Source (print): What is Action Research?

Article shared in print with me. Here are my take-aways from the article.

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  1. Action research describes the integration of action (implementing a plan) with research (developing an understanding of the effectiveness of this implementation).
  2. The central goal of action research is positive educational change.
  3. Teachers use action research because it can provide immediate results, fosters stronger relationships among staff, and a fresh approach to examining one’s practice.
  4. Action research cycle includes asking what if, trying that out in your classroom, observing what hapens, reflecting and then planning to re-use the strategy.
  5. The four stages of action research include:
    1. Planning
      1. Identifying the issue to be changed.
      2. Looking elsewhere for information.
      3. Developing questions and research methods to be used
      4. Developing a plan related to the specific environment (e.g. personnel, budgets, use of outside agencies).
    2. Acting
      1. Trial the change following your plan
      2. Collecting and compiling evidence
      3. Questioning the process and making changes as required
    3. Observing
      1. Analyzing the evidence, collating the findings
      2. Discussing the findings with co-researchers and/or colleagues for the interpretation
      3. Writing the report
      4. Sharing your findings with stakeholders and peers
    4. Reflecting
      1. Evaluating the first cycle of the process
      2. Implementing the findings or new strategy
      3. Revisiting the process

One Sentence Summary:
Teachers use 4-stage action research process because it can provide immediate results in response to “What If?” question that innovate on practice, foster stronger relationships among staff, and enable a fresh approach to examining one’s practice.


  • Action research is flexible, quick time frame, controls through triangulation
  • Action research’s application of results has practical significance.
  • Action research provides educators with alternative ways of viewing and approaching educational questions providing a new way of examining their own practices.

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure