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Action Research

Action Research
Living Theory

April 2006 | 192 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
In Action Research: Living Theory, authors Jean McNiff and Jack Whitehead set out their vision of what action research should be and can be in the 21st Century.

This brilliantly-written, passionate, and compelling book, defines the philosophy behind action research and the process of doing action research for all those interested in this fast growing area. It establishes the foundations of action research as a discipline, and roots action research as a compassionate, ethical, and politically-engaged form of inquiry.

This book will be essential reading for all those with an interest in Action Research.

Background to Our Research: Reasons and Purposes
What Are Our Concerns?

Contexts of Our Research
Why Are We Concerned?

Looking for Data
What Experiences Can We Describe to Show Why We Are Concerned?

Monitoring Practice and Gathering Data
What Kind of Data Will We Gather to Show the Situation as It Unfolds

Interpreting Data and Generating Evidence in Relation to Living Critical Standards of Judgement
How Do We Explain Our Educational Influences in Learning?

Validity, Legitimacy and Moral Authority
How Do We Show that Any Conclusions We Come To Are Reasonably Fair and Accurate?

The Potential Significance of Our Research
How Do We Show the Potential Significance of Our Research?

Case Studies
How Do We Show the Implications of Our Research?

Evaluating the Account of Our Research
How Do We Evaluate the Evidence-Based Account of Our Learning?

Into New Research
How Do We Modify Our Concerns, Ideas and Practices in the Light of Our Evaluations?


A useful insightful book which tells it like it is. The approach of the book makes research accessible for those who are returning to study through PGCE and or other post graduate studies.

Mrs Alison Dawn Milner
Education , South Devon College
January 19, 2016

Helpful and easy to use.
The questions really help you think and the case studies support understanding.

Mrs Dawn Burnham
Dept Of Applied Health Sciences, Farnborough College of Technology
February 6, 2015

Essential reading for students considering action research approach.

Mrs Lynn Swift
Sch of Health,Community & Educ Studies, Northumbria University
September 30, 2014

very useful

Mrs Jane Peacock
Faculty of Education, Winchester Univ.
September 19, 2014

An excellent book for all students from level 3 up to post graduates interested in or about to embark on action research. It is well written and is based on action research that was conducted by the authors, so has a fluid feel to it throughout. It offers many examples to help the reader understand the issues and decisions that have to be made throughout the cycles. All in all, a very good resource for all researchers.

Mr Shane Payne
Engineering, Leicester College
July 18, 2014

Full of information on action research, theoretical background and data collection which will be of use to students in the modules where they need to conduct their own small-scale study.

Mrs Samantha Sutton-Tsang
Early Years, Stourbridge College
March 14, 2014

Very well written and easy to understand book of the underlying philosophy of action research. As always, McNiff and Whitehead's contributions are welcomed by those at all stages of action research participation.

Mrs Michelle Grainger
Sheffield Centre, LifeSkills
February 16, 2014

I do not think that social work practitioners will have the time to read the book in any depth.

Mrs Beverley Murray
Dept of Health,Wellbeing & the family, Canterbury Christ Church University
February 4, 2014

A leading text in its field which articulates well the key epistemological basis of this type of research - the impact of the 'reflexive-self' on the process and outcomes of research. Not only does this act to counter longstanding critique about the 'observer stance' of more traditional research approaches, it also tells you how to go about designing research of a more emancipatory nature. Dr Alyson Nicholds, Senior Lecturer, Middlesex University Business School, London.

Dr Alyson Nicholds
Leadership, Work and Organisations, Middlesex University
February 1, 2014

Accessible and informative. Will interest the students new to Action Research

Ms Julia Calver
UK Centre for Events Management, Leeds Metropolitan University
June 2, 2013

Sample Materials & Chapters

Pdf file of chapter 1

Pdf file of chapter 2

For instructors

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