Action Research is a method of systematic enquiry that teachers undertake as researchers of their own practice. The enquiry involved in Action Research is often visualized as a cyclical process, two examples of which are shown below.
The start of the process is usually an issue or situation that, as a teacher, you want to change. You will be supported in turning this 'interesting problem' into a 'researchable question' and then developing actions to try out. You will draw on the findings of other researchers to help develop actions and interpret the consequences.
As an action researcher, or teacher-researcher, you will generate research. Enquiring into your practice will inevitably lead you to question the assumptions and values that are often overlooked during the course of normal school life. Assuming the habit of inquiry can become an ongoing commitment to learning and developing as a practitioner. As a teacher-researcher you assume the responsibility for being the agent and source of change.
Altrichter, H., Posch, P. and Somekh, B. (1993) Teachers Investigate Their Work: An introduction to the methods of action research (Routledge: London).
Altrichter, H., Posch, P. and Somekh, B. (2007, 2nd edition) Teachers Investigate Their Work: An introduction to action research across the professions (Routledge: London).