Select a Problem for Action Research and Prepare for Action Research

Here we will discuss about how to Select a Problem for Action Research and Prepare for Action Research – Long Question. You can write this as your B.Ed. Notes.

Meaning of Action research – Introduction

Action research is a systematic and reflective approach to solving real-world problems in educational or organizational settings. It involves identifying a specific problem, gathering data through observations, surveys, or interviews, analyzing the data, and then implementing and evaluating changes or interventions to address the issue. The process is iterative, with ongoing reflection and adjustment to achieve positive outcomes and inform future actions.

Selecting a Problem for Action Research and Preparing for Action Research

Here is the complete approach how we can select a problem for action research and prepare for action research, with real example.

To begin the action research process, we need to select a problem that is relevant and meaningful to the educational context. So, let’s choose a common problem of class 8th, that is “Enhancing Student Engagement in Science Education” as the focus of our action research.

Selecting the Problem for Action Research

  1. Identifying the Issue: In our 8th-grade science classes, we’ve noticed that some students aren’t as engaged as we’d like them to be. They often seem disinterested and not very involved in class activities. This lack of engagement can hinder their learning and overall experience in the classroom. We believe that by addressing this issue, we can make our science classes more enjoyable and effective.
  2. Consulting Stakeholders: To fully understand the problem and gather different perspectives, we’ve engaged with key stakeholders. Our conversations have been illuminating. Teachers shared their teaching experiences and the challenges they face in keeping students engaged. Students gave us their thoughts on what they like or dislike in science class and the factors that influence their interest. Parents offered insights from their vantage point and shared concerns about their children’s attitudes toward science.
  3. Reviewing Existing Research: We also wanted to see what existing research had to say. We found that there’s quite a bit of literature suggesting that as students progress through middle school, their interest in science tends to decline. Factors like the transition to a more abstract curriculum and increased workload can contribute to this decline. However, while there’s general research about middle school science education, there isn’t much specific research about 8th-grade science classes. And when it comes to how different teaching methods might impact student engagement, the literature is even scarcer.
  4. Narrowing Down the Problem: After considering all these insights, we’ve decided to narrow down the scope of our research to focus on how hands-on experiments can make a significant difference in student engagement. We see hands-on experiments as an exciting and interactive way to learn science, and we believe they have the potential to capture the interest of 8th-grade students who may find traditional teaching methods less engaging. So, our research question becomes: “Can doing hands-on experiments help 8th-grade students get more excited about science?”

Preparing for Action Research

  1. Setting Clear Objectives: In any research project, it’s essential to have clear objectives to keep us on track. For our action research, we’ve set two main objectives. The first is to increase student participation in class discussions and activities by at least 15% over the next semester. We believe that more active involvement will lead to greater engagement. The second objective is to understand how hands-on experiments affect students’ interest and understanding of science. We hope to find out if these experiments truly make science more exciting and comprehensible for our students.
  2. Planning Your Research: Planning is a crucial step to ensure that the research process is organized and effective. Our research plan outlines the following components:
  • Data Collection Methods: We’ve decided to employ two primary data collection methods: classroom observations and student interviews. Classroom observations will allow us to track what happens during science lessons, such as students’ participation and interactions with their peers. On the other hand, student interviews will provide insights into their experiences, thoughts, and feelings about the use of hands-on experiments.
  • Timeline: We’ve allocated a semester for this research project. This time frame will enable us to gather data over an extended period, giving us a more comprehensive view of the impact of hands-on experiments on student engagement.
  • Resources: We’ve taken into account the resources we’ll need for the research. This includes obtaining the necessary permissions from the school to conduct observations and interviews, securing recording equipment to capture classroom interactions, and ensuring access to software for data analysis.
  1. Ethical Considerations: When conducting research in an educational setting, it’s essential to adhere to ethical guidelines. For our project, this means respecting student privacy, obtaining informed consent, and protecting sensitive information. We’ve obtained all the permissions required from the school administration to conduct this research in a responsible and ethical manner.
  2. Data Collection Methods: We’ve put thought into selecting the right data collection methods for our research. We believe that classroom observations and student interviews are the most appropriate approaches for this context.
  • Classroom Observations: These observations will help us track student engagement in real-time. We’ll be looking at indicators like active participation, interactions with peers, and attentiveness during lessons.
  • Student Interviews: The interviews are an opportunity to have a direct conversation with students. We’ll be asking them questions about their experiences with hands-on experiments, how these experiments make them feel, and whether they think it helps them understand science better.
  1. Designing Data Collection Instruments: To ensure that our data collection is as accurate and focused as possible, we’ve developed specific instruments for both classroom observations and student interviews.
  • Observation Checklist: We’ve created a checklist for our classroom observations. It includes categories and items that we’ll be looking for during observations. These include indicators of student participation, interactions, attentiveness, and their overall engagement in the science class.
  • Interview Guide: We’ve prepared a structured interview guide for our student interviews. It includes a series of questions that will help us understand the impact of hands-on experiments on students. These questions revolve around their experiences, their feelings about these experiments, and whether they find them helpful in understanding science.
  1. Pilot Testing: Before implementing our research methods, we wanted to make sure that our data collection instruments are effective and user-friendly. To do this, we conducted pilot tests with a small group of 8th-grade students. Their feedback was invaluable in making the necessary adjustments to the checklist and interview questions.
  2. Data Analysis Plan: It’s crucial to have a plan for how you’ll analyze the data you collect. For our research, we’re planning to use qualitative analysis techniques. This approach allows us to dive into the details and extract insights from our observations and student interviews. We’ll be looking for common themes and patterns that emerge from the data.
  3. Gathering Resources: Ensuring we have the right resources is essential for a smooth research process. We’ve secured access to the classrooms, allowing us to conduct observations and interviews. We’ve also obtained permission from the school administration to conduct our research on the premises. We’ve acquired recording equipment to capture classroom interactions, and we’ve ensured that we have access to data analysis software.
  4. Building a Support Network: No research project should be done in isolation. Collaboration and guidance are essential. We’ve been in close contact with the 8th-grade science teacher who has been teaching the class for years. Her experience and insights have been invaluable. She’s given us access to her classroom, shared her teaching methods, and provided feedback on our research plan. We’ve also reached out to a mentor with extensive experience in education research. Their guidance has helped us navigate the complexities of conducting research in an educational setting.
  5. Implementing the Research: Now that we’ve completed our preparations, we’re in the process of implementing the research. We’re conducting classroom observations as planned, documenting what happens in class and taking notes on student engagement. We’re also engaging in structured interviews with a sample of students to learn more about their experiences and perceptions. We’re sticking to the timeline we’ve set and will analyze the data at the end of the semester.


In conclusion, our action research project is centered on making science education more exciting. We’re hoping that this action research project will help us create a more exciting and engaging science classroom for our 8th-grade students. It’s all about using a systematic approach, being ethical, and getting input from everyone involved to make our teaching better.

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