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Zeni, J. (1998). A guide to ethical issues and action research. Educational Action Research, 6(1), 9–19. https://doi.org/10.1080/09650799800200053


Abstract Traditional ?human subjects? reviews may not address the ethical issues that arise when practitioners study their own contexts. Guidelines for the outsider doing a classic experiment (random selection, control groups, removing the personal influence of the researcher) are either irrelevant or problematic for the teacher investigating her own classroom. In the same way, guidelines for the outsider doing qualitative research (anonymous informants, disguised settings) may subvert the value placed by ?insider? research on open communication with colleagues, students, and parents. Working with faculty at several universities and the area Writing Project, the author developed an alternative guide with questions suited to action research. The guide is intended as a heuristic rather than a document for institutional review. It can be discussed in teacher research groups or thesis advisory committees as a basis for ethical decision-making by people studying their own practice in K-12 or university settings.