Practitioner-led action research (PLAR) is a way for practitioners to conduct small-scale research projects and to change their practice based on their findings.
The 'action research' term underlines the expectation that the findings from your research will enable actions to be made that will influence your teaching and learning practice.
The research is not abstract or theoretical, but designed to look at real-life questions, improve your understanding or tackle a problem you face.
As practitioners know very well, each programme and each group of learners is different, with unique influences and circumstances. PLAR allows these factors to be taken into account. It is also true that different questions will matter more in different programmes and at different times. PLAR is a way to ensure that the questions being researched are those that matter to practitioners at that particular time.
The second reason for getting involved in PLAR is for practitioner professional development. PLAR is a way to go beyond the education offered by partnerships and spend time looking in depth at an issue of interest to you. Not only does this make is a highly-focused form of professional development, you pick up additional skills in research and analysis that can be useful for a long time. So PLAR offers the immediate benefit of deeper knowledge as well as the long-term benefit of improved skills.