Research-in-Practice in Saskatchewan
Establishing a Culture of Research-In-Practice in Saskatchewan
History of the Saskatchewan Action Research Network
In 2003, the Department of Learning invited Dr. Allan Quigley to facilitate a province-wide presentation on adult literacy. The presentation was broadcast from the University of Saskatchewan media centre through SCN to 22 campus locations across the province. The presentation was followed by a two-day Research-in-Practice (RiP) workshop held at SIAST Wascana campus. Approximately 20 adult basic education practitioners from the regional colleges, SIAST, Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technology (SIIT), and Dumont Technical Institute (DTI) attended and four regional RiP projects were undertaken.
In February 2005, Dr. Mary Norton conducted a two-day workshop bringing some alternative approaches to RiP. Over the next two years, both the Saskatchewan Adult Basic Education Association (SABEA) and the Saskatchewan Literacy Network (SLN) encouraged members to become involved with Research-in-Practice as way to improve their practice and to provide an opportunity to share best practices. Monetary incentives were offered by SABEA for those who conducted a project and updates were added to the SABEA Website.
May 2008, a joint proposal was developed by the SLN and SABEA and submitted to Advanced Education Employment & Immigration (AEE&I).The proposal was for a three-year project to build a culture of research inquiry in the basic education and literacy field in Saskatchewan. Approval was given to the three-year concept with funding approved on a year-to-year basis for the three years of the project.
In Year One, training materials were developed and piloted with twelve practitioners who attended the first RiP researchers training workshop in January 2009 in Saskatoon.
In Year Two the project management team met with Senior Academic Officers from the Regional colleges and with the Basic Education program heads from SIAST to gather support for the project. As well, the training materials were revised and 9 more researchers were trained in January of 2009. Support was provided for the researchers from both year one and two as they worked on their projects. Completed projects were posted on the SABEA and SLN Websites along with additional RiP resources.
In Year Three, two researcher training workshops were held, one for the Basic Education staff at SIAST Wascana and one for practitioners from across the province. A group of 5 research mentors were trained and teamed up with new researchers to provide support as they work on their projects. Year 3 has also seen the development of a dedicated RiP web-site under the banner of SARN (Saskatchewan Action Research Network).