Action research or participatory action research – is a reflective process of progressive problem solving led by individuals working with others in teams or as part of a "CommunityOfPractice" to improve the way they address issues and solve problems. Action research involves the process of actively participating in an organization change situation whilst conducting research. Action research can also be undertaken by larger organizations or institutions, assisted or guided by professional researchers, with the aim of improving their strategies, practices, and knowledge of the environments within which they practice. As designers and stakeholders, researchers work with others to propose a new course of action to help their community improve its work practices. Kurt Lewin, then a professor at MIT, first coined the term “action research” in 1944. In his 1946 paper “Action Research and Minority Problems” he described action research as “a comparative research on the conditions and effects of various forms of social action and research leading to social action” that uses “a spiral of steps, each of which is composed of a circle of planning, action, and fact-finding about the result of the action”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Action_research
sub-theories: ChrisArgyris' Action Science; John Heron and Peter Reason's Cooperative Inquiry; Paulo Freire's ParticipatoryAction Research (PAR); WilliamTorbert’s Developmental Action Inquiry; Jack Whitehead's Living Theory and Jean Mc Niff's Action Research approaches
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