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ALAR Publications

Publications in Action Learning and Action Research

In addition to the publications that Action Learning, Action Research Association Ltd (ALARA) produces, there is an ever-increasing number of journals, books and websites with useful information about Action Learning and Action Research. Some of these are included in the Around the World networks page.

ALARA is also working with a network of editorial representatives of Action Learning and Action Research publications to support meeting and working together on ideas that promote the quantity and quality of Action Learning and Action Research publishing. The ALAR Publications Worldwide page lists these publications.

Below are some books reviewed by ALARA members (some of these reviews are from ALARA's old site, and are therefore quite dated).

Doing Action Research in Early Childhood Studies: A step-by-step guide, Glenda MacNaughton & Patrick Hughes.
2008, Maidenhead: Open University Press/McGraw-Hill.

Written in a lively and accessible style, this is the essential step-by-step guide to conducting your own action research project. The book introduces and evaluates different approaches to action research and explores how they can be applied in early childhood settings to create positive change and to improve practice.

Using varied illustrations and case studies of contemporary projects in diverse early childhood contexts, the book addresses specific issues and challenges that you might face when conducting action research in such settings. Each chapter offers gentle guidance and support at a specific stage of the research process, from choosing your initial topic to formulating your research question, through to sharing the lessons of your project.

The book's key features include:
• 16 'Steps' that walk you through the process of conducting your action research project
• References to real life research projects to illustrate key ideas, themes, practices and debates
• Advice on creating an action research journal, with sample extracts
• 'Thinking Boxes' in each chapter to encourage you to review and reflect on the chapter's contents as you plan your research project
• Checklists in each chapter of key concepts, processes and themes, together with further resources

The authors explore some difficult issues associated with action research, including ethics, rigour, validity, critical reflection, and social and professional change. They show that there is more than one 'right' way to perform an action research project and advise you how to choose an approach that is appropriate for your particular interests and circumstances.

Glenda Mac Naughton is Professor in Early Childhood Studies and Director of the Centre for Equity and Innovation in Early Childhood in the University of Melbourne's Graduate School of Education, Australia. Patrick Hughes is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Equity and Innovation in Early Childhood in the University of Melbourne's Graduate School of Education, Australia.

More information or to buy, go to


Action Learning and Action Research:Songlines through Interviews, Ortrun Zuber-Skerritt and Associates

These songlines ‘sing' into history the personal story of Action Learning and Research (ALAR) by an ALAR founder, Ortrun Zuber-Skerritt. Revealed through a collection of interviews conducted by scholars from six countries, these engaging, informative, intimate stories record her ALAR journey to document history and to help develop skills and innovation in workplace/community and lifelong learning for everyone, including the disadvantaged and poorest.

Ortrun's personal stories enable readers to learn in a feeling and embodied way from lived experience, rather than from the abstractions in traditional academic writings. She discusses AL and AR as integrated methodologies for positive change, how and why they emerged and were merged, and how to apply them effectively. Interview chapters actively engage readers with ‘preamble' for context, ‘postscript' for reflections from hindsight, and triggers for discussion.

This ‘interview' book therefore responds in an exciting new genre to the quest for producing situation-relevant knowledge, to cope with and anticipate the unprecedented changes now remaking our world. It will interest readers beyond academics, teachers and students, to include practitioners, consultants and anyone who prefers ‘other ways' of conducting and reporting research. Both content and style assure this unique book's future relevance.

This book available in 2009 by Sense Publications, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, .