How does Action Research works??


Step One: Identify an issue and begin to formulate your question

Choose something that is important to you as a teacher: for example, look at some of your own teaching methods or at the way your boys learn. Start with a simple, manageable project ‐ you may not be able to change everything at once, but you can improve a small part.
Start off with a question, like Why do the boys in my class...? Think about how you could develop that question into something which includes an intervention, like What happens when I ...? 3
> Look
> Think
> Act
> Reflect

Step Two: Find out more about the issue: read, research, reflect!

Do research to find out about your topic. Read books, journals and other research studies and papers. When you start, try to use at least three sources. You’ll find more and more references as you go along. Remember to keep reading: your research is not confined to one part of the study – it’s an integral and ongoing part of it.
Maintain focus while you research so your project doesn’t become unmanageable. You may find that you need to revisit your question and make changes, or even change your direction to work on something more interesting.

Step Three: Make changes or try out your new idea

What are you going to do? Make the change or try out your new idea in your classroom. How will you measure your results? You can use a wide variety of data collection methods: interviews, questionnaires, observation, journals and many more.

Your research must be systematic and rigorous to your give your work credibility. You need to provide sound evidence that you aren’t just making it all up! Check that what you are doing is really working and that your project stays focussed.

Step Four: Evaluate and reflect

Look at the information you’ve collected and analyse it. How can you be sure that your conclusions are fair and accurate? Involve a critical friend – someone whose opinion you really value. He or she can help you look at your work differently. Consult colleagues or your validation group to help you check your data and make judgements about your report.

Step Five: Improve or amend your practice

How will you do things differently? What have you learned from the project? Remember that action research is empowering – it allows you to change the way you teach. You can continue to make changes all the time, and continue to grow as a professional.
Have your questions been answered? Perhaps other issues have emerged that you need to examine? Were the results what you expected? How will you share your results? Could they be useful to others in your school/community/the world? Present your findings to others – you can give a talk, do a presentation at a conference, publish a paper or participate in on‐line teacher forums.

Remember: The result is not about “I’ve done that or I made that happen”. Jean McNiff (2002) sums up the process like this:
I can show that certain changes took place as I changed my practice, particularly in myself, and different relationships evolved. 4

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