Reviewing action research: From impediments to implementation

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Research and Development in Higher Education Vol. 33 : Reshaping Higher Education

July, 2010, 654 pages
Published by
M. Devlin, J. Nagy and A. Lichtenberg
0 908557 80 9

The modern professional development agenda of many education systems encourages the idea of action research as a means of improving classroom practice. The NSW Government Department of Education and Training (DET) have adopted such an agenda encouraging teachers to undertake action research in schools. In this small (n=4) exploratory study, four academics who have worked closely with teachers as action researchers were interviewed to explore the question: Who values action research and how is this evidenced? Results of the study suggest that the informants are staunch advocates of action research. In contrast, the degree to which action research is valued in NSW varies greatly between different policy makers, school leaders and teachers. While action research “penetrates little zones” there exist many impediments to its comprehensive implementation across the education system.

Keywords: practitioner research, action research, teacher professional learning