This article explores the nature of quality in action research practice. The origins and purposes of action research and its relation to social science methodology are reviewed. Action research is described in terms of four characteristic dimensions—worthwhile practical purposes, democracy and participation, many ways of knowing, and emergent developmental form—that present a broad range of criteria beyond those of the empirical research paradigm against which quality research might be judged. Recent debates concerning validity and quality in qualitative research are explored. It is argued that action research is characteristically full of choices, and the argument is made that quality in inquiry comes from awareness of and transparency about the choices available at each stage of the inquiry.
Research Professor. Director at Learning Change Project – Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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