Collaborative Action Research and School Improvement: We Can't Have One Without the Other

Richard Sagor


The issues confronted by contemporary educators are unlikely to be solved by the adoption and implementation of “proven practices.” Professional development must focus upon generating the new knowledge and insights required to tackle the challenges of an increasingly diverse student body. The author argues that given the nature of today’s students, universal student success is likely to be achieved only through a new ethic of professionalism. This article posits that effective teaching is predicated on two factors: an educator's mastery of the profession’s knowledge base and wisdom honed through a disciplined analysis of action. The author argues that through the collaborative use of the specific habits of mind that make up the action research process, teams of teachers will be able discover the knowledge and insights required to make universal student success a reality. The article concludes with a critical review of the Professional Learning Community (PLC) concept and discusses how when properly implemented, PLCs can become vehicles to support this new model of professionalism.


action research

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