David O. McKay School of Education

What Does Action Research Look Like?

Teachers Using Action Research Document

Teachers Using Action Research

Buschman, L. (2001). Using student interviews to guide classroom instruction: An action research project.  Teaching Children Mathematics, 8, 222-227.

A group of teachers at Jefferson Elementary School in Jefferson, Oregon identified a problem that existed in their school and worked toward a solution that would improve classroom instruction. These teachers recognized that they were having difficulties teaching problem solving, and that their students were struggling to learn it. The teachers involved in this research investigated how student interviews could be used to guide classroom instruction. The author, one of the teachers involved in the project, recorded the process of collecting the data, how they analyzed the data, and also how they used the results to meet the needs of their students.

Lach, T. M., & Sakshaug L. E. (2005). Let’s do math: Wanna play?. Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, 11, 172-176. 

Fifth grade teacher Tisa Lach discussed her action research study with the focus on “how game playing affected students in the areas of algebraic reasoning, spatial sense, and problem solving” (p. 173). Within the article she included her motivation for choosing her research topic, which helps make the reader aware of similar questions that he or she may want to study. Lach discussed her preparation for the study, including discussions with her principal and the parents of her students. She also described the conditions she exposed her students to, as well as the successes they experienced because of the study. This article shows the reader how easy it is to carry out an action research study, giving encouragement to classroom teachers considering doing one of their own.

Meyers, E., & Rust, F. O. (Eds.). (2003). Taking action with teacher research. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

The first chapter of this book is devoted to explaining how to do action research. It gives a brief yet practical description of how to choose a research question, gather data, and analyze the results. The remainder of the book, with the exception of the last chapter, contains action research projects submitted by classroom teachers working to effect change. This “teacher research in action” serves as a guide for teachers to identify problems within their own schools and provide research solutions to ensure success for all of their students. The concluding chapter, crafted by the editors, urges teachers to participate in action research for the purpose of education policy reform.


Monroe, E. E., Gali, K., Swope, K., & Perreira, I. (2007). Preservice teachers’ use of action research to                             implement alternatives to round robin reading. Journal of Reading Education, 32, 13-17.

Throughout the process of this article, researchers guided two teachers in using action research to adjust their teaching practices in reading instruction. The teachers followed Stringer’s stages for action research to help them develop alternate activities for Round Robin Reading. By using this cycle, teachers learned to evaluate and reflect regularly in their own practices instead of accepting them to be of value just because they were easy or traditional. From this experience, the teachers found themselves engaging in the action research cycle in all content areas in order to improve both their instructional practices and student learning.