Action research is an approach by one or two individuals or groups for the purpose of solving a problem or obtaining information to inform local practice. These may have practical applications i.e. How to decrease the incidence of absenteeism in class; motivate apathetic students; improve the teaching of mathematics or to increase funding
Examples are: What kind of methods work best with certain types of students? How can teachers encourage students to think about important issues? How can content, teaching strategies and learning activities be varied to help students? How can subject matter be better presented to promote understanding?
Teachers Counselors supervisors Administrators Political leaders
Those undertaking the research must be informed individuals capable of identifying problems that need to be solved i.e. Economic experts in talking about what to do with OFW remittances The ones involved must be seriously committed to solving the problem and improving their performance The participants must engage in the research systematically
Identify the problem Decide on investigative procedures Determine data collection techniques Analyze and interpret data Develop plans of action to deal with problems The ones undertaking the research must have the authority to undertake the necessary procedures and implement recommendations.
Practical action research – this is intended to address a specific problem within a classroom, school or other communities. It can be carried out in a variety of settings such as the educational, school service or business locations The primary purpose of practical action research is to improve practice in the short term and to inform larger issues. This is performed by individuals, teams or larger groups provided the focus remains clear and specific. The result of this research is an action plan
This type of research involves individuals which are called stakeholders These individuals function as equal partners In this type of research the subject and the researcher find ways to bring about social change and improve their lives. Stakeholders may not be involved at the beginning of the research but become active early in the process and jointly plan the study.
A collaborative research provides people with the means to take systematic action in an effort to resolve specific problems It is consensual, Democratic Participatory Encourages people to formulate accounts and explanations of their situation and to develop plans to resolve these problems
A trained researcher may identify the problem and brings it to the attention of the stakeholders. It is important that the problem is not just of interest to the researcher but also to the stakeholders The researcher stands alongside the stakeholders he is not anymore an outsider but is now an internal consultant.
Information gathering Crafting of the instruments i.e. Questionnaire Participants may review the findings Data collection and analysis Making the recommendation
# 1: Identify the research question The research question must be clear It must be manageable Large-scale and complex questions should be better left to professional researchers
Find out the best method: experiments, surveys, causal-comparative studies, interviews, ethnography; historical method Teachers can be active participants (observing computer techniques by students) Taking down notes Interviews and use of questionnaires Analysis of documents
Interview schedules, checklists, rating scales, attitudinal measures Triangulation – finding of common data How to treat anecdotal data- while it is important to collect such data it is important to get substantive evidence i.e. Common denominators in the interviews
After getting the general focus of the information, it is important to provide a guiding procedure in answering the questions Get the purpose of the data Then the what, how, who, where and when and finally the why
When analyzing and interpreting data gathered in participatory research it is important for the participants to reflect on the perception of all the stakeholders in the study. They should work together to create description of what the data may reveal. Finally they must keep all the stakeholders informed of what is going on in the data- gathering stage and provide opportunities for everyone to read accounts of what is
A formal document should be prepared and should indicate clear direction for further work on the original problem or concern
Sample -Action research almost always focuses on a particular group or individual whereas the sample in formal research is not identical Internal validity – threats in action research is greater because of collector bias. The source of data is also the researcher External validity – results in external research cannot be generalized compared to formal reserarch
It can be done by an individual or a group It improves educational practice and helps create better professionals Educators can develop ways to improve their craft The researchers identify the problems systematically It can lead to the development of research- oriented individuals It is collaborative and democratic
“Investigating the teaching of science concepts by means of comparison-group experiment” Problem: does using drama help fifth- graders understanding of basic science concepts? Method: assigning some teachers to use dramatics while others do not They compare the results with an instrument designed to measure
“Checking for bias in English anthologies by means of a content analysis” Problem: “Is the content presented in the literature anthologies in our district biased in any way? If so, how? Method: images of heroes are presented in literature anthologies . The researcher restricts herself to the texts used in the district and creates a scale adjectives which is analyzed for triangulation
Action research is conducted by a teacher, administrator or an educational professional to solve a problem at a local level Each of the specific methods of research may apply in research action methods but in a smaller scale A given research question may often be investigated by any one of several methods
Several assumptions underlie action research studies. These are the participants that should have the authority to make decisions, want to improve their practice and are committed to continual professional development and will engage in systematic inquiry
Practical action research addresses a specific local problem Participatory action research while also focused on a specific local problem attempts to empower participants or bring about social change