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Episode 16-Methods, Methodologies, and Action Research with Dr. Deborah L. Schussler
Episode 1618th March 2021 • The Action Research Podcast • Adam Stieglitz
00:00:00 00:39:12

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In this episode, Adam and Joe have a conversation with Dr. Deborah L. Schussler about research methods, and how different methodological approaches relate to action research. Dr. Schussler is an Associate Professor in the Educational Policy Studies Department at The Pennsylvania State University. The conversation starts with two important questions: What are quantitative, qualitative and mixed methodologies? And, how does a researcher decide on or choose a methodology? To which Deb responds, “we have done ourselves a disservice as academics in creating these binaries of qualitative and quantitative…” (2:50) Deb explains that quantitative work can compliment qualitative work to offer certain statistical information, and qualitative work is needed to contextualize what those statistics mean and how that meaning can inform decision-making. Adam and Joe then explore how action research, as a paradigm that necessities action/reflection, collaboration, participation, inclusivity, and change processes, can use these different methodologies to engage in action research projects, They then ask: how do collaboration or participation work in a mixed methods study? (9:20) 

Later in the episode, our trio reflect on what makes rigorous research? At some point, we all wonder what do our studies mean and how are people going to use them? Is our work going to be published and/or what kind of publication is best for our research? So, what does useful, justifiable, and rigorous research looks like? (16:16) To which Deborah responds, “definitely being very clear about the methods that were selected; the steps that went into that, how those decisions were made…” (19:27) being clear about the “why” of the decision, and reflexively discussing the researchers’ positionality are all essential for communicating one’s work in a way that allows the reader to think through the information and arguments researchers present. In action research, that's especially important because action research is all about using the information in a project to make decisions and to change things. So, what are the ways of bridging these paradigms and providing information and evidence for decision-making? (23:19)

Tune in to dive deeper into this conversation with our trio. 

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:



Schussler, D. L. (2020). ‘Mindful teaching’: A construct for developing awareness and compassion. Reflective Practice, 21(5), 646–658.

Schussler, D. L., DeWeese, A., Rasheed, D., DeMauro, A., Brown, J., Greenberg, M., & Jennings, P. A. (2018). Stress and Release: Case Studies of Teacher Resilience Following a Mindfulness-Based Intervention. American Journal of Education, 125(1), 1–28.

Schussler, D. L., Oh, Y., Mahfouz, J., Levitan, J., Frank, J. L., Broderick, P. C., Mitra, J. L., Berrena, E., Kohler, K., & Greenberg, M. T. (2021). Stress and Well-Being: A Systematic Case Study of Adolescents’ Experiences in a Mindfulness-Based Program. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 30(2), 431–446.

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