Action Research Journal

As an extension of my current focus for my doctoral research, I offer this page and it’s comments as a journey through concept development. Being done as partial completion for Argosy University, R7038 Action Research, Dr. Robin Throne.

The figure below displays three major forms of data collection that was adapted from Wolcott (1992).  This chart included here for dialog below.



Examining Documents And Other Sources

Experiencing Through Our Senses

Inquiring into the Experiences and Thoughts of Others

Examining Documents and Artifacts

Note taking Informal interview Personal-experience methods
Field notes Formal interview Student work
Shadow study Questionnaire Photographs
Anecdotal record Attitude scale Video
Log Checklist Audio
Diary/video diary Rating scale Recording
Journal Critical incident interview Technology
Checklist Sociogram Physical traces
Rating scale Projective technique
Creative visualization
Focus group interview
(p. 141

Holly, Arhar, & Kasten (2005)


Coghlan, D., & Brannick, T. (2005). Doing Action Research in Your Own Organization (2nd). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

Holly, M.L., Arhar, J., & Kasten, W. (2005). Action Research for Teachers: Traveling the Yellow Brick Road (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

Wolcott, H.F. (1992). Posturing in Qualitative Inquiry. In M.D. Le Compte, W.L. Millroy, & J. Preissle (eds.), Handbook of Qualitative Research in Education (pp.3-52). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

  1. #1 by chinazurfluh on July 1, 2008 - 7:18 pm

    One of the challenges of Action Research may be insight into the team aspect of it. If the current experiences of the Omega team are any indication, there is a long road ahead with assuring the necessary communication to make our collaboration yield usable results.

  2. #2 by chinazurfluh on June 30, 2008 - 10:27 pm

    I think there is a danger that some might see Action Research as a method for making decisions more quickly under the guise of research with other more methodical methods are taxing and frustrating. While our text and lectures don’t define it this way – in fact, quite the opposite – I could see where some could see the iterative cycles as opportunities to move decision making where other processes might seem cumbersome.

    I have a picture in my mind’s eye of a captain at the helm of a ship:

    Full speed ahead in the name of finding new knowledge! – No matter that the shoreline is obscured by a ghostly fog. If we pummel the shoreline, we will certainly uncover it’s location.

    Action research?

  3. #3 by chinazurfluh on June 30, 2008 - 4:41 pm

    After reading Chapter 5 last night (Goghlan & Brannick, 2005), I became seriously worried about the limitations to action research in my organization. The cautionary statements forced me to reconsider the potential for success given my leadership role as Head of School. Additionally, there is a tenuous relationship between myself and my board of directors right now that could emerge as a serious limitation to my potential to pursue this type of research. Balancing that is a strong leadership team of collaborators that could provide for exceptional progress on researched actions. Is that enough to make success a probability?

  4. #4 by chinazurfluh on June 29, 2008 - 7:30 pm

    The learning in action cycle introduced in Chapter 3 (Coghlan & Brannick, 2005) brings experience into focus as it relates to this process. It values the true human experience of how we adapt and it allows a meta-analysis of why we do what we do in the face of increasingly complex challenges.

  5. #5 by chinazurfluh on June 29, 2008 - 7:28 pm

    In many ways the concept presented in the text and in the lectures are akin to my own developmental processes. I have been feeling that isolated qualitative and/or quantitative research, including mixed mode, leaves the researcher out of the equation except in regards to addressing bias.

    In action research, it seems that the whole picture, much the same as addressing the whole child in education, is the core of the process and the incremental nature of overlapping cycles bring to specific relief the idea of addressing many more facets of the complex nature of human science than isolated treatments allow.

(will not be published)