Personal Purpose for Action Research
The central purpose of action research in this case is the improvement of the researcher's practice. The focus is on the teacher and his own students. Specific purposes can be among others:
- To develop a greater understanding of individual student's thoughts and actions.
- To develop a deeper understanding of teachers' experiences with particular educational innovations
- To provide teachers an opportunity for personal examination and generation of theory.
- To develop a deeper self awareness in practitioners such as clarification of their assumptions about education and recognition of contradictions between their own ideas and actual classroom practice.
- To examine the impact of the research process on practitioners
- To conduct research as an individual learning process valuing experiential experiential knowledge.
Professional Purposes for Action Research
In action research undertaken for professional purposes practitioners:
- uses action research as a form of staff development
- seeks the legitimization of their role as producers of knowledge and contributors of to the literature of educational research and theory.
- develops action research networks of practitioners for the promotion of professionalism.
Political Purposes for Action Research
In addressing political purposes Action Research can focus on:
- Trying to make personal teaching practices more humane and just
- Facilitating full participation of all those concerned in the research process.
- Promoting social change with a focus on economic and social justice through collective efforts to increase educational opportunities for all constituents. Typical issues addressed are: gender, class, cultural equity and voice in education.
In reading action research reports the researcher's purpose or purposes have to be found out. A personal analysis based on the three types of purposes can be done in order to determine these purposes. Experienced researchers can focus on one or several purposes. Some reflections on the purpose of action research are recommended in the planning phase of the project.