ALT, Antiracism, Conferences, HigherEd, Inclusivity, Research

Becoming an antiracist researcher – an analysis of sphere of influence

In my recent ALT 2021 presentation on “How do I become an anti-racist researcher“, my cross-institutional colleagues and I approached racism from a different angle. My colleagues presented as I had back-to-back sessions on anti-racism: “When learning technologists tackle sectorial racism via recruitment and staff development” – see post “The fear of talking about racism“.

This post presents a summary of the presentation and poses some questions to the readers to encourage an inquisitive research mindset. For the presentation, we had designed a Mentimeter exercise, which looks at the sphere of influence and power within individual HEIs and how we might use action research methods to drive change locally and at the institutional level. This is the sphere of influence for the 23 participants to this exercise:

Sphere of influence for 23 participants

An important ingredient to creating impact is being clear about your sphere of influence and taking action from it.

Sadly, where we have the least impact, is probably where we would like to have more impact.

What is Action Research? Action research applies theoretical, evaluative, and reflexive approaches to one’s practice in order to produce action-oriented changes. A defining aspect of all action research is that it is informed by continual reflection on one’s activities which results in changing one’s practice. It is important to note that one does not need to be on an academic track to undertake active research, anyone could do active research at their workplace. In fact, action research is the basis of many staff development programmes.

How does this apply to anti-racist research? Being anti-racist places emphasis on changing our individual and collective practices. As such, we can use action research to provide a framework for reflecting on and evaluating the intentional and research-informed changes we make in our daily practices and the impact our changes of practice have within our spheres of influence.

We can use action research to drive anti-racism efforts at local/institutional level to:

  • evaluate and measure the impact of anti-racist initiatives
  • deepen personal practice through structured reflection
  • provide documentation of actions for the continuing advancement of particular anti-racist actions
  • understand the local and institutional impact of anti-racist actions in a given context

Advance HE material: Action Research: Practice Guide

Here are additional materials for this conference presentation. Happy reading below 🔻

Since you have reached the bottom of this blog post, I would recommend you go through another antiracism presentation delivered for the ALT 2021 conference. Happy reading below 🔻

Presentation slides:
Take away notes: h
YouTube Recording:

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