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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Action Research

Throughout my high school years, and even in college, I despised hearing the term "research paper". All I knew was that it consisted of me reading/skimming a plethora of articles, books, and internet sources to analyze a piece of literature. In addition, it had to include a certain amount of resources, be a set number of pages, and spend countless hours in the library. It is the dreadful paper that everyone dreads in the English Comp classes while in college, but know they must do it in order to pass the course. However, action research is a different approach to doing research. One identifies the problem that exists on their campus. After identifying the problem, one must be willing to be a part of the experiment/investigation, thus the term "action research". As Dana states, action research refers to "research intended to bring about change of some kind". We as teachers/administrators must identify the problems, implement a plan, and execute it. In addition, gathering and calculating data prior and after is also a part of the research. All of these characteristics encompasses the true meaning of action research. Furthermore, being able to include yourself in the research with your colleagues, students and community will provide that "action" and, in my opinion, make your journey to research more enticing.


  1. I completely agree that being a part of the research makes it a little more interesting. I felt the same way when I saw the title of the course. I think that in more informal ways, we all do a little "action research" daily. I am always trying to find ways to improve students' performances in the classroom and on the football and baseball field. I guess I never realized that those little things we do daily classifies as "research".

  2. Yep, that's exactly what came to my mind when hearing the word "research paper" as well. I honestly wasn't looking forward to this course! I like the idea of action research, and agree with Neil that it's something that we do informally quite often as educators. I have to admit that I'm still a little worried about the dreaded research paper that I'm sure will follow our project.
    Please stop by my blog sometime:

  3. I am not a fan of traditional research. However I am a big advocate for self improvement and Action Research is right up my alley! I love ways that I can evaluate myself or situations and enhance performance by identifying weaknesses and changing to make it better.

  4. I agree that the way Action Research is done is much more enticing than what we usually think of when we hear the word research. When we are reflecting on ourselves and our schools and solving problems as they come along, it just makes much more sense.