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My primary purpose here is to help more school faculties have an opportunity to engage in schoolwide action research. My primary goals as a practitioner are to enhance the education of students and to develop healthier workplace norms for adults. Blending my purpose for communication with my primary goals, I offer this book to those who are seeking to make better choices in how we spend student and adult time and energy in our schools.
Throughout this book, I use the pronouns I and we and you in an attempt to diminish the distance between author and readers. I wish to convey the same sense of colleagueship that I experience when working with school faculties as they discover the potential of schoolwide action research in creating a healthier learning community. I also wish to remind you that I am sharing my experiences in schoolwide action research. Though I have studied the foundations of action research and its theoretical and research base, as well as school faculties engaging in this activity, many of my recommendations come from my experiences as a facilitator and student of the action research process.
I would like to extend special thanks to the sixty-one schools that compose the Georgia League of Professional Schools and the eleven Ames, Iowa, Community Schools whose faculties and school facilitator teams have allowed me the joy of learning and studying with them. I also thank both Carl Glickman and Bruce Joyce for their counsel and their willingness to help me reflect on and refine my ideas about school renewal through action research.
—Emily F. Calhoun