Friday, July 16, 2010

Description of Action Research

Action research is an attempt to understand what is happening in a certain situation and then to develop a plan of action to improve the situation. This plan is not formed from the top down, but collaboratively with all who are involved. By working together all participants are more willing to suggest ideas for improvement and implement the changes required for success. Action research differs from traditional educational research in that the participants are actively involved in the action research. They are looking for solutions to problems and then working through those solutions as they work together for improvement. Inquiry, critical analysis, and reflection are used throughout the research. Educators are working to understand and improve their educational practices through active participation, not passive observing. In traditional research, the researcher is not personally involved because they are striving for objectivity and knowledge by studying what others are doing. For a teacher, traditional research is not as beneficial due to the nature of the research. The teacher might be doing the research project in place of their daily instruction. The teacher may not be able to make changes to their instruction during the research project and there is less chance for collaboration with their peers.

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