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Center For Collaborative Action
Pages and Files
TI: Overview of Action Research
T2: Understanding Action Research
T3: Your Research Question
T4: The Context
T5: Plan For Action
T6: Cycle 1 in an Iterative Process
T7: Collecting Data
T8: Analyzing Data
T9: Reflecting on your Actions
T10: Cycles of Change
T11: Writing your Action Research Report
T12: Your Identity as an Action Researcher
Click the globe to see our 3-D
Action Research Neighborhood
AR Sharing Overview
Sharing AR syllabi
Cycles of Actions
Reports & Portfolios
Rubrics for Assessment
Evaluating Student Work
Journal for publishing Action Research
Q and A
Sharing Outcomes from
Doing Action Research
Overview of Outcomes
AR World Map of SITES
1) The public schools in Austin Texas are using a research process recently promoted by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. This info chart provides a good description of the cyclic process of doing action research.
Here is a short video in which Austin Principal John Roca from Menchaca school describes how action research is helping new teachers learn to teach:
At their school they use time as a marker of cycles. The teachers have 2 week check-in with their mentor teacher but this does not necessarily mean that the cycles are all two weeks long.
improvement science in action
and listen to Tony Bryk talk about it these "new" ideas. Test your understanding of action research- is improvement science the same or different from action research? I list it here as they are very clear on the value of cyclic, improvement. Their goal is not to get teachers to do a project but rather start them on a process of continual innovation.
Note the cycles of improvement increase in scope. It starts with the action research of one principal and then the learning extends as more principals and more school engage in the same process. So the teachers as well as the principals are doing action research.
You can also learn more about improvement science by watching Tony Bryk's short video and then exploring the resources on the
Carnegie Foundation site
description of the cycles of action research
by the Clark County School District might also help you think about the process of cycles. You can learn more about how they are using action research by exploring their
action research site
University of Warwick shares this advice
on cycles research
The Action Research Cycle
The action research cycle consists of four steps – those of planning, acting, observing and reflecting. Usually represented (and just as badly drawn) in a cycle, thus:
Action Research Cycle
How you conduct these separate steps is up to you. Other parts of this site deal with the different methods of
. The essential elements of these steps are that they are:
– the idea being that the research is responsive to any findings that may occur, i.e don’t carry out a second action before you’ve had a chance to reflect on your first
– an incredible innovative plan is no good unless you can implement it simply, and its effects are open to observation
– action research usually has not only catalytic validity, but is also accountable, disseminated to colleagues, and above all, shared by the people who are being acted upon and observed (i.e. tell your students what you’re doing and why). This is because the leading action research gurus have mainly also had a humanist agenda about social change and altruism. It’s not essential, but perhaps still desirable.
– the cycle can be gone through as many times as is necessary, or until you run out of time.
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