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Comparing and contrasting action research and action learning

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

This chapter looks at a form of action-based enquiry, known as action learning. The main aim of the chapter is to explore how action research and action learning are related by identifying their similarities and differences. The chapter also looks at how action learning can support action research and vice versa.

Why is this a significant issue? It is important because there is potential for confusion between action research and action learning, as they are both concerned with “action” and because all research necessarily involves learning. It is important also because this book is about action research in education and action learning is a form of education. And it is important because, in the right contexts, action learning can contribute to the success of action research and action research can contribute to the success of action learning.

The chapter starts with an overview of action learning, where it came from, and its place in educational contexts and then looks at similarities and differences between action research and action learning. It then considers what action learning can contribute to action research and vice versa. The main conclusions of the chapter are that action research and action learning have different domains of applicability, but that they are complementary and, in the right situations, can be mutually supportive.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Wiley Handbook of Action Research in Education
EditorsCraig A. Mertler
PublisherWiley-Blackwell
Chapter9
Pages185-206
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-119-39947-6
ISBN (Print)978-1-119-39996-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019

Publication series

NameWiley Handbooks in Education
PublisherWiley

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