Action Research

Qualitative Research

What is it?

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 actions. (Sagor, 2000)

In Action Research the researcher works alongside those being researched as agents of change. By following cycles of observing, reflecting, and acting researchers are able to analyze their work and effectively improve practice.


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Example

Identify: Teachers are struggling in teaching their Words Their Way lessons, and kids aren't making adequate progress.

Question: Why isn't Words Their Way working to improve students spelling and word decomposition skills?

Data Gathering: Observe lessons, make notes of strategies, compare with scores.

Enact Change: After observing and reflecting determine what can get done to improve lessons. Perhaps a change in format or making it more explicit. Come up with a plan for change.

Data Gathering: Observe lessons, make notes of strategies, compare with scores.

Analyze: Did it work? Did their scores improve?