ways in which the arts can inform, infuse, and reframe our understanding of AR.
And finally, I think about the members of the Swedish Action Research Consortium I met with in Runö, Sweden this Fall and all the fellow action researchers at this year’s World Congress of Action Research in Melbourne in August.