Action Research is a disciplined process of inquiry conducted by and for those taking the action. The primary reason for engaging in action research is to assist the “actor” in improving and/or refining his or her actions.
Arguably, no topic in education calls up more anxiety for teachers or students as those around demonstrating the teaching and learning of mandated learning outcomes. In recent years, this is made absolutely plain through the setting up and reporting through 'league tables', which now operate internationally through the OECD's PISA tables and at the level of different national government through national literacy testing, for instance.
In the 'good old days', teachers wrote teaching programmes which they would present to their Head of Department or to the Deputy responsible for curriculum. Today, the word 'design' has entered into everyday teaching in subjects which have nothing to do with graphic arts or other arts-based subjects which were the natural home of design and designers.