IDEA: Action research



What works best?

Unlocking the best classroom pedagogies.

As teachers and educators we need to be implementing our own research surrounding pedagogies suitable for our classrooms. Action research should become part of our professional development, being completed on a regular basis, which we should ideally share with our educational communities. Direct classroom observations can be reported in a qualitative or quantitative way to draw conclusions and create more questions for learning, in order to be the best teachers that we can be.


Action research should:

* fit within normal classroom practice or learning objectives

* fit with well with the needs of your learners

* be appropriate for you to conduct within the normal expectations and responsibilities of your position

* be managed in a responsive manner, making necessary adjustments

* key data source can be own systematic reflections and notes made, during planning, implementation and discussion periods

* the question should fit within the time constraints, trying to limit other affecting factors

* use the method: plan – implantation – observation – reflection

e.g. Bridget Somek’s action research process (Professor of Education at Manchester Metropolitan University)



You need to think about:

What is the question which you would like to answer?

Why is it important?

How will you know of the implementation of this activity has been successful?


Keeping a research diary that keeps track of your actions, reflection, thoughts and observations, is a useful recording tool.


I found these tube clips by ‘Conscious Educating‘ which aim to “demonstrate the theory, benefits and methodology of using Action Research in the classroom”.

Part 1:

Part 2:


*** There are 1000’s of action research presentations by educators shared on the Prezi website for all of us to view.


For further advice and understanding see:

Costello, P.J.M. (2011). Effective action research: Developing reflective thinking and practice. London: Continuum. – Chapter 1 “What is action research?'” provides information about definitions and a range of models that can be used.

Saul, W., & Launius, J.C. (2010). Making the case for action research. Science Scope, 34(1), 24-29.

Somekh, B., & Zeicher, K. (2009). Action research for educational reform: remodelling action research theories and practices in local contexts.  Educational Action Research, 17(1), 5–21.


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