Action research methodology
Studies, university of r@ exame da abordagem metodolgica da pesquisa ao [an overview of ological approach of action research]. Study 2 - internet-based collaborative work groups study 3 - computer conferencing in a tary on the need for more research. Means of coming to grips with their constantly changing and the question what is action research? Giving an overview of ses and principles, stating when it is appropriate to use, and within a praxis research evolution of the approach will be described, including the of action research being used role of the action researcher will be briefly mentioned, and l considerations discussed. Case studies will be briefly described, two of which pertain to ch projects involving information technology, a promising area is action research? Known by many other names, including participatory research, y, emancipatory research, action learning, and contextural ch, but all are variations on a theme. Put simply, action research ng by doing - a group of people identify a problem, do something e it, see how successful their efforts were, and if not satisfied, . While this is the essence of ch, there are other key attributes of action research that from common problem-solving activities that we all engage in every day. Thus, there is a ment in action research to study a system and concurrently to members of the system in changing it in what is together regarded as ble direction. Accomplishing goal requires the active collaboration of researcher and client, and stresses the importance of co-learning as a primary aspect of the type of research from general professional practices, consulting, or m-solving is the emphasis on scientific study, which is to say cher studies the problem systematically and ensures the intervention ed by theoretical of the researchers time is spent on refining the to suit the exigencies of the situation, and on collecting, analyzing,And presenting data on an ongoing, cyclical utes separate action research from other types of research. Primary is its focus on turning the ed into researchers, too - people learn best, and more willingly they have learned, when they do it themselves. It also has a social dimension - the research takes place -world situations, and aims to solve real problems. Finally, the initiating researcher, other disciplines, makes no attempt to remain objective, but ledges their bias to the other research n kemmis has developed a simple model of the of the typical action research process (figure 1). This is followed by a collective several possible solutions, from which a single plan of action emerges implemented. Data on the results intervention are collected and analyzed, and the findings are light of how successful the action has been. Initiators of ch will use this principle to allay others fears and invite pointing out that they, too, will be subject to the same process, and er the outcome, learning will take of the research embodies a multiplicity of views, commentaries ues, leading to multiple possible actions and interpretations. This there will be many accounts made explicit, with commentaries on dictions, and a range of options for action presented. A report, therefore, acts as a support g discussion among collaborators, rather than a final conclusion of researchers, theory informs practice, practice refines theory, in uous transformation. In any setting,Peoples actions are based on implicitly held assumptions, theories eses, and with every observed result, theoretical knowledge ed. Up to the researchers to make explicit the theoretical justifications actions, and to question the bases of those justifications. The ensuing practical applications are subjected to further analysis, in a transformative cycle uously alternates emphasis between theory and is action research used? It can, however, be used by social scientists for preliminary research, especially when the situation is too ambiguous to frame e research question. Mostly,Though, in accordance with its principles, it is chosen when e flexibility, the involvement of the people in the research, or take place quickly or that those who apply this approach are practitioners who wish to tanding of their practice, social change activists trying to mount campaign, or, more likely, academics who have been invited into zation (or other domain) by decision-makers aware of a problem research, but lacking the requisite methodological knowledge to ing action research in a research gm for the past several centuries has been that of vism. Positivism, used ific and applied research, has been considered by many to be esis of the principles of action research (susman and evered 1978, retive century, a new research paradigm has emerged in the social sciences out of the constraints imposed by positivism. Nonetheless it still retains the ideals cher objectivity, and researcher as passive collector and of perspectives with the interpretive paradigm, and making of its related qualitative methodologies, there are some researchers that neither it nor the positivist paradigms are mological structures under which to place action research (lather 1986,Morley 1991). That knowledge is derived from practice, ce informed by knowledge, in an ongoing process, is a cornerstone research. Action reject the notion of researcher neutrality, understanding that the researcher is often one who has most at stake in resolving a ion of action s in late lly considered the father of action research. A german social and experimental psychologist, and one of rs of the gestalt school, he was concerned with social problems, d on participative group processes for addressing conflict, crises, , generally within lly, he was associated with the center for group dynamics at boston, but soon went on to establish his own national the term action research in his 1946 paper action research ty problems,[v]. Action research as a comparative research on the conditions s of various forms of social action and research leading to , using a process of a steps, each of which is composed of a circle of planning, action, -finding about the result of the r major contributor to the field from that immediate post-war era, was psychiatrist whose group at the tavistock institute of human london engaged in applied social research, initially for the iation of german prisoners of war. He and his colleagues tended to on large-scale, multi-organizational applied their research to systemic change in and zations. Both proponents of the principle that decisions are best implemented by t types of action field had evolved, revealing 4 main streams that had emerged:Traditional, contextural (action learning), radical, and educational ional action research stemmed from lewins work within organizations and concepts and practices of field theory, group dynamics, t-groups, and al model. The growing labour-management relations led to the application of action research in of organization development, quality of working life (qwl),Socio-technical systems (e.
Action research in research methodology
This traditional toward the conservative, generally maintaining the status quo s to organizational power tural action research (action learning). Action research, also sometimes referred to learning, is an approach derived from trists work on relations zations. Based, in that it tries to involve all affected parties olders; holographic, as each participant understands the working of ; and it stresses that participants act as project designers -researchers. The concept zational ecology, and the use of search conferences come out tural action research, which is more of a liberal philosophy, with ormation occurring by consensus and normative l action , which has its roots in marxian dialectical materialism and the ations of antonio gramsci, has a strong focus on emancipation and ming of power imbalances. Research, often found in liberationist movements and pment circles, and feminist action research both strive for ormation via an advocacy process to strengthen peripheral groups ional action of educational action research, has its foundations in the writings dewey, the great american educational philosopher of the 1920s and 30s,Who believed that professional educators should become involved in m-solving. It is often the university-based action researchers work with primary and secondary rs and students on community research more of a holistic approach to problem-solving, rather than a single collecting and analyzing , it allows for several different research tools to be used as t is conducted. These s, which are generally common to the qualitative research paradigm,Include: keeping a research journal, document collection and analysis,Participant observation recordings, questionnaire surveys, structured ctured interviews, and case search utilized by action researchers, the one that has been ively to suit the needs of the action research approach is that of conference, initially developed by eric trist and fred emery tavistock institute in 1959, and first implemented for the merger l-siddley aircraft engines in search conference format has seen widespread that time, with variations on trist and emerys theme becoming other names due to their promotion by individual academics tants. Of the action tion into a domain, the outside researchers role is to implement research method in such a manner as to produce a mutually e for all participants, with the process being maintained by ards. To accomplish this, it itate the adoption of many different roles at various stages of s, including those zer sizer role, however, is to nurture local leaders to the point where they responsibility for the point is reached they understand the methods and are able to when the initiating researcher action research situations, the hired researchers role is primarily the time to facilitate dialogue and foster reflective analysis among ipants, provide them with periodic reports, and write a final report researchers involvement has l research is carried out in real-world circumstances, and involves open communication among the people involved, the researchers must attention to ethical considerations in the conduct of their work. Researchers are explicit about the the research process from the beginning, including all personal biases and. The outside researcher and the team must create a process that maximizes the opportunities ement of all es of action research rate how action research can proceed, three case studies ted. Action research projects lly situationally unique, but there are elements in the methods that used by other researchers in different circumstances. The first case study, an account taken writings of one of the researchers involved (franklin 1994), involves ch project to stimulate the development of nature tourism services in ean. They are ing a brief overview of this potentially promising technical study 1 - development of nature tourism in research process was initiated to explore how nature tourism could uted on each of the four windward islands in the caribbean - st. Their first main task was ze a search conference on each ences took place, the outcome of which was a set of /or action plans for the carrying out of a number of nature -projects at the local community this point, extended advisory groups were formed on several of s, and national awareness activities and community sub-projects ented in some s, regional project meetings were held, where project coordinators advisory members shared experiences, conducted self-evaluations ped plans for maintaining the process (e. Always a risk that this kind of research will empower stakeholders, existing power relations, the threat of which is too much for on-makers, but if given the opportunity, there are many things that orative group of citizens can accomplish that might not be research and information or so, there has been a marked increase in the number of are making use of information technology and computer ications. In some cases, it has been a matter rs of corporate networks employing action research techniques tate large-scale changes to their information systems. In others, it has been a question ity-based action research projects making use of computer broaden research carried out over the past 40 years has been conducted in gs with the participants meeting face-to-face with ue. While there have us attempts to use this new technology in assisting group learning, organizations and among groups in the community [this author has ed with a dozen or more projects of this kind in the nonprofit sector alone], there is a dearth of published studies on the use of ch methods in such projects lau and hayward (1997), in a recent review literature, found that most research on group support systems to date in short-term, experimental situations using quantitative methods.. There are a few examples, though, udinal studies in naturalistic settings using qualitative methods; that did use action research, none studied the use and effects ication systems in groups and to the case studies, both of which are situated in an area in need of ch - that of the use of information technology as a potentially t to action research study 2 - internet-based collaborative in community health. 1997) used an action research approach in a study of their own to explore uration of internet-based collaborative work groups. Over a two-year period, the ipated as facilitators in three action research cycles of approximately 15 instructors and project staff, and 25 sionals from various regions striving to make a transition to a ity-based health program. The participants reported learning a from the retations of the study suggest that role clarity, relationship building,Information sharing, resource support, and experiential learning are s in virtual group was also a sense that more research was needed on how t systems can help groups interact with their external environment, as on how to enhance the process of learning by group study 3 - computer conferencing in a learning. From 1992 to 1995, the researchers and ts made use of a dial-up computer conferencing system called caucus t learning outside of monthly classroom weekends. Their findings relate to ries to interaction, creating a caring community, and orative a matter of both defined membership, i. Discussions, distinguished by the goal of making a group taking an action, required a fair degree of moderation, insofar ipants found it difficult to reach closure. Projects that been limited to local, real-time interactions, such as in the case conferences, now have the possibility of being conducted online, promise of larger-sized groups, more reflexivity, greater geographic reach,And for a longer period of sustained interaction. Eventual outcome of online developments, it is certain that action information technologies will continue to converge, and we must be use action research techniques to better understand and utilize ted an overview of action research as a methodological approach g social problems. The procedures of this type of research, and epistemological underpinnings,Were described, along with the evolution of the practice. The case studies te examples of projects, particularly in the relatively new area deployment of information r action research is needed to explore the potential ping computer-mediated communications in a way that will enhance gilmore, jim krantz ramirez, "action based modes of inquiry and the onship," consultation 5. Morgan (london:Sage publications, 1983) d winter, learning from experience: principles and practice -research (philadelphia: the falmer press, 1989) lewin, "action minority problems," journal of social issues 2 (1946): , "international institute for natural, environmental. Winter, "ples and procedures for the conduct of action research," in ions in action research, ed.
Discovering : how future search conferences bring people together to hrough innovation, empowerment, shared vision, and collaborative action. London: the falmer press,From wikipedia, the free to: navigation, the british charity formerly named action research, see action medical research. Research is either research initiated to solve an immediate problem or a reflective process of progressive problem solving led by individuals working with others in teams or as part of a "community of practice" to improve the way they address issues and solve problems. 6) writes that an action research strategy's purpose is to solve a particular problem and to produce guidelines for best research involves actively participating in a change situation, often via an existing organization, whilst simultaneously conducting research. Action research can also be undertaken by larger organizations or institutions, assisted or guided by professional researchers, with the aim of improving their strategies, practices and knowledge of the environments within which they practice. As designers and stakeholders, researchers work with others to propose a new course of action to help their community improve its work lewin, then a professor at mit, first coined the term "action research" in 1944. In his 1946 paper "action research and minority problems" he described action research as "a comparative research on the conditions and effects of various forms of social action and research leading to social action" that uses "a spiral of steps, each of which is composed of a circle of planning, action and fact-finding about the result of the action". 5 scholarly research is an interactive inquiry process that balances problem solving actions implemented in a collaborative context with data-driven collaborative analysis or research to understand underlying causes enabling future predictions about personal and organizational change (reason & bradbury, 2001). 2] after six decades of action research development, many methods have evolved that adjust the balance to focus more on the actions taken or more on the research that results from the reflective understanding of the actions. This tension exists who are more driven either by the researcher's agenda or by participants;. To 2nd-, to 3rd-person research, that is, my research on my own action, aimed primarily at personal change; our research on our group (family/team), aimed primarily at improving the group; and 'scholarly' research aimed primarily at theoretical generalization or large-scale change. Research challenges traditional social science by moving beyond reflective knowledge created by outside experts sampling variables, to an active moment-to-moment theorizing, data collecting and inquiry occurring in the midst of emergent structure. From this starting point, to question the validity of social knowledge is to question, not how to develop a reflective science about action, but how to develop genuinely well-informed action – how to conduct an action science". 4] in this sense, performing action research is the same as performing an experiment, thus it is an empirical argyris' action science. Argyris' action science begins with the study of how human beings design their actions in difficult situations. Humans design their actions to achieve intended consequences and are governed by a set of environment variables. How those governing variables are treated in designing actions are the key differences between single-loop and double-loop learning. When actions are designed to achieve the intended consequences and to suppress conflict about the governing variables, a single-loop learning cycle usually the other hand, when actions are taken not only to achieve the intended consequences, but also to openly inquire about conflict and to possibly transform the governing variables, both single- and double-loop learning cycles usually ensue. This is different from experimental research in which environmental variables are controlled and researchers try to find out cause and effect in an isolated heron and peter reason's cooperative inquiry. It emphasizes the full involvement in research decisions of all active participants as ative inquiry creates a research cycle among 4 different types of knowledge: propositional (as in contemporary science), practical (the knowledge that comes with actually doing what you propose), experiential (the real-time feedback we get about our interaction with the larger world) and presentational (the artistic rehearsal process through which we craft new practices). At every cycle, the research process includes these four stages, with deepening experience and knowledge of the initial proposition, or of new freire's participatory action research (par). Article: participatory action ipatory action research has emerged in recent years as a significant methodology for intervention, development and change within groups and communities. This was further developed in "adult education" models throughout latin o fals-borda (1925–2008), colombian sociologist and political activist, was one of the principal promoters of participatory action research (iap in spanish) in latin america. He published a "double history of the coast", book that compares the official "history" and the non-official "story" of the north coast of m barry's living educational theory approach to action research. Article: living educational m barry (atkins and wallace 2012) defined an approach to action research which focuses on creating ontological weight. 5] he adapted the idea of ontological weight to action research from existential christian philosopher gabriel marcel (1963). Barry was influenced by jean mcniff's and jack whitehead's (2008) phraseology of living theory action research but was diametrically opposed to the validation process advocated by whitehead which demanded video "evidence" of "energy flowing values" and his atheistic ontological position which influenced his conception of values in action research. Explained that living educational theory (let) "[it is] a critical and transformational approach to action research. It confronts the researcher to challenge the status quo of their educational practice and to answer the question, 'how can i improve that i'm doing? Researchers who use this approach must be willing to recognize and assume responsibility for being a 'living contradictions' in their professional practice – thinking one way and acting in another. The mission of the let action researcher is to overcome workplace norms and self-behavior which contradict the researcher's values and beliefs. The vision of the let researcher is to make an original contribution to knowledge through generating an educational theory proven to improve the learning of people within a social learning space.
The standard of judgment for theory validity is evidence of workplace reform, transformational growth of the researcher, and improved learning by the people researcher claimed to have influenced... French and cecil bell define organization development (od) at one point as "organization improvement through action research". 7] if one idea can be said to summarize od's underlying philosophy, it would be action research as it was conceptualized by kurt lewin and later elaborated and expanded on by other behavioral scientists. Concerned with social change and, more particularly, with effective, permanent social change, lewin believed that the motivation to change was strongly related to action: if people are active in decisions affecting them, they are more likely to adopt new ways. Rational social management", he said, "proceeds in a spiral of steps, each of which is composed of a circle of planning, action and fact-finding about the result of action". Faced with a dilemma or disconfirmation, the individual or group becomes aware of a need to ng: the situation is diagnosed and new models of behavior are explored and zing: application of new behavior is evaluated, and if reinforcing, 1: systems model of action-research 's description of the process of change involves three steps:. Action research is depicted as a cyclical process of cycle begins with a series of planning actions initiated by the client and the change agent working together. The principal elements of this stage include a preliminary diagnosis, data gathering, feedback of results, and joint action planning. In the language of systems theory, this is the input phase, in which the client system becomes aware of problems as yet unidentified, realizes it may need outside help to effect changes, and shares with the consultant the process of problem second stage of action research is the action, or transformation, phase. This stage includes actions relating to learning processes (perhaps in the form of role analysis) and to planning and executing behavioral changes in the client organization. Included in this stage is action-planning activity carried out jointly by the consultant and members of the client system. Following the workshop or learning sessions, these action steps are carried out on the job as part of the transformation stage. This stage includes actual changes in behavior (if any) resulting from corrective action steps taken following the second stage. The action-research model shown in figure 1 closely follows lewin's repetitive cycle of planning, action, and measuring results. 8] the action stage is a period of changing, that is, trying out new forms of behavior in an effort to understand and cope with the system's problems. Why educational research has been so uneducational: the case for a new model of social science based on collaborative inquiry". Isbn n & torbert, transforming social inquiry, transforming social action: new paradigms for crossing the theory/practice divide in universities and communities. The role of citizen participation and action research principles in main street revitalization: an analysis of a local planning project," action research 6(1): er, e. This is my truth, tell me yours: some aspects of action research quality in the light of truth theories. Undertaking action research: negotiating the road ahead, social research update, issue 34, philosophical sources of action research. Action research and action learning ional action ational journal for transformative l of applied behavioral l of organizational change ic practice and action article's use of external links may not follow wikipedia's policies or guidelines. Has learning resources about action ote has quotations related to: action for collaborative action oks: contemporary educational psychology/chapter 13: the reflective ont lincoln center for action ries: social science methodologyhidden categories: articles needing additional references from january 2014all articles needing additional referencesall articles with unsourced statementsarticles with unsourced statements from june 2013all accuracy disputesarticles with disputed statements from june 2013wikipedia external links cleanup from march 2012wikipedia spam cleanup from march logged intalkcontributionscreate accountlog pagecontentsfeatured contentcurrent eventsrandom articledonate to wikipediawikipedia out wikipediacommunity portalrecent changescontact links hererelated changesupload filespecial pagespermanent linkpage informationwikidata itemcite this a bookdownload as pdfprintable dia commonswikiquote. A non-profit research can be defined as “an approach in which the action researcher and a client collaborate in the diagnosis of the problem and in the development of a solution based on the diagnosis” (bryman and bell, 2011, p. In other words, one of the main characteristic traits of this type of research relates to collaboration between researcher and member of organisation in order to solve organizational ing to collis and hussey (2003, p. Action study assumes social world to be constantly changing, both, researcher and research being one part of that lly, action researches can be divided into three categories: positivist, interpretive and vist approach to action research, also known as ‘classical action research’ perceives research as a social experiment, and accordingly action research as accepted as a method to test hypotheses in a real world retive action research, also known as ‘contemporary action research’ perceives business reality as socially constructed and focuses on specifications of local and organisational factors when conducting the action al action research is a specific type of action research that adopts critical approach towards business processes and aims for following features of action research need to be taken into account when considering its suitability for any given study:It is applied in order to improve specific practices. Action research is based on action, evaluation and critical analysis of practices based on collected data in order to introduce improvements in relevant type of research is facilitated by participation and collaboration of number of individuals with a common a research focuses on specific situations and their model of action research offers the following advantages:High level of practical relevance of the business be used with quantitative, as well as, qualitative ility to gain in-depth knowledge about the antages may include the following:Difficulties in distinguishing between action and research and ensure the application of in completion of action research due to a wide range of reasons are not rare of repeatability and is important to make a clear distinction between action research and consulting. Specifically, action research is greater than consulting in a way that action research includes both action and research, whereas business activities of consulting are limited action without the research ing to kemmis and mctaggart (2000) action study is a participatory study consisting of spiral of following self-reflective cycles:Planning in order to initiate enting the change (acting) and observing the process of implementation and ting on processes of change and and mctaggart’s (2000) action research and mctaggart (2000) do acknowledge that individual stages specified in action research spiral model may overlap, and initial plan developed for the research may become obselete in short duration of time due to a range of main advantage of action research spiral model relates to the opportunity of analysing the phenomenon in a greater depth each time, consequently resulting in grater level of understanding of the antages of action research spiral model include its assumption each process takes long time to be completed which may not always be the , a. S guide to action which supports the regular public program "areol" (ch and evaluation on line) offered twice a year mid-february and mid-july. For details email bdick@ which action research is briefly described, and aneous achievement of action (that is, change) ch (that is, understanding) is ch in more ipative, research a family of research methodologies which pursue action ch outcomes at the same time. It therefore has ents which resemble consultancy or change agency, and resemble field mental research, for good reason, has developed ples to guide its conduct. It also has teristic differences from most other research tends tend to recur, in a s and informants are involved as partners, or at participants, in the more often with language than with numbers;. There is no need to develop a metric (which to be abandoned later if it doesn't fit the use of language the whole process more accessible to can develop enough understanding to become co-researchers crucial step in consists of critical reflection.
Short, multiple cycles allow greater rigour change is intended , effective action research depends upon the agreement ment of those affected by it. I recognise, too, that in some ch the research component mostly takes the form tanding on the part of those involved. In distinction, there are some forms of ch where research is the main emphasis and the action a fringe benefit. It is to include, as examples, the critical action ch of carr and kemmis (1986), the soft systems checkland (1981), and perhaps even the evaluation of guba n (1989), to name just a responsiveness research allows it to be used to develop hypotheses data, "on the run" as it were. It can therefore also as a research tool for investigative or pilot research, lly for diagnosis ipative, state or assume that action research is cyclic, or at in structure. To put this differently, -or-less similar steps tend to recur, in more-or-less , at different phases of an action research study. Same time (so the action researcher hopes) progress is s appropriate action and research outcomes. Earlier -- plan, act, observe, reflect; then, in of this, plan for the next that action research is participative, though writers how participative it is. On the other hand i don't see research must be limited to ipation may vary. Ction between researcher and others other occasions cher may choose for whatever reason to maintain a . If these include features of particular interest ance, the choice is between qualitative research or addition, developing. As i mentioned before, it is also be flexible and responsive to the situation if you are short, it is my action research more often than not exhibits es. And good research of any variety) is research where, among es, appropriate choices are made. Perhaps al reflection might be abandoned for er action , i suspect it is mostly or always emergent sive. This e you have probably altered the odds under the and research outcomes requires responsiveness -- to ion, and the people, and the growing understanding on of those involved. It makes sense the later stages of an action research activity in such that you capitalise on the understanding developed in is the cyclic action research which allows responsiveness. It is ult to know just where a field intervention will e research questions at the beginning of a project d researcher and ise questions s can be expected to yield imprecise lly. But if those imprecise answers can help to ons and methods, then each cycle can be a step in ion of better action and other words, times when the initial use of fuzzy methods to answer ons is the only appropriate choice. Ation is less constraining of the at different issue, more to do with action ch. For instance, for some researchers it is l to use participative methods (in general, this is on in the action research i do). On some occasions al interpretation of information is richer if involvement far, i have taken that action research can take many forms. There conditions, however, that i believe are more a starting assumption i assume that good action research cal: responsive to the evidence. If each step is planning and followed by review, learning by researcher quality of also be increased by the use of multiple sources of all or most cycles. Differences between data sources,Used critically, can then lead the researchers and ipants towards a deeper and more tanding. Literature can be such an alternative endations for good action research in this way:With planning before action and critical analysis ve the interpretations arising from of research processes whose flexibility allows learning siveness. Vague beginnings can move towards tanding and practical improvement through the is of the information, the interpretation of it, and action researchers,I think, critique what they do and how they do it, the better from the experience. It is the balance al reflection and flexibility which allows adequate be achieved even in confused field that action research is true to label: it pursues research outcomes. Think that the ication for action research methods is that they can sive to the situation in a way that many other s can not be, at least in the short term. Succinct definition of action research appears in the workshop materials we use at the institute for the study of inquiry in education. That definition states that action research is a disciplined process of inquiry conducted by and for those taking the action. The primary reason for engaging in action research is to assist the “actor” in improving and/or refining his or her tioners who engage in action research inevitably find it to be an empowering experience. Relevance is guaranteed because the focus of each research project is determined by the researchers, who are also the primary consumers of the s even more important is the fact that action research helps educators be more effective at what they care most about—their teaching and the development of their students.
When teachers have convincing evidence that their work has made a real difference in their students' lives, the countless hours and endless efforts of teaching seem action research ional action research can be engaged in by a single teacher, by a group of colleagues who share an interest in a common problem, or by the entire faculty of a school. These seven steps, which become an endless cycle for the inquiring teacher, are the following:Identifying research informed 1—selecting a action research process begins with serious reflection directed toward identifying a topic or topics worthy of a busy teacher's time. Selecting a focus begins with the teacher researcher or the team of action researchers asking: what element(s) of our practice or what aspect of student learning do we wish to investigate? 2—clarifying second step involves identifying the values, beliefs, and theoretical perspectives the researchers hold relating to their focus. For example, if teachers are concerned about increasing responsible classroom behavior, it will be helpful for them to begin by clarifying which approach—using punishments and rewards, allowing students to experience the natural consequences of their behaviors, or some other strategy—they feel will work best in helping students acquire responsible classroom behavior 3—identifying research a focus area has been selected and the researcher's perspectives and beliefs about that focus have been clarified, the next step is to generate a set of personally meaningful research questions to guide the 4—collecting sional educators always want their instructional decisions to be based on the best possible data. Action researchers can accomplish this by making sure that the data used to justify their actions are valid (meaning the information represents what the researchers say it does) and reliable (meaning the researchers are confident about the accuracy of their data). Lastly, before data are used to make teaching decisions, teachers must be confident that the lessons drawn from the data align with any unique characteristics of their classroom or ensure reasonable validity and reliability, action researchers should avoid relying on any single source of data. Most teacher researchers use a process called triangulation to enhance the validity and reliability of their findings. Observing a phenomenon through multiple “windows” can help a single researcher compare and contrast what is being seen through a variety of planning instruction, teachers want the techniques they choose to be appropriate for the unique qualities of their students. All teachers have had the experience of implementing a “research-proven” strategy only to have it fail with their students. The ability of the action research process to satisfy an educator's need for “fit” may be its most powerful attribute. Because the data being collected come from the very students and teachers who are engaged with the treatment, the relevance of the findings is the harried and overworked teacher, “data collection” can appear to be the most intimidating aspect of the entire seven-step action research process. The key to managing triangulated data collection is, first, to be effective and efficient in collecting the material that is already swirling around the classroom, and, second, to identify other sources of data that might be effectively surfaced with tests, classroom discussions, or 5—analyzing gh data analysis often brings to mind the use of complex statistical calculations, this is rarely the case for the action researcher. A number of relatively user-friendly procedures can help a practitioner identify the trends and patterns in action research data. During this portion of the seven-step process, teacher researchers will methodically sort, sift, rank, and examine their data to answer two generic questions:What is the story told by these data? Answering these two questions, the teacher researcher can acquire a better understanding of the phenomenon under investigation and as a result can end up producing grounded theory regarding what might be done to improve the 6—reporting is often said that teaching is a lonely endeavor. The loneliness of teaching is unfortunate not only because of its inefficiency, but also because when dealing with complex problems the wisdom of several minds is inevitably better than sad history of teacher isolation may explain why the very act of reporting on their action research has proven so powerful for both the researchers and their colleagues. The reporting of action research most often occurs in informal settings that are far less intimidating than the venues where scholarly research has traditionally been shared. Faculty meetings, brown bag lunch seminars, and teacher conferences are among the most common venues for sharing action research with peers. However, each year more and more teacher researchers are writing up their work for publication or to help fulfill requirements in graduate programs. Regardless of which venue or technique educators select for reporting on research, the simple knowledge that they are making a contribution to a collective knowledge base regarding teaching and learning frequently proves to be among the most rewarding aspects of this 7—taking informed informed action, or “action planning,” the last step in the action research process, is very familiar to most teachers. When teachers write lesson plans or develop academic programs, they are engaged in the action planning process. What makes action planning particularly satisfying for the teacher researcher is that with each piece of data uncovered (about teaching or student learning) the educator will feel greater confidence in the wisdom of the next steps. Although all teaching can be classified as trial and error, action researchers find that the research process liberates them from continuously repeating their past mistakes. More important, with each refinement of practice, action researchers gain valid and reliable data on their developing purposes for action stated earlier, action research can be engaged in by an individual teacher, a collaborative group of colleagues sharing a common concern, or an entire school faculty. These three different approaches to organizing for research serve three compatible, yet distinct, purposes:Building the reflective progress on schoolwide ng professional ng the reflective individual teachers make a personal commitment to systematically collect data on their work, they are embarking on a process that will foster continuous growth and development. In this way, the individual teachers conducting action research are making continuous progress in developing their strengths as reflective progress on schoolwide singly, schools are focusing on strengthening themselves and their programs through the development of common focuses and a strong sense of esprit de corps. As a result, when a faculty chooses to focus on one issue and all the teachers elect to enthusiastically participate in action research on that issue, significant progress on the schoolwide priorities cannot help but ng professional an entire faculty will share a commitment to student development, yet the group finds itself unable to adopt a single common focus for action research. However, like the doctors at the medical center, the teachers in a “quality” school may well differ on which specific aspects of the shared vision they are most motivated to pursue at any point in s whose faculties cannot agree on a single research focus can still use action research as a tool to help transform themselves into a learning organization. It is common practice in a quality medical center for physicians to engage in independent, even idiosyncratic, research agendas. However, it is also common for medical researchers to share the findings obtained from their research with colleagues (even those engaged in other specialties). In these schools, multiple action research inquiries occur simultaneously, and no one is held captive to another's priority, yet everyone knows that all the work ultimately will be shared and will consequently contribute to organizational action research now?
Ever there were a time and a strategy that were right for each other, the time is now and the strategy is action research! With the exploding knowledge base on teaching and learning and the heightened demands on teachers to help all children achieve mastery of meaningful objectives, the inadequacy of the blue-collar model for teaching is becoming much the teachers in a school begin conducting action research, their workplace begins to take on more of the flavor of the workplaces of other professionals. Nevertheless, great personal satisfaction comes from playing a role in creating successful solutions to continually changing puzzles. For this reason, it is imperative that these 21st century pioneers, our classroom teachers, conduct the research on “standards attainment” the time is right for action research.