This essay is going to discuss the research methodology, Action Research. It is going to explore the attributes and limitations of action research, and also the appropriateness of this methodology in Early Childhood Research.
Action research is “an approach to research in which the focus is on the practitioner-researcher investigating his/her own practice in order to make changes or improvements” (Mutch, 2005, p 215). This research can take place in the teacher’s own setting, and is usually focused on a particular question or problem, for example, transitions, child development or behaviour. This type of research differs from other types of research as, through inquiry, reflection and collaboration, it aims to improve practice and lead to solutions or new questions, rather than develop knowledge (New Zealand Tertiary College, [NZTC], 2010; Borgia & Schuler, 1996).
There are various different methods of gathering evidence and information when conducting action research. Some of these include surveys, polls, observations and interviews (Borgia & Schuler, 1996). It is important that all steps of inquiry are documented in a detailed and precise way for reasons of accountability of research results and also so “others can read and benefit from the experience and findings” (NZTC, 2010, p. 25). When gathering evidence, information and data, it is also important for the researcher/teacher to use multiple perspectives from a variety if different sources, and listen to others ideas and opinions so a biased viewpoint can be avoided (NZTC, 2010).
Action research is one of the most common types of research used by teachers and has many benefits. Teachers can use the research and reflection involved, to expand on existing knowledge, and use findings from within their own specific context to translate into meaningful practice and resolve a problem (NZTC, 2010). This is a great opportunity for developing a deeper understanding of children, improvement of...