Action Research

The preliminary essay

A.   Theory
Identify the origin, key features and purpose of action research and analyse the criticisms made of it.   Make reference to appropriate theory.   Analyse key features of the action research cycle.   Distinguish action research from other kinds of research.

Action research can be defined as change in or around improvement of an area or ones own practice.   Kurt Lewin who was one of the first pioneers to create and use the term Action Research in 1944 felt that this process of, ‘Action Research’ involved planning, fact finding and execution.

Planning involves having a general idea; this general idea includes the need to reach an objective, once this first step has been successfully established it is then followed by fact finding which includes choosing target/s and considering the best ways of dealing with them; planning the next steps and gathering new insight for example strengths and weaknesses of the action.

According to Carr and Kemmis (1986) “Action Research is a form of self-reflective enquiry undertaken by the participants (teachers, students or principals, for example, in social (including educational) situations in order to improve the rationality and justice of (a) their own social or educational practices, (b) their understanding of these practice, and (c) the situations (and institutions)in which these

practices are carried.”   It must be stated that not everyone agrees with this definition.
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There are different types of action research such as technical action research, practical action research and emancipatory action research.   Emancipatory research for example, looks at the lives of people who historically are seen to be marginalised such as the disabled or ethnic minorities (   The research method that is chosen by the researcher will affect the type of...