Lavery, S. D.
Action research: Informing professional practice within schools.
Issues in Educational Research, 24 (2), 162-173.
This research paper explores the experiences of three teacher-researchers, ‘Simone’, ‘Damian’ and ‘Michael’, who undertook an action research project in their respective schools as part of their postgraduate studies. The paper initially outlines the construct of action research in the light of its applicability to educational research. Particular reference is made to the benefits of action research for those in the teaching profession as well as to several challenges associated with action research. What then follows is the design of the case study methodology that was used to examine the individual experiences of Simone, Damian and Michael. The research used a qualitative paradigm, specifically that of interpretivism, and employed a symbolic interactionist perspective to examine each participant’s project as individual case studies. Data collection occurred in two stages. Stage 1 involved three 40-minute semi-structured interviews. Stage 2 entailed follow-up written responses six months after the initial interviews. Findings fall under three major themes: action research as a valuable methodology, the impact of the action research on the school community, and challenges encountered when conducting the action research.
action research, educational research
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