How cyclic Nature of Research is related to other characteristics of research-An Analysis
Most of the writers in the field of research firmly believe that action research is cyclic, or at least helical in structure. To view this from a different perspective, a set of somewhat similar actions may recur, in somewhat similar order, at different stages of a research. At the same time progress is made towards appropriate action and research outcomes. A widely accepted cycle is that of the influential model proposed by Kemmis and McTaggart (1988) — plan, act, watch, analyze; then, in the light of this, plan for the upcoming cycle. It is also generally held that research is participative, though writer’s views may be different on how participative it is.
It is always preferable to use participative methods even in cyclic research. Anyhow action research is not being limited to this. So, the extent of participation may vary. In some cases there may be a genuine partnership between researcher and others. The distinction between researcher and others may disappear. On certain junctures the researcher may decide for some reason to maintain an independent role. Participation may be as small as being involved as a witness. The participants, too, may opt for something less than full participation for themselves under particular situations.
Research is essentially qualitative. Some is a combination of qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Since all others are equal, numbers do provide advantages. In field settings, at times, a researcher often has to make other compromises to utilize them. Most significantly, sometimes numbers are not directly applied to certain areas of a study. If these include features of certain discipline or relevance, the option is between qualitative research and excluding important features (Kemmis and McTaggart, 1988).
In addition, developing a useful quantitative approach is often tedious and time-consuming. It may be more time-efficient to use qualitative data in cyclic approach. As discussed before, it is also advisable to be flexible and responsive to the situation if you are using quantitative methods in cyclic approach.
In short, research more often exhibits certain approaches. It can be in several cases differing in terms, cyclic, participative, qualitative and reflective.
Except the last one mentioned all other approaches are at the disposal of the researcher and other participants. In short for a, good and active research or rather for research in any forms, research where, among other features, appropriate choices are made. At times even critical reflection might be discarded for specific reasons(Kemmis and McTaggart, 1988).
Research is, by its default nature, cyclical; or more specifically, spiral. The research journey in most cases faithfully follows a cycle and starts simply. It consists of logical, developmental steps: A questioning researcher ponders over a particular situation and raises the question, why? What? How? (That is the subjective basis of research.) A problem may be formally stated by answering these questions. (This is the overt beginning of research.) Data are gathered that seem to bear on the problem. The data seem to point to a tentative solution of the problem. A guess is made; a hypothesis or guiding question is raised. The search for more information continues. The structure of information is analyzed and interpreted, a discovery is done; a conclusion is formed. The tentative hypothesis is either supported by the available information or is unsupported; the query is partially / fully answered or not (Kemmis and McTaggart, 1988).
The cycle is complete. At every cycle the researchers challenge the developing findings by judiciously pursuing solid evidence. The only valid justification for research methods is that they can be responsive to the situation in a way that many other research methods can not be, at least in the short term. On these basis we can conclude that research will mostly, though perhaps not often, be cyclic in nature, although all methodologies are interrelated. In the view of asperity, each cycle will consist of critical reflection. In most instances the research will mostly have a qualitative and participative approach (even though it is cyclic) up to an extent.