Teacher action research has been shown to both promote professional growth in teachers as well as produce gains for students.
However, to date, little research has examined how action research might contribute to systemic changes in schools and school districts.
This qualitative study of six teachers from various districts, subject areas, and grade levels, illustrates how action research can have simultaneous impacts on teachers, their students, and their schools and districts.
The teacher action research projects all focused on culturally relevant education and the pursuit of equity.
Impacts included teachers’ deepened understandings of equity and inclusivity; students’ diversity awareness, positive self-identities, and access to wider opportunities; and schools’ adoption of equity-focused strategies.
The findings suggest that action research on culturally relevant education serves not only as a powerful form of professional development but also as a means to potentially transform schools.