Action Research

Action research is inquiry or research in the context of focused efforts to improve the quality of an organization and its performance. It typically is designed and conducted by practitioners who analyze the data to improve their own practice. Action research can be done by individuals or by teams of colleagues. The team approach is called collaborative inquiry.

Action research has the potential to generate genuine and sustained improvements in schools. It gives educators new opportunities to reflect on and assess their teaching; to explore and test new ideas, methods, and materials; to assess how effective the new approaches were; to share feedback with fellow team members; and to make decisions about which new approaches to include in the team's curriculum, instruction, and assessment plans.


Bennett, C.K. (1994, Winter). Promoting teacher reflection through action research: What do teachers think? Journal of Staff Development 15(1), 34-38.

Calhoun, E.F. (1994). How to use action research in the self-renewing school. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Classroom action research: The teacher as researcher. Journal of Reading, 33(3), 216-218.

Kelsay, K.L. (1991, Spring). When experience is the best teacher: The teacher as researcher. Action in Teacher Education, 13(1), 14-21.

May, W.T. (1993, Winter). Teachers-as-researchers or action research: What is it and what good is it for art education? Studies in Art Education, 34(2), 114-126.

McKay, J.A. (1992, Winter). Professional development through action research. Journal of Staff Development, 13(1), 18-21.

Miller, D.M., & Pine, G.J. (1990, Summer). Advancing professional inquiry for educational improvement through action research. Journal of Staff Development, 11(3), 56-61.

Sagor, R. How to conduct collaborative action research. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Strickland, D.S. (1989, December). The teacher as researcher: Toward the extended professional. Language Arts, 65(8), 754-764.

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