Action Research: Towards A Qualitative Paradigm (78 - 101)

  • Chow Fook Meng
Keywords: Action Research, Qualitative Paradigm, Quantitative Paradigm, Practical Wisdom, Practical Theories


This article discusses action research as a qualitative paradigm to explore and understand the practice in the social situations. I have argued that practitioners should be guided by the qualitative research philosophy and doing so, use qualitative research methods of collecting data. In this article, I have put forward the argument that the main purpose of action research is to understand the practice and as such the research paradigm and methods need to be in line with this purpose of research. Quantitative paradigm focuses on control, standardisation and objectivity together with its statistical procedures to achieve adequate rigour in the study. Standardisation sacrifices the responsiveness and emergent characteristics of the action research design. Quantitative paradigm does not allow flexibility which is required in action research to bring about understanding and change as its research context is constantly in a flux influencing the practitioner, the practice and people situated in the practice. In this article, I have tried to support my arguments by discussing the philosophy and the characteristics of action research leading on to a discussion on teachers’ knowledge. The practical wisdom or practical theories which teachers generate from action research would be limited if a quantitative paradigm is used. A qualitative paradigm is the approach to enhance understanding and practice in action research. This should be the next generation of action research that teachers in Malaysia should be engaging.


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How to Cite
Fook Meng, C. (2019). Action Research: Towards A Qualitative Paradigm (78 - 101). Evaluation Studies in Social Sciences, 1(1), 78-101. Retrieved from