Formulating a Research Question

If you are a teacher ask yourself the following when forming an action research question:

  • What do my students need me to do to improve teaching and learning?
  • What would I like to do to improve teaching and learning in my classroom?
  • What concerns do parents have about student development or achievement?
  • What concerns do my colleagues have about student development or achievement?

If you are an school administrator, you may ask yourself different questions about your practice:

  • What do I need to do to better serve the needs of staff members, or prospective or current parents?
  • What do I need to do to improve the quality or efficiency of the business systems I use?
  • What do I need to do to improve the cost effectiveness of the operations I contribute to?

All these questions help you define the problem or need that lies at the heart of the research question.

A good action research question:

  • Gets at explanations, reasons, or relationships
  • Is manageable and can be completed
  • Is embedded in your own practice
  • Provides an opportunity to stretch and learn
  • Provides a deeper understanding of the topic and is meaningful to you