action research at IFITS

Institut de Formation Interhospitalier Théodore Simon (IFITS) is an educational institution that provides vocational training in healthcare. One of its main programs is training to become a fully qualified nurse. IFITS director Christine Marchal was the instigator for setting up a research unit within the school. Laurence Ledesma from IFITS is heading the research unit in the making. Initial counselling for setting up the research unit was provided by Jonathan Kaplan. This led to a partnership with the research lab Jonathan Kaplan is associated to at West Paris University (Université Paris 10). In parallel, an idea emerged to bring together a team of nursing instructors from the nursing school who are interested in forming a group of action researches. Using Action Research (Greenwood & Levin, 2007; Reason & Bradbury, 2008) enables combining a continuing professionnel development process with "participative inquiry" principles. An Action Research group formed in January 2014 and began its inquiry process with Jonathan Kaplan facilitating the group's meetings. The group met on a weekly basis to discuss topics, follow up on teams' research activities, assess and reflect on tools, procedures, outcomes and to collectively create knowledge. The study circle model for adult cooperative learning (Kaplan, 2009, 2010a, 2010b, 2013) was used by the group to conduct these meetings. The first phase of the research ended in May 2014.


  • Greenwood, D. J., & Levin, M. (2007). Introduction to Action Research (2 ed.). Thousand Oaks (CA), London, New Delhi: Sage.
  • Kaplan, J. (2009). Self-Direction in Cooperative Learning - The Case of Study Circles. (French). Doctorate. Paris 10 University, Nanterre.
  • Kaplan, J. (2010a). From Self-Direction to Co-Direction in Adult Cooperative Learning. In S. M. Brigham & D. Plumb (Eds.), Connected Understanding: Linkages Between Theory and Practice in Adult Education (pp. 176-180). Montreal, Quebec: Adult Education – Congresses.
  • Kaplan, J. (2010b). L'autodirection dans les apprentissages coopératifs: Le cas des Cercles d'Étude. Sarrebruck: Éditions Universitaires Européennes.
  • Kaplan, J. (2013). L'autoformation collective. In P. Cyrot, C. Jeunesse, & D. Cristol (Eds.), Renforcer l'autoformation: Aspects sociaux et dimensions pédagogiques. Lyon: Chronique Sociale.
  • Reason, P., & Bradbury, H. (Eds.). (2008). The SAGE Handbook of Action Research - Participative Inquiry and Practice. London, Thousand Oaks (CA), New Delhi, Singapore: Sage.