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Episode 17- Ethics in Action Research with Dr. Mary Brydon-Miller
Episode 175th April 2021 • The Action Research Podcast • Adam Stieglitz & Joe Levitan
00:00:00 00:51:59

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In this episode, we invited Dr. Mary Brydon-Miller, professor in the Educational Leadership, Evaluation and Organizational Development program at the University of Louisville, to come on the podcast and talk with Joe and Adam about ethics in action research. Her current research focuses on research ethics in educational and community settings, and transforming higher education institutions through action research. 

The conversation opens with introductions and getting to know who Mary Brydon-Miller is as an action researcher. (4:36) SPOILER ALERT: Hear how spending time with Paulo Freire influenced Mary’s identity as an action researcher! Then, the conversation gets deeper as Adam, Joe, and Mary discuss the tricky issues of ethics and quality within action research. (10:48). Here, topics of discussion include navigating power differentials as an action researcher; conventional versus covenantal ethics; challenges within IRB and the human subject review system; ethical imperialism; and why we need a new system to evaluate ethics in action research. The conversation wraps up with a practical discussion about ways an action researcher can establish their own ethical approach in the field (39:18), such as using the structured ethical reflection process and aligning with one’s own moral compass. This episode is a must listen for anybody interested in action research or participatory methodology!

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: If you are interested in Action Research, be sure to sign up for the 2021 Action Research Network of the Americas (ARNA) Annual Conference to be held (Virtually) on the 3, 10 and 17th of June. For more details, you can go to their website:



Brydon-Miller, M. (2007). Ethics and Action Research: Deepening our Commitment to Principles of Social Justice and Redefining Systems of Democratic Practice. 12.

Brydon-Miller, M. (2009). Covenantal Ethics and Action Research: Exploring a Common Foundation for Social Research. In D. Mertens & P. Ginsberg, The Handbook of Social Research Ethics (pp. 243–258). SAGE Publications, Inc.

Brydon-Miller, M., Greenwood, D., & Maguire, P. (2003). Why Action Research? Action Research, 1(1), 9–28.

**If you have your own questions about Action Research or want to share any feedback, contact us on Twitter @The_ARpod or write to us at**




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