Action research is problem centered, client centered, and action oriented. It involves the client system in a diagnostic, active-learning, problem-finding and problem-solving process.
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In other projects Wikimedia Commons Wikiquote. Role of the Action Researcher 7. Examples of Action Research Projects. Case Study 1 - Development of nature tourism in the Windward Islands. Action Research and Information Technology. Case Study 2 - Internet-based collaborative work groups in community health. Case Study 3 - Computer conferencing in a learning community. Commentary on the need for more research. Such entities exist increasingly in an interdependent world, and are relying on Action Research as a means of coming to grips with their constantly changing and turbulent environments.
The evolution of the approach will be described, including the various kinds of action research being used today. The role of the action researcher will be briefly mentioned, and some ethical considerations discussed. The tools of the action researcher, particularly that of the use of search conferences, will be explained. Finally three case studies will be briefly described, two of which pertain to action research projects involving information technology, a promising area needing further research.
Action research is known by many other names, including participatory research, collaborative inquiry, emancipatory research, action learning, and contextural action research, but all are variations on a theme. While this is the essence of the approach, there are other key attributes of action research that differentiate it from common problem-solving activities that we all engage in every day.
A more succinct definition is,. Thus, there is a dual commitment in action research to study a system and concurrently to collaborate with members of the system in changing it in what is together regarded as a desirable direction. Accomplishing this twin goal requires the active collaboration of researcher and client, and thus it stresses the importance of co-learning as a primary aspect of the research process.
What separates this type of research from general professional practices, consulting, or daily problem-solving is the emphasis on scientific study, which is to say the researcher studies the problem systematically and ensures the intervention is informed by theoretical considerations.
Several attributes separate action research from other types of research. Primary is its focus on turning the people involved into researchers, too - people learn best, and more willingly apply what they have learned, when they do it themselves. It also has a social dimension - the research takes place in real-world situations, and aims to solve real problems. Finally, the initiating researcher, unlike in other disciplines, makes no attempt to remain objective, but openly acknowledges their bias to the other participants.
Stephen Kemmis has developed a simple model of the cyclical nature of the typical action research process Figure 1. Each cycle has four steps: Figure 1 Simple Action Research Model. Gerald Susman gives a somewhat more elaborate listing. He distinguishes five phases to be conducted within each research cycle Figure 2. Initially, a problem is identified and data is collected for a more detailed diagnosis. This is followed by a collective postulation of several possible solutions, from which a single plan of action emerges and is implemented.
Data on the results of the intervention are collected and analyzed, and the findings are interpreted in light of how successful the action has been. At this point, the problem is re-assessed and the process begins another cycle. This process continues until the problem is resolved. Figure 2 Detailed Action Research Model. What gives action research its unique flavour is the set of principles that guide the research.
Winter provides a comprehensive overview of six key principles. An account of a situation, such as notes, transcripts or official documents, will make implicit claims to be authoritative, i. Truth in a social setting, however, is relative to the teller. The principle of reflective critique ensures people reflect on issues and processes and make explicit the interpretations, biases, assumptions and concerns upon which judgments are made.
In this way, practical accounts can give rise to theoretical considerations. Reality, particularly social reality, is consensually validated, which is to say it is shared through language. Phenomena are conceptualized in dialogue, therefore a dialectical critique is required to understand the set of relationships both between the phenomenon and its context, and between the elements constituting the phenomenon. The key elements to focus attention on are those constituent elements that are unstable, or in opposition to one another.
These are the ones that are most likely to create changes. Participants in an action research project are co-researchers. It strives to avoid the skewing of credibility stemming from the prior status of an idea-holder. It especially makes possible the insights gleaned from noting the contradictions both between many viewpoints and within a single viewpoint.
The change process potentially threatens all previously established ways of doing things, thus creating psychic fears among the practitioners. The nature of the research embodies a multiplicity of views, commentaries and critiques, leading to multiple possible actions and interpretations.
This plural structure of inquiry requires a plural text for reporting. This means that there will be many accounts made explicit, with commentaries on their contradictions, and a range of options for action presented. A report, therefore, acts as a support for ongoing discussion among collaborators, rather than a final conclusion of fact.
For action researchers, theory informs practice, practice refines theory, in a continuous transformation. The two are intertwined aspects of a single change process. It is up to the researchers to make explicit the theoretical justifications for the actions, and to question the bases of those justifications.
The ensuing practical applications that follow are subjected to further analysis, in a transformative cycle that continuously alternates emphasis between theory and practice. Action research is used in real situations, rather than in contrived, experimental studies, since its primary focus is on solving real problems.
It can, however, be used by social scientists for preliminary or pilot research, especially when the situation is too ambiguous to frame a precise research question. Mostly, though, in accordance with its principles, it is chosen when circumstances require flexibility, the involvement of the people in the research, or change must take place quickly or holistically.
It is often the case that those who apply this approach are practitioners who wish to improve understanding of their practice, social change activists trying to mount an action campaign, or, more likely, academics who have been invited into an organization or other domain by decision-makers aware of a problem requiring action research, but lacking the requisite methodological knowledge to deal with it.
The main research paradigm for the past several centuries has been that of Logical Positivism. This paradigm is based on a number of principles, including: Phenomena are subject to natural laws that humans discover in a logical manner through empirical testing, using inductive and deductive hypotheses derived from a body of scientific theory. Its methods rely heavily on quantitative measures, with relationships among variables commonly shown by mathematical means. Positivism, used in scientific and applied research, has been considered by many to be the antithesis of the principles of action research Susman and Evered , Winter Over the last half century, a new research paradigm has emerged in the social sciences to break out of the constraints imposed by positivism.
With its emphasis on the relationship between socially-engendered concept formation and language, it can be referred to as the Interpretive paradigm. Containing such qualitative methodological approaches as phenomenology, ethnography, and hermeneutics , it is characterized by a belief in a socially constructed, subjectively-based reality, one that is influenced by culture and history.
Nonetheless it still retains the ideals of researcher objectivity, and researcher as passive collector and expert interpreter of data. Though sharing a number of perspectives with the interpretive paradigm, and making considerable use of its related qualitative methodologies, there are some researchers who feel that neither it nor the positivist paradigms are sufficient epistemological structures under which to place action research Lather , Morley Rather, a paradigm of Praxis is seen as where the main affinities lie.
Praxis, a term used by Aristotle, is the art of acting upon the conditions one faces in order to change them. It deals with the disciplines and activities predominant in the ethical and political lives of people. Aristotle contrasted this with Theoria - those sciences and activities that are concerned with knowing for its own sake.
Both are equally needed he thought. For what purposes could different types of research be used in the context of a DIET? Write one instance for each of the following.
Whatever the type of research, it is an indepth study of a problem. Such an analysis has to be done in an objective and systematized manner. Only then the findings of a research would have a universal application.
The findings should also be verifiable. The objective way of thinking about a problem is scientific thinking. Educational research also employs the same steps in order to study problems specific to education. Educational research is essentially looked upon as Applied research.
Various aspects of education, curriculum, tests and evaluation, teacher behavior, methodology and such other areas are examined scientifically in an experimental or descriptive manner. The areas of growth and development are also taken up as case studies. Kurt Lewin , Stephen Corey advocated a scientific and reflective approach to several local problems in the school set up.
Most of the researches useful and adaptable to classroom practices are in the form of Action Research. Action Research has its origin in the works of the social psychologist Kurt Lewin He developed the ideas of group decision and commitment to improvement at work situations classroom and administrative.
It is an act of analysing a situation leading to certain action for improvement and evaluating the result of the tried out action. Action research is focussed on immediate application. It places the emphasis on the problem here and now, in a school setting.
Its findings are to be evaluated in terms of local applicability and improvement in school practices. The whole purpose of Action Research is to involve classroom teachers to attempt to solve their classroom problems. Action research is a form of self-reflective enquiry undertaken by participants in serial situations in order to improve the rationality and justice of their own social or educational practices , as well as their understanding of practices and the situations in which these practices are carried out.
Groups of participants can be teachers, students, principals, parents and other community members. In education, action research has been employed in school based curriculum development, professional development, school improvement programmes and systems planning and policy development for example, in relation to policy about classroom rules, school policies, about non-competitive assessment, and state policies about the conduct of school improvement programmes. The result is improvement in what happens in the classroom and school.
Action research design is an educational research involving collecting information regarding current educational programs and outcomes, analyzing the information, developing a plan to improve it, collecting changes after a new plan is implemented, and developing conclusions regarding the improvements. The main purpose.
Chapter 5: Three Types of Action Research. by Glen Doyle Action research is a powerful tool that can improve the quality of an organization. Through action research the researcher collects data to diagnose problems, search for solutions, take action on developed solutions, and monitor how well the action worked.
Selecting one type of action research over another has important implications for the school renewal process. From my work with action research as a consultant, coordinator, and researcher, I have gathered data on action research from 76 schools in three states. Action research is often used in the field of education. The following lesson provides two examples of action research in the field of education, methods of conducting action research and a quiz.
Action research is defined as using research activities to develop concrete societal practices. Action research understands the change of practice as being already a central aim of the research. Action Research is an “on the spot research aimed at the solution of an immediate classroom problem.” Kurt Lewin says, “Action Research is applying scientific thinking to real life problems (classroom problems for teachers) and represents a great improvement over teacher’s subjective judgments and their limited personal experiences.”.