Challenges and Advantages of Collaborative Action Research in Preschools

Ingibjörg Sigurðardottir*, Johanna Einarsdottir

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Citations (Scopus)


Action research is an umbrella term used for research conducted with and by practitioners. In the Nordic study on values education in preschools, collaborative action research was the main methodology, with preschool educators and university researchers collaborating closely. In collaborative action research, two communities with different aims and demands meet: a scientific community and a practice community. Such research can thus be understood to involve two joint learning cycles that together create a process of change. In a school–university partnership, both parties benefit from the collaboration. It is suggested that from the collaboration of researchers and practitioners, a third space can emerge when a successful partnership is achieved. The aim of this chapter is to address the advantages and challenges faced in one Icelandic preschool during a collaborative action research on values education. Collaborative action research has been found to be a powerful mode for educators’ professional development and a means to improve the quality of teacher education. The findings show advantages for professional development, improvement of practice, and children’s learning and well-being. The main challenges the preschool teachers faced were how to find time for the action research, uncertainty concerning the process of action research and values education, and how to influence the whole preschool. Collaboration with the external researcher and colleagues was seen as a crucial factor in making the project successful.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Development
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameInternational Perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Development
ISSN (Print)2468-8746
ISSN (Electronic)2468-8754

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature.

Other keywords

  • Collaborative action research
  • Nordic
  • Professional development
  • Values
  • Values education


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