Action research ‘is an outgrowth of the traditions of John Dewey and Kurt Lewin’ with its aim to bring ‘experimental inquiry to social practice’ (Argyris et al. 1985).
The predominant driving force for action research is in creating positive social change (Berg, 2004).
Bruce Berg (2004) mentions five key points to consider when implementing an action research methodology:
- The investigation should take into account the history, culture, interactive activities and emotional lives of the population or subject
- Research should be highly rigorous, yet reflective or interpretive
- Participants should be actively engaged and participate in the research
- Practical outcomes should relate to the actual lives of the participants
A sequence of steps based on planning, action, and evaluation are cycled throughout the research project. This cyclical process can be described as an emergent space where the early cycles inform how the later cycles are conducted (Dick, 2000).
Kemmis & McTaggart (1988): plan, act, observe and reflect.