By Lois E. Huffman and Mia N. Small
“Research is not something that ‘they’ tell us about our profession, but something ‘we’ observe, do, study, modify, and articulate as practitioners.”
Action research (a.k.a. teacher research) is the informal inquiry that educators conduct in their own classrooms to solve problems, improve teaching, and enhance student achievement. This kind of reflective experimentation (systematic change to classroom practice) is frequently motivated by observation of students, exposure to new tech tools and teaching strategies, and conversations with colleagues about shared concerns.
Below are several digital resources related to action research.
Themes in Education: Action Research by Eileen Ferrance
This document explains different types of action research as well as the history of action research in education. In addition, there are reflections from teachers who engage in classroom research.
Action Research Digest by Richard Donato
This Digest from the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) discusses what action research is and why it is used. The article also provides a framework for conducting action research and includes an example of an action research investigation in an elementary school.
Teacher and Action Research
Teachers who want to engage in action research will be interested in this site. It compares teacher research to other types of education research and other forms of professional learning. The site also outlines the teacher research process and provides a bibliography of studies on classroom research.
What questions have you answered through research you’ve done in your own classroom? What did you learn about your students, literacy instruction, or yourself as an educator?
In the second part of this post, we will share action research that Mia conducted in her middle level English language arts classroom.