Action Research


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Teachers taking part in the UK HIPST trials may wish to engage in Action Research while they carry out they carry out their project. It might be possible to accredit this as a Reading University masters module.

Relatively little science education research is undertaken on teacher thinking and beliefs, compared with that on the learners in the classroom. Action Research focuses on the teachers, and how they change as a result of undertaking some actions in their classroom. Such research is inevitably qualitative, and often quite removed from the science research paradigm. Nevertheless, this research can reveal valuable insights into the roles of the teacher, a major factor in influencing what the learners experience in the classrooms.

Action Research can include evidence taken from traditional quasi-experimental methods e.g. administering tests or questionnaire. However, the focus is on the teacher, and so there is less reason for gaining learner consent since the learners are only providing reasons for teacher-change. The references below give a quick introduction to what might be considered.

Three kinds of Action Research
Action Research Wiki
Handbook of Research: Action Research
Williams and Whitehouse on Action Research (contains book references)
Goodnough abstract on AR in science education
Articles on Action Research
Israeli Researchers using AR
positive features of AR
Waters-Adams on AR in Education (an excellent overview)
Journal: Educational Action Research (not in our library)