Using I poems to hear the voices and understand the actions of EdD students conducting action research

Ronald Zambo, Debby Zambo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


There is a movement to redefine and refocus the Educational Doctorate to improve its effectiveness in producing scholarly practitioners, that is, individuals who have the ability to blend their practical wisdom and professional knowledge to identify, frame, and solve the problems of practice they face. The EdD at Arizona State University has chosen action research as its signature pedagogy to help students develop the habits of the mind, hands and heart they need to be effective leaders. This paper describes the program and provides six I Poems developed from dissertation proposals. I Poems helped us come closer to each student's world and uncover the complexities, nuances, and tensions of their individual situations. I poems developed for this manuscript revealed that students worked to find space and time for teachers to collaborate, gain an inquiry stance, and grow; helped children become passionate about literacy; and increased parental involvement to help children pass mandated tests. Students acting as scholarly practitioners approached problems in their workplaces from a variety of viewpoints to enact positive change. This study has implications for doctoral program development, action research, and the value of poetry as data and methodology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalQualitative Report
Issue number42
StatePublished - Oct 21 2013


  • Action research
  • Education doctorate
  • I Poems
  • Signature poetry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Education


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