Action Research in Education and Social Work

  • Susan Groundwater-SmithEmail author
  • Jude Irwin
Part of the Methodos Series book series (METH, volume 9)


This chapter discusses action research as it is practised and understood in education and social work. It argues that the major purpose of action research is practical, leading to the development and improvement of practice. It is participative and inclusive of practitioners and consequential stakeholders. The authors address the use of evidence forensically, that is that it informs the understanding of particular phenomena, rather than adversarially, where the pressure is to prove one treatment may be better than another. The authors argue that action research can make a powerful contribution to professional knowledge building. They claim that, while formal knowledge may be seen at one end of the continuum, action research is concerned with practical knowledge underwriting the moral disposition to act wisely, truly and justly at the other. A task for the academy is to assist in the building and understanding of that continuum.


Domestic Violence School Connectedness Action Researcher Academic Partner Powerful Contribution 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Education and Social WorkThe University of SydneySydneyAustralia

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