Getting started with action research

Action research is a way to make changes to your professional practice informed by evidence and reflection. Action research should have a specific issue in mind that you wish to explore, practice and develop upon.

You can carry out action research either by yourself, with colleagues or on a whole school or departmental level. It helps to think about the process as a cycle of inquiry:

  1. Choose a question or focus
  2. What research is already out there?
  3. Plan how you will carry it out
  4. Implement change
  5. Collect the data
  6. Analyse the data
  7. Reflect on your findings
  8. Decide who else will benefit from knowing about your results and share

A useful series of booklets to support you in your action research has been produced by NFER:

Note: the previous link was updated by NFER recently, we have found the PDF of the first series of how to guides. As soon as a new link with all guides is available, we’ll update this step.

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This article is from the free online course:

The Science of Learning

National STEM Learning Centre