Monday, May 31, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
The business of health care has effectively muffled, if not silenced the voice of communities. The real needs of communities are often overlooked as health care dollars, programs and initiatives are rolled out in an effort to "fix" what is believed to be broken. The result is a labeling of individuals and communities as "non-compliant" or "resistant" when the pre-determined initiatives do not have the desired effect. I was perusing http://www.Grants.gov/ to see what the latest topics in maternal/child health were being funded. All of the buzz words such as "health disparities", "infant mortality", and "teen pregnancy" were prominently displayed in many titles. After reading further, a majority of funding opportunities were directed at implementation of programs previously "proven effective". Where is the voice of the community in determining what their own needs are or what programs might be useful? Issues of power and control continue to rule the day.
Action research and community-based participatory research hold the promise of changing the dynamics of the discussion…redistributing the power. The midwife in me tends to want to mother those around me. While well-intentioned, sometimes this is not the most helpful approach. Let me help you often turns into let me do it for you. Engaging communities, not just health professionals who work in communities in the discussion is critical to turning up the volume of community voice. Teaming those who have access and voice (academic community, medical professionals) with those who have been muffled or silenced can fundamentally change the ways in which public policy directed at the health of communities can be shaped to actually benefit those communities. Change from the inside out…lasting and meaningful…How do we start?
Maybe we start by listening.
In the past the health care business has been left to the control of the identified experts -- doctors, medicine men, shaman, healers, etc -- but the influences of urbanization, economics, technology, and politics have increased along with the influence of corporations on the law and policy. It seems to me that there is an increasing role for citizens in directing the course of health care policy. Responding to this need requires investigation into how, in our diverse and complicated society, consumer and citizen participation can be supported efficiently and effectively yet responding to the health needs of the individual and the collective.
Expanded information distribution through the media, web, and advertisement reflects an interest to influence rather than mirror the general public. My question is, whether appropriate consideration is being given to recognizing the cultural concerns, values and goal of every day citizens by providing adequate and unprejudiced support to avenues of citizen and service recipient involvement in health care policy development. How should the academic community be involved in this discuss? Tell us about your work in this area. What do you think?
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Monday, May 24, 2010
Onwards and Upwards,
Friday, May 21, 2010
Having completed my dissertation and graduating in June, naturally I am looking at what is next for me in my life journey. I admit, I have no idea what lays before me. I have searched for some glimmer of the future but never seem to have a clear picture. Times like this, I often turn to tools that may give me some insight into my current situation. I may meditate, write in a journal, and look for repeating “signs” in my daily life. An image/concept I have seen a few times now is the “apprentice.” I have taken notice of this image, but I have been confused about how the apprentice relates to me at this time.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
This week I’m writing from the Teaching Research Ethics Workshop at Indiana University, Bloomington. This is the third year I’ve attended the workshop…first as a participant and now as faculty. The event is organized by the Poynter Center for the Study of Ethics and American Institutions and brings together scholars from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds to spend three days discussing strategies for improving the teaching of research ethics from a grounding in basic philosophical concepts to very concrete pedagogical strategies. It’s really one of the most amazing workshops I’ve ever attended…although you have to be prepared to work! They send out a reader before the event that’s over 400 pages long…and that doesn’t even include the supplemental materials!
The Poynter Center also supports the work of the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics (APPE) which was founded in order to “encourage interdisciplinary scholarship and teaching of high quality in practical and professional ethics by educators and practitioners who appreciate the practical-theoretical aspects of their subjects”. This year’s conference was held in Cincinnati and the students in the Action Research Seminar presented on their First Person Action Research projects. One component of APPE is the Responsible Conduct of Research Educational Committee which is working together to try to improve research ethics education.
Mary Brydon-Miller, PhD
My name is Dusty Columbia Embury. Here at the ARJ Blog I am an editor for Education and Action Research and I will be working along with my colleagues here to open conversations regarding action research in education. I am a part of the action research community at the University of Cincinnati and I am also a new faculty member at Eastern Kentucky University.
Monday, May 17, 2010
Sunday, May 16, 2010
I am excited to see where the blog goes, especially exploring new ways to write about action research in creative and authentic voices. Please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested in posting for theory and practice or if you have a special topic you would like to propose and/or write about.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
One issue that comes immediately to mind is the role of institutional review boards or other human subjects review bodies in deciding if an action research project should be allowed...sometimes against the will of the community. So, who's in charge? Should IRBs/HEBs be allowed to make the determination? Should local participants be allowed to put themselves at risk in the interests of conducting a research project. For an interesting look at this issue see Lundy and McGovern's discussion of their AR project in the North of Ireland in ARJ 4(1).
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Wondering what Action Research is all about? Check out the website of Harmony Garden, one of our community partners here in Cincinnati (www.hgarden.org) whose work on improving girls health and wellness is a fantastic job of AR done right!