©©  2019 Center for Collaborative Action Research  

" If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change--" Mahatma Gandhi

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Tutorial 10:  Cycles of Change

Cycles of Change - Overview

Understanding the process of cycles of innovation and research over time is critical for understanding action research. We talk about action research as an iterative process. Iterative means that you revisit, rethink, and revise your ideas and actions to provide for progressive problem-solving. Computer programmers frequently use the word iterative to describe their work as it is always possible to keep modifying a program to make it more responsive, faster, and better adapted to the changing needs of users. In action research, you don't just solve problems, but you keep finding new angles on the problem that might not have been visible with the first level of problem-solving. The deeper your understanding of a social scene, the more you see areas for improvement. The action researcher is looking at incredible complex social systems of activity. The way researchers develop their understanding is to work with these activity systems over time paying very careful attention to how change occurs and the role the researcher play in that change. Kurt Lewin, probably the first to use the term action research, said that the best way to understand a social setting is to be able to predict how it will change. This is why creating a theory of change-- a logic model (Tutorial 5) -- helps you to work through your ideas.

Tutorial 10 Video: The Links between Cycles of Innovation

Tutorial 10:  Activities

A. Planning:  When is a Cycle Finished?

B. Planning:  Moving to the Next Cycle

C. Writing: Revise your Action Research Plan

Tutorial 10:  Resources

A. The Cyclic Nature of Action Research

B. Improvement Science