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The Definition of Action Research

1. Kemmis and McTaggart (1988, 5): Action research is a form of collective selfreflective enquiry undertaken by participants in social situations in order to improve the rationality and justice of their own social or educational practices, as well as their understanding of these practices and the situations in which these practices are carried out. 2. Patricia Cross (1987, 499): Classroom research ... is geared to self -improvement since it is designed, conducted, and used by teachers themselves. And classroom research bridges the gap between research and practice because researchers and practitioners are in one: the researcher asks questions that the practitioner thinks are important; the practitioner is eager to use the results of the research. ... Classroom research is, by definition, situation-specific, and the findings of classroom research are, therefore, relevant to a given teacher and can be used directly to improve practice. 3. Watts (1985, 118): Action research is a process in which participants examine their own educational practice systematically and carefully, using the techniques of research. It is based on the following assumptions: Teachers and principals work best on problems they have identified for themselves Teachers and principals become more effective when encouraged to examine and assess their own work and then consider ways of working differently Teachers and principals help each other by working collaboratively Working with colleagues helps teachers and principals in their professional development. 4. McCutcheon, G. & Jung, B. (1990): Action research is a systematic form of inquiry that is collective, collaborative, self-reflective, critical, and undertaken by the participants of the inquiry. 5. Hopkins (1993): AR is a process designed to empower all participants in the educational process (students, instructors and other parties) with the means to improve the practices conducted within the educational experience. 6. Hopkins (1993): Action research has been described as an informal, qualitative, formative, subjective, interpretive, reflective and experiential model of inquiry in which all individuals involved in the study are knowing and contributing participants. 7. Rapoport (cited in Hopkins, 1985): Action Research ...aims to contribute both to the practical concerns of people in an immediate problematic situation and to the goals of social science by joint collaboration within a mutually acceptable ethical framework. 8. Kemmis (cited in Hopkins, 1985): Action Research is a form of self-reflective enquiry undertaken by participants in social (including educational) situations in order to improve the rationality and justice of (a) their own social or educational practices, (b) their understanding of these practices, and

(c) the situations in which the practices are carried out. It is most rationally empowering when undertaken by participants collaboratively...sometimes in cooperation with outsiders. 9. Ebbutt (cited in Hopkins, 1985): Action Research ...is the systematic study of attempts to improve educational practise by groups of participants by means of their own practical actions and by means of their own reflection upon the effects of those actions.

10. The North Central Regional Educational Laboratory: Action research is inquiry or research in the context of focused efforts to improve the quality of an organization and its performance. It typically is designed and conducted by practitioners who analyze the data to improve their own practice. Action research can be done by individuals or by teams of colleagues. The team approach is called collaborative inquiry. 11. Wikipedia: Action research is a reflective process of progressive problem solving led by individuals working with others in teams or as part of a "community of practice" to improve the way they address issues and solve problems. 12. Heidi Watts, Antioch Graduate School: Action Research is a process in which participants examine their own educational practice systematically and carefully using the techniques of research. It is based on the following assumptions: a. teachers and principals work best on problems they have identified for themselves; b. teachers and principals become more effective when encouraged to examine and assess their own work and then consider ways of working differently; c. teachers and principals help each other by working collaboratively; d. working with colleagues helps teachers and principals in their professional development. 13. Kurt Lewin (1973 (disitasi Sulaksana, 2004)): Action research atau penelitian tindakan merupakan salah satu bentuk rancangan penelitian, dalam penelitian tindakan peneliti mendeskripsikan, menginterpretasi dan menjelaskan suatu situasi sosial pada waktu yang bersamaan dengan melakukan perubahan atau intervensi dengan tujuan perbaikan atau partisipasi. Action research dalam pandangan tradisional adalah suatu kerangka penelitian pemecahan masalah, dimana terjadi kolaborasi antara peneliti dengan client dalam mencapai tujuan. 14. Davison, Martinsons & Kock (2004): menyebutkan penelitian tindakan, sebagai sebuah metode penelitian, didirikan atas asumsi bahwa teori dan praktik dapat secara tertutup diintegrasikan dengan pembelajaran dari hasil intervensi yang direncanakan setelah diagnosis yang rinci terhadap konteks masalahnya. 15. Gunawan (2007): Action research adalah kegiatan dan atau tindakan perbaikan sesuatu yang perencanaan, pelaksanaan, dan evaluasinya digarap secara sistematik dan sistematik sehingga validitas dan reliabilitasnya mencapai tingkatan riset. 16. Rapoport (1970 (disitasi Madya, 2006)): Action research juga merupakan proses yang mencakup siklus aksi, yang mendasarkan pada refleksi; umpan balik (feedback); bukti (evidence); dan evaluasi atas aksi sebelumnya dan situasi sekarang. Penelitian tindakan ditujukan untuk memberikan andil pada pemecahan masalah praktis dalam situasi

problematik yang mendesak dan pada pencapaian tujuan ilmu sosial melalui kolaborasi patungan dalam rangka kerja etis yang saling berterima.

The History of Action Research


Origins in late 1940s Kurt Lewin is generally considered the father of action research. A German social and experimental psychologist, and one of the founders of the Gestalt school, he was concerned with social problems, and focused on participative group processes for addressing conflict, crises, and change, generally within organizations. Initially, he was associated with the Center for Group Dynamics at MIT in Boston, but soon went on to establish his own National Training Laboratories. Lewin first coined the term action research in his 1946 paper Action Research and Minority Problems,[v] characterizing Action Research as a comparative research on the conditions and effects of various forms of social action and research leading to social action, using a process of a spiral of steps, each of which is composed of a circle of planning, action, and fact-finding about the result of the action. Eric Trist, another major contributor to the field from that immediate post-war era, was a social psychiatrist whose group at the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations in London engaged in applied social research, initially for the civil repatriation of German prisoners of war. He and his colleagues tended to focus more on large-scale, multi-organizational problems. Both Lewin and Trist applied their research to systemic change in and between organizations. They emphasized direct professional - client collaboration and affirmed the role of group relations as basis for problem-solving. Both were avid proponents of the principle that decisions are best implemented by those who help make them. Current Types of Action Research By the mid-1970s, the field had evolved, revealing 4 main streams that had emerged: traditional, contextural (action learning), radical, and educational action research. Traditional Action Research Traditional Action Research stemmed from Lewins work within organizations and encompasses the concepts and practices of Field Theory, Group Dynamics, T-Groups, and the Clinical Model. The growing importance of labour-management relations led to the application of action research in the areas of Organization Development, Quality of Working Life (QWL), Socio-technical systems (e.g., Information Systems), and Organizational Democracy. This traditional approach tends toward the conservative, generally maintaining the status quo with regards to organizational power structures.

Contextural Action Research (Action Learning) Contextural Action Research, also sometimes referred to as Action Learning, is an approach derived from Trists work on relations between organizations. It is contextural, insofar as it entails reconstituting the structural relations among actors in a social environment; domainbased, in that it tries to involve all affected parties and stakeholders; holographic, as each participant understands the working of the whole; and it stresses that participants act as project designers and co-researchers. The concept of organizational ecology, and the use of search conferences come out of contextural action research, which is more of a liberal philosophy, with social transformation occurring by consensus and normative incrementalism. Radical Action Research The Radical stream, which has its roots in Marxian dialectical materialism and the praxis orientations of Antonio Gramsci, has a strong focus on emancipation and the overcoming of power imbalances. Participatory Action Research, often found in liberationist movements and international development circles, and Feminist Action Research both strive for social transformation via an advocacy process to strengthen peripheral groups in society. Educational Action Research A fourth stream, that of Educational Action Research, has its foundations in the writings of John Dewey, the great American educational philosopher of the 1920s and 30s, who believed that professional educators should become involved in community problemsolving. Its practitioners, not surprisingly, operate mainly out of educational institutions, and focus on development of curriculum, professional development, and applying learning in a social context. It is often the case that university-based action researchers work with primary and secondary school teachers and students on community projects.