Action Research in a Non-Profit Agency School Setting: Analyzing the Adoption of an Innovation after Initial Training and Coaching

  •  Elena Sandoval-Lucero    
  •  Johanna Maes    
  •  Georgia Pappas    


Action research is a method of organizational development and improvement often used in educational settings.
This study implemented an action research process in an alternative school that serves students with significant
special needs. The action research process was implemented by classroom teams who developed a research
question, collected and analyzed data, and made decisions about how to improve their current practices based on
the data. The action research training project consisted of three stages: training in the protocol of action research,
follow-up coaching and on-site assistance to participants, and a follow-up study. There were eleven instructional
teams, made up of teachers, paraprofessionals, and therapists that took part in the training. One year after the
initial training, one-on-one interviews were conducted with sixteen participants for the follow-up study. Eleven
people reported that they were continuing to use action research in their classrooms and five people reported they
were not. Teacher leadership to implement the process, viewing action research as part of their daily job duties,
valuing the collaborative aspect of the process, and valuing the opportunity to serve students better contributed to
continued use of action research. Staff turnover, lack of time, and lack of motivation contributed to discontinued

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1927-5250
  • ISSN(Online): 1927-5269
  • Started: 2012
  • Frequency: bimonthly

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