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Different Types of Action Research

At times researchers’ interest extend beyond finding relationships, trends, patterns, descriptions and understanding individuals or groups, instead there are problems and issues that draw their attention. When researchers concern themselves with problems and seek a plan of action to solve these problems, they benefit from the use of action research designs (Creswell, 2008). Sometimes seeking to understand on-going problems is not enough, especially as these problems hinder the quality of education our children receive at schools. Action research offers researchers the opportunity to take measures towards solving the problems affecting education within their immediate surroundings. In action research, teachers become the researchers and “reflect about these problems, collect and analyze data, and implement changes based on their findings” (Creswell, 2008, p. 597). For educators it is often challenging to find studies applicable to their student population, setting, environment, and resources to mention a few yet with action research they are able to determine what works within their location. Although, active research focuses on the idea of taking action to address problems, two designs exist. While one approach known as the practical action research focuses primarily on the teachers and students, the second approach known as participatory action research focuses on bringing change to our society (Creswell, 2008). Therefore, as teachers become the researchers through research action design, they must determine whether the problem they seek to address requires changes at the school or district level or their community level. By comparing and contrasting the two types of action research design, educators can get a better understandin...

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...individuals involved in the designs. Whereas participatory action research requires the collaboration of various individuals to bring change at the community level, practical research may work in teams primarily if the issue is one that revolves around the school and not particularly in the classroom (Creswell, 2008). The focus of the researcher influences that type of action research appropriate for addressing a problem, finding a solution and most ultimately addresses the research question and purpose of the study. Through a clear understanding of the characteristics shared and defining practical and participatory action research, researchers can make an informed decision as to the best design for their study.

Works Cited

Creswell, J.W.(2008). Educational Research: Planning Conducting, and Evaluating Quantitative and Qualitative Research. Pearson 3rd Ed
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