Action research, otherwise known as participatory research, collective inquiry, emancipatory research, action learning, contextual action research, depending on the theme (O’Brien, 1998), is an “inquiry or research in the context of focused efforts to improve the quality of an organization and its performance” (North Central Regional Educational Laboratory, n.d.). Unlike ordinary research, the members of the said institution who design and conduct action research are also part of the study themselves. They find ways to develop how things are done in their fields.
The process of action research which consists of four steps which are planning, acting, observing and reflecting, as presented by Stephen Kemmis (cited in O’Brein, 1998), makes it very useful in developing methods and materials in schools as it presents new ideas and options to teachers. It allows them to evaluate outcomes of their teaching strategies and lay these down to fellow mentors to lessen drawbacks among their students. Through this, further possible needed changes and amendments in the institution’s educational programs and syllabus can be carried out.
In problems previously and presently experienced in the “real world,” disputes between the “insider-outsider researchers” continue. Academicians debate about the pros and cons of one over the other and vice-versa. Issues regarding sensitivity to the problem, presumptions and assumptions, and objectivity are pointed out by the opposing bodies. Researches conducted by “outsiders,” or those not actually a part of the studied group, are said to merely “add to the knowledge in the field and to publish in peer-reviewed scholarly journals” instead of giving precise aid to the group being assessed (Collet, 2008). To add to the complications pointed out about “insider-outsider researchers,” Bridges (2001 cited in Collet, 2008) perceives that even if the individual is dubbed to be an “insider,” by being a researcher, he