The focus of this Special Interest Group is the development of action research as a paradigm, a methodology and a practice-changing practice. In this turbulent and fast-changing world, we are increasingly faced with complex problems that impact on, and have implications for, education. Action research provides us with a culturally and socially responsible way to generate knowledge that will help us to negotiate these ‘wicked’ problems. We concur with Freire, who said that education is not about training people to adapt to the world: we should be enabling them to change it.
We position action research as a paradigm, grounded in definite, life-enhancing values and principles that underpin an inclusive and dynamic worldview. It is based on constructivist and critical theories that acknowledge that there can never be a final solution to any problem; that there are many equally valid ways to envisage what is perceived as reality; and that ongoing improvement is attained through critical reflection of the status quo, which understanding is followed by action to improve the situation. The Action Research SIG aims to create a space where action researchers of all genres who aim to bring about contextually and culturally relevant and sustainable educational change can learn from and with each other.