The Action Research Guidebook: A Four-Step Process for Educators and School Teams

Front Cover
Corwin Press, 2005 - Education - 186 pages
This book is organized around Richard Sagor′s four-stage process developed from his many years of experience training hundreds of educators. The four stages are:

} clarifying visions/targets

} articulating theory

} implementing action and collecting data

} reflecting on data and planning informed action

The book includes numerous tables, charts, handouts, forms, and worksheets to demystify and simplify the action research process. Short examples drawn from the author′s experience working on-one-on with teachers on their action research projects are also included, from raising reading proficiency to increasing the problem solving capacity of faculty members. The author shows how teacher teams can work collaboratively to identify and research problems related to the school′s goals.

Appropriate for use by individual teachers and teacher teams, as well as by pre-service teachers in teacher education courses. Headteachers, counsellors, and other educators will also find the action research process useful for school improvement


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Introduction to Action Research
Finding a Focus
Refining the Focus
Articulating a Theory in Action
Drawing a Theory in Action
Determining the Research Questions
Building a DataCollection Plan
Analyzing the Data
Turning Findings Into Action Plans
Reporting and Sharing Action Research
The School as a Learning Organization
Five Characteristics of a Quality

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About the author (2005)

Richard Sagor recently retired from his position as professor and director of the Educational Leadership Program at Lewis & Clark College. In 1997 he founded ISIE (pronounced “I see”), the Institute for the Study of Inquiry in Education, to work with schools and educational organizations on the use of action research and data-based school improvement while he was a professor of educational leadership at Washington State University (WSU).

Prior to his work at the university level, Sagor had 14 years of public school administrative experience, including service as an assistant superintendent, high school principal, instruction vice principal, disciplinary vice principal, and alternative school head teacher. He has taught the entire range of students, from the gifted to the learning disabled, in the areas of social studies, reading, and written composition.

Educated in the public schools of New York, Sagor received his BA from New York University and two MA degrees as well as a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Oregon.

Beyond his work as a teacher and administrator, Sagor has had extensive international consulting experience. He served as a site visitor for the United States Department of Education’s Secondary School Recognition Program and has worked with the Department of Defense’s overseas schools, numerous state departments of education, and over 200 separate school districts across North America. His consulting has focused primarily on leadership development, the use of data with standards-based school improvement, collaborative action research, teacher motivation, and teaching at-risk youth.

His articles on school reform and action research have received awards from the National Association of Secondary School Principals and the Educational Press Association of America. Sagor’s books include The TQE Principal: A Transformed Leader; At-Risk Students: Reaching and Teaching Them; How To Conduct Collaborative Action Research; Local Control and Accountability: How to Get It, Keep It, and Improve School Performance; Guiding School Improvement With Action Research; Motivating Students and Teachers in an Era of Standards; and Collaborative Action Research for Professional Learning Communities.

Sagor can be contacted at the Institute for the Study of Inquiry in Education, 16420 SE McGillivray, Suite 103–239, Vancouver, WA 98683, or by e-mail at

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