Action research is systematic multi-staged cyclical process, which seeks to improve practice through the implementation of informed and incremental change. Action research is not done in isolation but seeks out opportunities for collaboration and the participation of other agents.
Action research is characterised by clear stages, which include:
- a consideration of action (reflection and reconnaissance);
- implementation of an action for improvement to individual practice;
- the use of data collection on the action;
- a review of the action through consideration of data;
- the identification of further opportunities for improving intervention.
Throughout each stage the researcher’s learning is articulated and reinvested into the process. In the process learning occurs for practice, about practice and through practice.
Update 26th February 2015: Please see here for a downloadable booklet on getting started with action research