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All You Need to Know About Action Research
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All You Need to Know About Action Research

Second Edition

Other Titles in:
Action Research

April 2011 | 280 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

What is action research? Why do action research? When should you use action research?

In the Second Edition of All You Need to Know about Action Research, expert practitioners Jean McNiff and Jack Whitehead guide you through everything you need to know to plan and carry out a successful action research project.

The book provides:

  • A guide to the history and philosophy underpinning action research
  • Comprehensive coverage of the main theoretical debates in action research
  • A unique understanding of how action research can help your learning and your professional practice
  • Practical help in planning your project
  • Help with writing about your research and disseminating your findings

The Second Edition has been thoroughly updated throughout, and now includes new real-life case studies from education, health and business. A new chapter on reviewing the literature has been added and the sections on data gathering and analysis have been updated to take into account the latest technological advances.

This easy-to-follow overview of action research is essential reading for students, practitioners and seasoned researchers alike.


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PART ONE: WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?
 
What Is Action Research?
 
Who Can Do Action Research?
 
The Underpinning Assumptions of Action Research
 
Where Did Action Research Come from and Where Is It Now?
 
PART TWO: WHY DO I NEED TO KNOW?
 
Why Do Action Research?
 
Learning to Improve Practice
 
Contributing to New Theory
 
Evaluating Your Research
 
PART THREE: HOW DO I FIND OUT?
 
Action Planning: Planning and Designing Your Action Research
 
Engaging with the Literatures
 
Doing Action Research: Carrying out Your Action Plan
 
PART FOUR: HOW DO I GENERATE EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT MY CLAIM TO KNOWLEDGE?
 
Monitoring Practice and Looking for Data
 
Gathering, Sorting and Storing Data
 
Turning the Data into Evidence
 
PART FIVE: HOW DO I TEST AND CRITIQUE MY KNOWLEDGE?
 
Testing the Validity of Your Claims to Knowledge
 
Establishing the Legitimacy of Your Claims to Knowledge
 
Engaging with the Politics of Knowledge
 
PART SIX: HOW DO I REPRESENT AND DISSEMINATE MY KNOWLEDGE?
 
Telling Your Research Story
 
Writing a Workplace Report
 
Writing a Report for Higher Degree Accreditation
 
Publishing and Disseminating Your Research
 
PART SEVEN: HOW DO I SHOW THE SIGNIFICANCE OF MY KNOWLEDGE?
 
Explaining the Significance of Your Research
 
Developing New Epistemologies for Workplace Cultures of Enquiry

'This book provides a comprehensive coverage of the action research process - planning and carrying out the research as well as the dissemination of outcomes. With the recent global emphasis on generating practice-based evidence to enhance the quality of provision in a range of disciplines - education and health just to name two, this book will be an invaluable resource for those who are either embarking on action research or leading it. Written in an accesible style this book addresses both theory and practice associated with action research. Sections on personal theorising of knowledge and presention of findings to a range of audiences would be particularly useful to the reader' - Valsa Koshy, The School of Sport and Education, Brunel University


'Action Research is increasingly recognised as a form of professional enquiry with the potential to generate new knowledge and understanding grounded in the realities of everyday practice. This accessible book identifies core issues in Action Research and provides valuable practical guidance for practitioners who wish to investigate, evaluate and improve their practice and learning' - Angela Christiansen, Head of Nursing Studies, Edge Hill University


'This Second Edition of 'All You Need to Know about Action Research' is an accessible and invaluable text for anyone interested in using this method. McNiff and Whitehead use their considerable experience and insight into action research to show how research can be about learning and creating knowledge and improvement through careful and systematic inquiry into personal and organizational practice' - Russ Vince, Professor of Leadership & Change, the School of Management, University of Bath


It is not the intention of the book to offer an overview of all the different types of action research internationally and historically, but rather how to go about doing action research as an indiviudal who wants to improve their practice from their stance of educational action research. And this, they do very well... The writing style is simple and easy to read, but not simplistic. It covers all the important aspects of research to ensure quality, for example, validity, triangulation, ethics, development of conceptual frameworks, analysis and so on but with examples which mean you really grasp and understand deeper methodological issues and the politics of knowledge... it is an enjoyable read as well as a practical guide.

Annika Coughlin
SRA: Reviews


This book is easy to follow and in a logical format. The principles are simple to grasp and then built on to expand on this with case studies. I particularly found the unit summaries really useful. A must when conducting action research.

Miss Abby Taylor
Division of Business & Management, Rotherham College of Arts And Technology
May 6, 2017

Excellent text on the action research process that is a must read for any researcher that wants to conduct an action research study.

Dr Emmanuel Manu
Department of Construction, Nottingham Trent University
December 13, 2016

This book provides very useful explanations on what action research is and how to prepare, as well as the process and necessary steps to consider when carrying out your research. I found this book to be extremely useful in the process and would recommend to others.

Miss Kelly Marie Adams
Education , South Devon College
August 30, 2016

A number of my students are considering undertaking research in the organisation that they are employed in. This book allows them to consider the feasibility of this approach as well as highlight potential problems that they should consider.

Mr adam choonara
Natural Sciences, Middlesex University
November 3, 2015

It offers good explanations on what action research is all about as well as the necessary steps to consider when doing it. Very useful.

Mrs Opeyemi Osadiya
Early Years, South Essex College
September 13, 2015

I have recommended that learners read this book to gain an all round knowledge of action research.

Mrs Cheryl Cameron
Academic and Professional Services, South Tyneside College
March 2, 2015

Being a novice to Action Research I found this book of great help. It is logical and easy to gain an understanding of the process and background to completing Action Research. A must!

Miss Abby Taylor
Business Administration , Rotherham College of Arts & Technology
November 3, 2014

Many thanks for this... an excellent resource in explaining the theoretical underpinning as to why teachers do action research.

Mrs Donna O'Connor
Hair Beauty & Early Years, NWRC
June 25, 2014

Many thanks - this book has been adopted as recommended reading for this course

Mr Ian Mackay
Dept of Health,Wellbeing & the family, Canterbury Christ Church University
June 2, 2014

New to the second edition:

  • New real-life case studies from Education, Health and Business
  • A new chapter on reviewing the literature
  • Sections on data gathering and analysis have been updated to take into account the latest technological advances.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1


Jean McNiff

Jean McNiff is Professor of Educational Research at York St John University, UK. She is also a Visiting Professor at UiT the Arctic University of Norway, and at the Beijing Normal University and Ningxia Teachers’ University, People’s Republic of China. Jean took early retirement from her position as deputy head teacher of a large secondary school in Dorset, UK. She went into business for herself, and developed her writing. Her textbooks on action research and professional education are now used internationally on workplace-based professional education courses and on higher degree courses. Jean provides interdisciplinary consultancy work... More About Author

A Jack Whitehead

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ISBN: 9780857025821
£ 93.00