Explore BrainMass

Culture of Inquiry (Action Research)

Please explain "culture of inquiry" or "action research. Provide short descriptions of various action research methodologies and its uses.

Solution Preview

Culture of Inquiry?Action Research

Developing a culture of inquiry is premised on increasing the productivity of individuals and groups (Bender, 2006). Therefore, promoting an atmosphere of questioning, answering, learning, and change for betterment is the focus of culture of inquiry. Various avenues to culture of inquiry have emerged in recent years. To contrast and compare various inquiry approaches, Rena Palloff (1996) generated a table juxtaposing four areas of the culture of Inquiry: Co-Operative, Action Research, Participatory Action Research, and Participatory Research. Under the culture of inquiry's broad heading, each of the subareas has its own characteristics and objectives. When considering the nature of this study and its needed methodological components, the panorama of culture of inquiry is narrowed to action research.

Action Research

Lauer (1991) argued that societal change is ubiquitous and normal. Somekh (2005) claimed "Change is an inevitable and continuous process in social situations, locally, nationally, globally . . ." (p. 1). She continued by saying that the problem lies in the "extent" of the control we have over change. The notion is that since societies and organizations comprise individuals, changes in societies and organizations can be directed, or controlled, though individual change. This especially applies to the idea of inclusion in education philosophy (O'Hanlon, 2003). Action research is concerned with change, including changing one's own practices, and is theoretically attached to social construction.

Action research has been refined in recent years by educators (Mezirow, 1991), but had its beginning with Kurt Lewin (O'Hanlon, 2003). This form of research asks questions enabling practitioners to examine their work through investigation and evaluation (McNiff & Whitehead, 2006). The core of these inquiries has to do with the research practitioner's actions: "What am I doing? What do I need to improve? How do I ...