What Is The Difference Between Action Research And Case Study?


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Greg Allen Profile
Greg Allen answered
Action research is a process of progressive problem-solving designed to improve strategies, practices or a working environment. Case study is an in-depth examination of a single ‘case’, an individual or an event. There are several key differences between these approaches: Action research is, as the name suggests, an active process, in which people solve problems to learn, whereas case study is a more intellectual process, where people examine examples to learn. Action research allows us to find better ways of doing things through active problem-solving. Case study provides a systematic way of looking at events, collecting and analysing data and reporting the results. It therefore allows us to understand why things happened the way they did, and make changes based on past examples, rather than our own actions.

Action research (which is also known as participatory research, making its key characteristic even clearer) is much used in the field of education, and was first coined as a phrase in 1944 by Professor Kurt Lewin of MIT. Case studies have been around rather longer - It is generally accepted that the case study method was first introduced into social science by Frederic Le Play in 1829 in his work on family budgets.
thanked the writer.
Anonymous commented
hello, i totally agree with you, but in several of the phd thesis I consulted, authors consider action-research a tool for doing a case study. Is it correct from the participatory researcher point of view? action-research can be the only methodology used or is it a instrument for other methods? thanks
Martin Garret Profile
Martin Garret answered

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