1 research that has the primary goal of finding ways of solving problems, bringing about social change or practical action, in comparison with research that seeks to discover scientific principles or develop general laws and theories.
2 (in teacher education) teacher-initiated classroom research that seeks to increase the teacher’s understanding of classroom teaching and learning and to bring about improvements in classroom practices.
Action research typically involves small-scale investigative projects in the teacher’s own classroom, and consists of the following cycle of activities:
a The teacher (or a group of teachers) selects an aspect of classroom behaviour to examine in more detail (e.g. the teacher’s use of questions)
b selects a suitable research technique (e.g. recording classroom lessons)
c collects data and analyzes them
d develops an action plan to help bring about a change in classroom behaviour (e.g. to reduce the frequency of questions that the teacher
answers himself or herself)
e acts to implement the plan
f observes the effects of the action plan on behaviour (Richard & Schmidt 2002, p. 9).