Action Research Is Adult Education

Article excerpt

We all have had those learning experiences where what we learned is indelibly imprinted on our brains forever. One of those learnings happened in graduate school when I first was introduced to Edgar Dale's Cone of Experience. Dale indicated you can increase the proportion of how much people will remember by increasing the mix of methods by which you teach them. They will remember 10 percent of what they read, 20 percent of what they hear, 30 percent of what they see, 50 percent of what they hear and see, 70 percent of what they say or write and 90 percent of what they say as they do a thing.

Action research and action learning require individuals to get involved in the process of questioning and seeking the answers to those questions. Too often the paradigm that we have lived under has been one where adult education practitioners evolve what we do based on research from someone else, or based on our own research. All the literature on the reflective practitioner tells us that we need to examine our practice by getting involved in the examining process.

Thus, regardless of their setting, adult educators need to be in the middle of questioning what they do, how they do it and how they can do it better. The key to action research is: we do not need to rely on someone else to conduct the research. …