Here's a short description of action research.
Teaching is a craft. It’s both an art and a science, which is why great teachers always experiment and make tons of mistakes.
But how do you know what’s actually working?
One option is action research.
Here you can identify a question or problem, test out a strategy, gather data, and determine if it works.
The end result is something dynamic, innovative, and tied directly to your classroom.
Action research dissolves the barrier between participants and researchers. In other words, the teacher actively participates in the situation while conducting the research.
There are many action research frameworks, but they generally follow a similar process:
You start out in phase one, planning for research.
Phase One: Planning for Research
It starts with an inquiry process, where you define a specific research question. It needs to be something you can actually test. Next, you conduct a literature review to gain a deeper understanding of the related research.
Finally, you move into the design process, where you determine your data methods, consider ethical issues, get required permissions, create deadlines and set up systems.
This is where you engage in multiple cycles of experimentation and data collection. Your data collection might include qualitative data, like observations, artifacts, and interviews or quantitative data like rubric scores, surveys, or achievement data.
Phase Three: Analysis
You will often start by organizing data with charts or graphs and looking for trends. You might also discuss it with peers, free write in a journal, or create a cluster map before eventually writing out your results.
Phase Four: Conclusion
This is often where you share your research with the world and reflect on your own practice. This will ultimately lead to new questions . . . and the cycle will continue again as you refine your craft as a better, more creative teacher.