Action Research A Presentation by: Patricia Canterino, Erin Horlander, & Iman Nero-Hernandez
What is Action Research?
Action Research is… “A cycle of posing questions, gathering data, reflection and deciding on a course of action.” (Ferrance, 2000)
Kurt Lewin describes Action Research as… A process of: Planning Action Searching (Lewin, 1946)
Learning Point Associates define Action Research as… “Inquiry or research in the context of focused efforts to improve the quality of an organization and its performance.” “It typically is designed and conducted by practitioners who analyze the data to improve their own practice.” “Action Research can be done by individuals or by teams of colleagues.” (Learning Point Associates)
Action Research is a recurring process Problem –describe current situation Design – develop a strategy for improving situation Action – Identify forces Reflection – looking back on your action after collecting data Capture – the learning is accessible to others (Lewin, 1946)
Action Research… Has the potential to generate real & continued improvements in organizations It gives employees new opportunities to reflect on and assess their organization To test and explore new ideas, methods, and materials To assess how effective the new approaches were To share feedback with fellow team members To make decisions about which new approaches to include in the teams organizations (McKay, 1992)
Another important element of action research is reflection “A cycle of action and reflection is the heart of action learning.” Looking back on your action after collecting data: What thoughts come to mind If you were to repeat the process what would you change? What worked best for you? What most surprised you? (Center for Collaborative Action Research)
(O'Leary, 2004) 9 Cycles of Action Research
How is Action Research evaluated?
Conducting Action Research: Evaluate the Research Process Kemmisand Wilkinson (1998) suggest the following questions: Does the project clearly address a problem or issue in practice that needs to be solved? Did the researcher collect sufficient data to help address the problem? Did the plan of action build logically from the data? Did the action research actually lead to a change or did a solution to a problem make a difference?
Conducting Action Research: Evaluate the Research Process Evaluate the Research Process with all involved: What would we do differently next time? Does the instrument need revising? Did the research generate the information we wanted? What new questions did the research generate?
Conducting Action Research: Evaluate the Research Process Solicit feedback from participants Participants are empowers them to think of themselves as active learners Evaluation is something to be used supportively for growth rather than something to be feared.
Issues in Action Research While, the participatory and collaborative nature of action research can be highly rewarding and productive, it can also result in sticky management issues including: a lack of control over the project’s direction and pace the potential for stakeholder conflict the sole burden of ethical responsibility
O'Leary, Z. (2004)
Current Uses of Action Research
Groups that use action research… Education Religious Institutes Community groups
To promote a culture of leisure reading among reluctant readers (Martin, 2000)
Teachers study what is happening in situations in order to make improvements (Morton, 2005)
Developing techniques that would promote student engagement and learning (Morton, 2005)
“Keeping in mind that more than 20% of children in the United States today live in poverty, teachers’ confidence in teaching less privileged children is of grave importance.” (Morton, 2005)
Religious educators conduct research….. When planning programs, reflection occurs through critical reflection and prayer on the educational and spiritual need of the congregants () When studying preparation materials When concerns arise regarding specific learners, discovering the underlying problem is attempted When coordinating and leading educational ministries, reading and discussing the ideas and experiences of others occurs Action research occurs when the research above is combined with the action to fix any issues or when problems occur. “Action research is not a complex methodology requiring technical expertise, it is more a state of mind in which, in our work, we intentionally and systematically reflect, plan, act, and observe.” (Martin, 2000)
Community Groups Volunteering for community corrections (Snyder, 2009) HIV Prevention (Snyder, 2009) Neighborhood watch (Snyder, 2009) Residential stability (Snyder, 2009) Planning a change with the community Acting and observing the process and consequences And further cycles of planning and reflecting (Baden and Wimpenny, 2007) “Sense of community manifests itself in diverse forms of action” (Snyder, 2009)
References Center for Collaborative Action Research website: http://cadres.pepperdine.edu/ccar/define.html Ferrance, F. (2000). Action research. The Education Alliance, Retrieved from: www.alliance.brown.edu/pubs/themes_ed/act_research.pdf Kemmis, S. & Wilkinson, M. (1998). Participatory action research and the study of practice. In Atweh, B., Kemmis, S., & Weeks, P. (1998). Action research in practice: Partnerships for social justice in education. London: Routledge. Lewin, K. Action research & minority problems. Journal of Social Issues, 2(4), 34-46. Learning Point Associates website: http://www.learningpt.org. Martin, B. (2000). Living education: Action research as a practical approach to congregational education. North American Baptist College, 95(2), 152-166.
References McKay, J.A. (1992,). Professional development through action research. Journal of Staff Development, 13(1), 18-21. Morton, M. (2005). Practicing praxis: mentoring teachers in a low-income school through collaborative action research and transformative pedagogy. Mentoring and Tutoring,13(1), 53–72. O'Leary, Z. (2004) The essential guide to doing research. London: Sage. Snyder, Mark (2009). In the footsteps of kurtlewin: Practical theorizing, action research, and the psychology of social action. The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, 65(1), 225-245. Warrican, S.J. (2006). Action research: a viable option for effecting change. J curriculum studies, 38(1), 1-14. Wimpenny, K. and Savin-Baden, M. (2007). Exploring and implementing participatory Action Research. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 31(2), 331–343.