Action research in a collective organisation : developing an education programme in a pressure group
The aim of this project was to develop the education work of an environmental pressure group. The research devised and implemented a project to produce multi-media teaching packs on the urban environment. Whilst this involved understanding environmental education it was necessary to research beyond this to include the various structural and dynamic constraints on change in the field. This presented a number of methodological difficulties; from the resolution of which a model of the research process involved in this project has been developed. It is argued that research oriented towards practical change requires the insights of an experienced practitioner to be combined with the rigours of controlled systematic enquiry. Together these function as a model-building process encompassing intuition, induction and deduction. Model testing is carried out through repeated intervention in the field; thus an interplay between researcher and client ensues such that the project develops in a mutually acceptable direction. In practice, this development will be both unpredictable and erratic. Although the conclusions reached here are based on a single case study they address general methodological issues likely to be encountered in different field settings concerned with different practical problems.