3. The Path of Inquiry...


All research is a process of understanding how events relate to one another. The events can be microscopic processes within a single cell or it can be patterns across the universe. Action research takes place at the social level. The events explored are between and among people, in places, and through community and culture practices. In action research one studies activity systems around complex problems and tries to understand the effect of intentional efforts to influence change. And not just any change, but change that aims to moves things forward to a better alignment with shared values of the participants.

Finding your problem, question, or topic of investigation means looking for the overarching question that will guide you. This is often in the form of "How do I improve the way I do...." This tutorial will help you find that overall question or the topic area of your action research. Once you have your overarching question, you will be framing a potential answer to this question in your first cycle. This tutorial will help you frame the overarching question or topic. Please see Tutorial 6 for framing your first cycle question that will be your first guess at how to answer to the question you pose in this tutorial.




T3: Video: Activities to help locate your challenge



To get started with your action research, you might want to engage in a number of activities which we will explore in this video. Problem finding is a skill that one develops over time. Being able to see what needs to be changed is not always apparent to everyone. Action Researchers develop an ability to observe a situation and see challenges where others are content to do things the same way as they have done in the past. Action researchers come to see problems as opportunities to learn and improve.



todo icon.pngT3 : Activities


The activities in this tutorial use values as a way to locate a problem in your context. You may want to try other strategies or you may already have a problem situation in mind. Once you have framed your research question, you are ready to write your first draft of the opening text to your action research report or e-portfolio. Templates are provided to help you with the activities. Then you will be ready to continue to the next tutorial - "Planning your Action Research."





resources icon.pngT3: Resources

  1. Examine Values Vs. Practice & Community
  2. Action Research Reports at CCAR
  3. Inspiration for Reflection
  4. Strategies and Tools for Planning Action Research
  5. Critical Teaching Questions that might suggest areas for Action Research






Continue to T3 Activities or T3 Resources
Move forward to Tutorial 4: The Context
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