Action Research In Education: (B.Ed Notes)


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What Is Action Research In Education?

Research concerned with school problems, carried on by school personnel to improve school practice, is action research. - S. Bachwell

The concept of Action Research is very old, but Stephen M. Corey applied it in the field of Education for the first time.

According to Stephen M. Corey

"Our schools cannot keep up with the life they are supposed to sustain and improve unless teachers, students, supervisors, administrators, and school patrons continuously examine what they are doing, singly and in groups. They must use their imaginations creatively and constructively to identify the practices that must be changed to meet the needs and demands of modern life. Courageously try out those practices that give letter promise and methodically and systematically gather evidence to test their worth".

Meaning Of Research?

According to Random Marey

"Research is systematized efforts to gain new knowledge"

The research process establishes

  • New truth,
  • Finds out new facts,
  • Formulation of new theories and
  • Suggests to new applications.

It is a purposeful activity that contributes to the enhancement of knowledge.

What Is Action Research?

Action Research is a kind of classroom research taken up by the class teacher or subject teachers with a view to find out what action can be taken to solve a certain problem in the shortest possible time.

For example,

A student who performs very well in written exams fails to give oral answers or a group of students constantly miss a particular subject period. There may be some reasons for all such problems, all that is required is a certain more effort on the part of the teachers to get involved and ask

  • Why?
  • What? and
  • How?

Action Research is that one way that gives an opportunity to the teachers to get involved in solving their problems.

No other researcher can help a teacher solve such practical problems faced by him in his daily classroom transactions, but the teacher himself.

How Can Action Research Improve Classroom Teaching?

Action Research is not concerned merely with solving problems in a class but can also be conducted to verify the consequences of new educational decisions, teaching and leadership strategies, and many more.

    • It functions as a supporting device for teaching. In other words, action research is the practical aspect of educational research.
  • It is a method for improving and modifying the working system of a classroom in a school.
  • In this, research efforts are made to solve the practical difficulties and problems scientifically which changes the working system and the desired objectives are achieved.
  • The teacher and principal are able to study their problems of teaching scientifically. It is a problem-oriented method.
  • The action Research project improves and modifies the current practices.

Action research is inquiry or research in the context of focused efforts to improve the quality of an organization and its performance. It typically is designed and conducted by practitioners who analyze the data to improve their own practice.

Action research can be done by individuals or by teams of colleagues. The team approach is called collaborative inquiry.

Why Is Action Research Important For Teachers?

Action research has the potential to generate genuine & sustained improvements in schools.

It gives educators new opportunities

  1. To explore and test new ideas, methods, and materials
  2. To reflect on and assess their teaching
  3. To assess how effective the new approaches were
  4. To share feedback with fellow team members and
  5. To make decisions about which new approaches to include in the team's curriculum, instruction, and assessment plan.

Benefits of Action Research

Action research is a valuable tool in the hands of the teacher to solve day-to-day problems of class teaching & educational guidance.

  1. Action research provides an occasion to the teachers to use the imaginations of children creatively to change classroom practices to meet with needs and demands of students adequately and to try out such practices which give greater
    • Promises,
    • Confidence And
    • Worth.
  2. Action research helps to preserve democratic values and eliminates dogmatic practices in educational institutions.
  3. Action research develops a scientific outlook in the
    • Teachers,
    • Inspectors,
    • Administrators,
    • Managements Etc.
  4. Due to its flexibility, it is an ideal instrument for education guidance.
  5. Results obtained by action research are more practical worthwhile from the standpoint of their application and implementation in the field of education.
  6. Action research can utilize the skills like
    • Observing,
    • Recording,
    • Making Hypothesis,
    • Testing Them Reaching Tentative Conclusion Etc.

Need of Action Research

A curriculum is set up and given to the teachers to follow in their teaching-learning process during a year. This curriculum is based on constant researches and studies going on in the field of education.

  • Such researches are fundamental researches that add to the existing facts in a certain field.
  • The problems related to syllabus, teaching methods, adjustment of students, etc are a few such areas that can be taken up for fundamental researches.

But, minor problems like problems related to discipline, absenteeism, fatigue, or boredom related to particular subjects like History, Science, or Mathematics which faced by an individual teacher in her classroom cannot be solved by the fundamental research because these problems required an immediate solution that can be found by the action research.

The researchers say

A teacher is an artist to mound his students into the shape he likes.

So being an artist it is the utmost duty of the teacher to see and check why he/she is unable to shape those special category students.

The action which a teacher can take up to study the probable causes of an existing problem and thereby provide suggestions to eradicate the problem is called Action Research.

Importance Of Action Research For Teachers

It has been said,

Teachers often leave a mark on their students, but they seldom leave a mark on their profession.

There is a growing body of evidence of the positive personal & professional effects that engaging in action research has on the practitioner.

Action research provides teachers with the opportunity to gain knowledge and skill in research methods and applications and to become more aware of the options and possibilities for change.

  • Teachers engaging in action research attend more carefully to their methods, their perceptions and understandings, and their whole approach to the teaching process.
  • Teachers participating in action research become more critical and reflective about their own practice.
  • What they are learning will have a great impact on what happens in classrooms and schools in the future.
  • As teachers engage in action research, they are increasing their understanding of the schooling process.

In the words of Stephen M. Corey, it is clear that action research is an important tool for improving the teaching-learning process. According to him, our school cannot keep up with the life they are supposed to sustain and improve unless teachers.

In spite of these, several additional benefits and importance of action research in the teacher training programs to bring quality are as follows:

  1. Teacher investigates their own practice in a new way taking a closer look at what children actually do and what they themselves do.
  2. Action research helps the teacher scientifically to solve the problems that occur during the classroom teaching, presentation, and achieving learning objectives.
  3. Action research helps a practitioner to perceive, understand and assess the situation and it further facilitates a systematic analysis and working out plausible reasons for the unsatisfactory condition.
  4. Action research offers teachers the opportunity to investigate questions and concerns related to their teaching practice and their student's learning.
  5. Teachers develop a deeper understanding of children during the teaching-learning process and they play a major role in the development of children.
  6. Teachers are viewed as equal partners with their collaborators in deciding what works best in their situation.
  7. Action research is a systematic method of solving problems, improving upon things, and converting an unsatisfactory situation into a satisfactory one.
  8. Teachers are often more committed to the implementation of a project that they have been involved with in designing. Action research provides teachers the opportunity to improve their teaching and make the teaching-learning process effective.

Nature And Characteristics of Action Research

A Review Of A Large Variety Of Action Research Projects Over The Years Shows That Action Research Has The Following Characteristics:

  1. It is a scientific procedure for finding out a practical solution to a current problem.
  2. It is personal research or clinical research work.
  3. It is the process of studying practical problems of education.
  4. Uses methods that are appropriate to the audience and participants at hand.
  5. It does constitute in the form of knowledge.
  6. The focus is to improve and modify the current practices.
  7. The individual and group problems are studied by action research.
  8. Grounded in real-life experience.
  9. Developed in partnership.
  10. Addresses significant needs.
  11. Develops new ways of seeing or interpreting the world.
  12. Develops needed structures to allow for follow-up or institutionalization of new practices so that the work may have a lasting, positive impact.
  13. Works with people rather than simply studying.

Characteristics Of Action Research Project

  1. An investigator must be directly associated with the problem to be studied.
  2. The form of the problem should be real.
  3. The project should be so planned that it should not intervene in the function of school work.
  4. The project should be concerned directly with qualitative improvement and the level of performance of the students.

The action hypotheses should be formulated by considering the cause of the problem which is under the approach of the teacher or investigator.

Good teachers, often look for ways to expand upon their existing knowledge.

Action research can be a worthwhile pursuit for educators for a number of reasons. Foremost among these is simply the desire to know more.

Importance Of Action Research

1. Important for Teacher Professional Development:

  1. Research and reflection allow teachers to grow and gain confidence in their work.
  2. Action research projects influence
    1. Thinking skills,
    2. Sense of efficacy,
    3. Willingness to share and communicate, and
    4. Attitudes toward the process of change.
  3. Through action research, teachers learn about themselves, their students, their colleagues, and can determine ways to continually improve.

2. Evaluation of Own Practice:

Opportunities for teachers to evaluate themselves in schools are often few, and usually happen only in an informal manner.

  1. Action research can serve as a chance to really take a look at one’s own teaching in a structured manner.
  2. While the focus of action research is usually the students, educators can also investigate what effect their teaching is having on their students, how they could work better with other teachers or ways of changing the whole school for the better.
  3. Conversations can take on a different focus from attempting to “fix” to arrive at understanding.

3. Focus on School Issues, Problems, or Area of Collective Interest:

  1. Research done with the teacher’s students, in a setting with which the teacher is familiar helps to confer relevance and validity to a disciplined study.
  2. Often, academic research is seen as disconnected from the daily lives of educators. While this might not always be true, it can be very helpful for teachers to pick up threads suggested in academic circles, and weave them into their own classroom.
  3. It is also comforting for parents, or education administrators outside of the school, to know that a teacher is not just blindly following what the latest study seems to suggest, but is transforming the knowledge into something meaningful.

4. Give Opportunities for Collegial interactions:

Isolation is one of the downsides of teaching. Teachers are often the sole adult in a room of children and have little or no time scheduled for professional conversations with others.

  1. Action research in pairs or by teams of teachers allows time to talk with others about teaching and teaching strategies.
  2. By working on these teams, teachers must describe their own teaching styles and strategies and share their thoughts with others.
  3. As a team, they examine various instructional strategies, learning activities, and curricular materials used in the classroom.
  4. Through these discussions with colleagues, they develop stronger relationships.

As the practice of action research becomes part of the school culture, we see increased sharing and collaboration across

  • Departments,
  • Disciplines,
  • Grade levels, and schools.

5. Improved Collegiality and Communications:

  1. Teamwork within the school or district brings individuals together for a shared purpose.
  2. Educators involved in action research become more flexible in their thinking and more open to new ideas.
  3. Studies suggest positive changes in patterns of collegiality, communication, and networking.

In spite of these, several additional importance of action research are as follows:

  1. It develops a scientific attitude in the teachers.
  2. It can raise the achievement level of the students.
  3. Curriculum can be developed with its help.
  4. It can remove the discrepancies among students & teachers which occur due to social causes.
  5. It can solve the problem of
    • Indiscipline,
    • Delinquency and
    • Backwardness.
  6. It can preserve democratic values by eliminating traditional and mechanical environments.
  7. By studying the interests needs & abilities of the students, teachers can adopt a teaching method by which the teaching may become interesting and all-around development of the students may take place.
  8. It enables the schools to organize proper programs for the development of the students.
  9. With its help, decisions can be taken regarding the day-to-day problems which come before the principles, supervisors, administrators, and managers.

Steps of Action Research

In designing and conducting an action research project, the following steps are used.

5 Steps of Action Research Process

  1. Identification Of The Problem
  2. Definition And Delimitation Of The Problem
  3. Analyzing The Causes Of The Problem
  4. Design For The Action Hypotheses
  5. Conclusions Of Action Research Project

Step 1 - Identification Of The Problem

  • A researcher should be serious about various activities. The problems are isolated from the broad fields.
  • An investigator must realize the seriousness of the problems.

Step 2 - Definition And Delimitation Of The Problem

  • After identifying the problem, it should be defined. So, the action and goal may be specified.
  • The delimitation means to localize the problem in terms of class, subject, group, and period in which a teacher perceives the problem.

Step 3 - Analyzing The Causes Of The Problem

  • The causes of the problem are analyzed with the help of some relevance.
  • The nature of causes is also analyzed whether it is the control or beyond the control of the investigator.
  • This helps in formulating the action hypotheses.

Step 4 - Design For The Action Hypotheses

  • The design is developed for testing the most important action hypotheses.
  • Some action may be taken and their results are observed.
  • If the hypotheses are not accepted, a second design is developed for testing the hypotheses.
  • The design of action research is flexible and can be designed at any time according to the convenience of the researcher.

Step 5 - Conclusions Of Action Research Project

  • The accepting or rejecting action hypotheses lead to drawing some conclusions.
  • The conclusions are useful in modifying and improving the current practices of school and classroom teaching.


The Action Research In Education Plays A Vital Role In Shaping The Next Generation Of Scientifically Literate Individuals. By Understanding The Principles And Strategies Discussed In This Blog Post, You Will Be Well-Prepared To Create Meaningful And Impactful Action Research Learning Experiences For Your Students.


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