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     Tutorial 1:  About Action Research

Tutorial 1 - Resources

A. Finding connections to Action Resource Communities

 B. Action research tools

A. Exploring Action Research Networks

Action Research is a collaborative process. It is always done with people not on them. However, it is also helpful to interact with other action research colleagues as you work through your process. Here are links to networks that can help you find colleagues with whom to work.  In the recently published Palgrave International Handbook of Action Research, there is a section on the history of the developments of networks worldwide as well as the work that they are doing at present. 



The Collaborative Action Research Network (CARN) was established in 1975; CARN has been a guiding force in the development of action research in Europe and other parts of the world.





The Action Learning and Action Research Association (ALARA) was founded the 1980s in Australia, the ALARA network addresses the needs of professionals working in higher education, organizational learning, and professional management development. 





The Action Research Network of the Americas is a relatively new and rapidly growing community that supports action researchers in the Americas and beyond. They have Action Research Communities (ARCs) to join in an area of interest.  

The American Educational Research Assoc, Special Interest Group in Action Research is another beneficial group to join. They have been working hard to develop the community of action research within AERA, the nation's most significant association of educational researchers.





The Network of Action Research in Ireland (NEARI)  is a community of  

educational action researchers, sharing research stories and provides

opportunities for local engagement within Ireland and sharing with the

broader global action research communities.

The PRACTITIONER-RESEARCHER hosts a lively discussion board described as for "UK educators and researchers," but they welcome members from all around the world who share their action research concerns, stories, and approaches. 

The Latin American Center for Service Learning  CLAYSS, founded in 2002 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, contributes to "the growth of a fraternal and participative culture in Latin America through the development of educational social engagement projects".





Centre for Action Research and People's Development

This  NGO has 25 years of experience in action research, working with tribes & people in remote areas of India for the comprehensive development of children. The action research group emphasizes making policies more people-oriented. CARPED is successfully confronting with many critical issues and helping missing kids reach their homes, promoting institutional health care in government hospitals for safe deliveries, and fighting against the age-old tradition of child marriages and unnecessary hysterectomies. CARPED is also known for interventions on challenging issues, community mobilization, innovations, and designing & executing pilot projects to demonstrate alternative models of development.



The Big Tent Group connects a number of global networks for participatory research and university-community engagement. Established in 2010, the group is focused on sharing information and calling for further action to enhance community-university engagement. A series of discussions across the networks have been held and have been framed as 'Big Tent' dialogues. ARNA became a part of this process in May 2013.

The Big Tent includes the following groups:

  • Global University Network for Innovation (GUNI)

  • Global Alliance on Community-Engaged Research (GACER)

  • Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA)

  • Living Knowledge Network

  • PASCAL International Observatory

  • Talloires Network

  • Community Network for Research Equity & Impact

  • Action Research Network of the Americas (ARNA)

  • Asia Pacific University Community Engagement Network

  • Centro Boliviano de Estudios Multidisciplinarios

  • Commonwealth Universities Extension and Engagement Network

  • Community-Campus Partnerships for Health


University Sponsored Networks



1) University-Community Partnership for Social Action Research (UCP-SARnet) is a growing network of above 1400 students, university faculties, community activists, and government officials engaged in achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG) in 75 countries. UCP-SARnet is dedicated to the education of the next generation of community leaders by compiling and housing an interactive online library of resources and facilitating cross-sector collaborations, networking, and multicultural dialogues.







2) The Center for Collaborative Action Research website at Pepperdine University and this

interactive space also are a way to be involved, and membership is open and free. A

concise description of action research can be found here with links to action research reports.


3) Jack Whitehead shares the Living Theory Network with the action research

of his graduate students from his work at the University of Cumbria, UK




4) Action Research and Action Learning offer free online courses on action research taught by Bob Dick from Southern Cross University.


Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA) Established in 1982, PRIA is a global centre for participatory research and training based in New Delhi. PRIA has field offices in 8 states and linkages with 3000 NGOs to deliver its programs on the ground.


B. Other Ways (in addition to these tutorials)  to Learn More About Action Research 

1) Collaboration: Many of you will already be in a degree program, and you will have others who can serve as critical friends. If you are working alone, you might find it helpful to invite a few friends to work with you in an action research learning circle. See for a description of the model and for ideas on how to organize an action research learning circle.

2) Books and Journals: If you are in a program, you will be working with some texts but if not, and you are looking for books to direct your activities, there is a listing of action research books on the American Educational Research Assoc, Special Interest Group in Action Research.


Here is a short, creative, and engaging video by John Spencer giving an overview of action research. 












3) An Encyclopedia of Action Research was recently published with David Coghlan and Mary Brydon-Miller as the editors. You can see videos of both of them discussing action research and this new book. 

















4) The Palgrave International Handbook of Action Research edited by Lonnie Rowell, Cathy Bruce, Joseph Shosh, and Margaret Riel was published in Dec 2017 and provides an examination of the history of action research worldwide and provides

information about the communities that have formed over time.

5) The web is an excellent source for finding articles about action research. More will be shared in Tutorial 4 when discussing the research context of your problem.  However, for now, here are two hints that might help you.  

  • Use google scholar as your search engine and then look for action research + area of interest.

  • Also useful is researchgate and academia.  Again search for action research and a topic of interest.  These are social networks for researchers, and many researchers post full-text copies of their work. If they cannot do this, they are often able to send an electronic copy when requested.    

Reading examples of action research can be very helpful as you plan your own experiences.


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