Action research is a process of applied research undertaken by practitioners (such as teachers) with a goal of improving their own performance or the performance of the organization in which they work. Action research is focused, methodological, disciplined, self-reflective, and often collaborative. It is carried out in a real-life environment (such as a classroom or school building or district) rather than in a library or laboratory, and involves the engagement of participants in their actual settings in order to examine real-life situations and to recommend improvements.

Methodology is important to successful action research, and it needs to be considered carefully in research proposals and described accurately and thoroughly in the research report.

The links below offer explanations and examples of research proposals.


Writing Guides

Research to Practice: Guidelines for Planning Action Research Projects

Ohio Literacy Research Center.

An Overview of the Methodological Approach of Action Research

Rory O'Brien, University of Toronto

Action Research

Eileen Ferrance, Brown University Northeast and Islands Regional Educational Laboratory

Teacher Research

Sharon Parsons, San Jose State University

Action Research

Infed (Informal education homepage)

Teacher Research: Action Research

Graduate School of Education,
George Mason University

Action Research in Science Education

Allan Feldman and Brenda Capobianco
(ERIC Digest article)

Action Research Resources

Southern Cross University

Action Research

North Central Regional Educational Laboratory

Classroom Action Research

Madison (Wisconsin) Metropolitan School District

Examples and Case Studies

An Evaluation of an Action Learning Program

Bob Dick, Southern Cross University

Seven Stages in My First Research Action Project

Michael Prendergast

Action Research Example: "How Technology Cheats Girls"

Carolyn Csongradi

Action Research for Staff Professional Development: Case Study of a School in Uganda

Jaya Earnest, Research Unit for the Study of Societies in Change, Curtin University of Technology