For the Monday group and invitation to colleagues


5.00-7.00 1WN 3.8 Monday 2nd May.


After we've caught up with each others' news (and if you can't be here do e-mail your news in) Robyn will draw on her postdoctoral research in a presentation to add to our conversations on the nature of living educational theories.


We've got some planning to do for a practitioner-researcher day in July and for proposals for AERA 2006 in San Francisco. We might want to use the practitioner-researcher day to introduce ideas from our papers for our BERA 2005 Symposium in Glamorgan (14-17 September). Je Kan is coming over from Japan and Maggie from Ireland for this Symposium on:



Click here for the full proposals




Je Kan - Pedagogising a living educational theory curriculum for healing nurses

Maggie - A pedagogy of the unique and web of betweenness

Paulus - Developing a postcolonial critical pedagogy and a postcolonial living educational theory

Marian - The emergence of a living theory of responsive practice.

Alan  - Inclusionality, Life, Environment and People

Jack - Living critical standards of judgement in educational theorising


Jean, Alon, Alan, Ken and Jack met Irris Singer and Sami Adwan yesterday to discuss possibilities of developing a living theory approach to action research in the work of the Bereaved Parents' Circle (this is a group of 100 Israeli and 200 Palestinian families whose children have been killed as a result of the conflict.  Prof Adwan is consultant to the Palestinian faction and visiting professor at Bethleham University).  Irris Singer is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist and Clinical Director at the Institute for Psychotherapy and Social Studies.  We could add this conversation to our Monday group.


Marie and Jack are exploring the possibilities of integrating insights from Moira's living theory approach to enhancing pupils' learning, into the implementation of BANES' policy of support for action research in some of its schools. Pat Finnegan and Alan Kellas are part of ALDERN (The Avon

Learning Difficulties Education & Research Network). This is an umbrella network group attempting to bring together staff across the learning difficulties services and people with learning difficulties, to learn from each other, to foster research across boundaries, and to assist in the development of staff and their education and skills.


At a launch day yesterday Alan introduced Action Research and Pat writes  "I have put together a 'first-person enquiry' poster table and am facilitating a 'first person enquiry' workshop. I have now

organised the material for the poster table which includes definitions of:

action research,

first person enquiry,

and co-operative enquiry,

different ways of knowing,

inner and outer arc processing."


The following proposal by Jean, for a contribution to a Human Rights conference in June at Roehampton, has been accepted:


"The emancipatory potentials of our living educational theories


In this paper I explain how and why, as a professional educator working in international settings, I encourage practitioner researchers to generate and make public their accounts of practice as their living educational theories. Living theories contain the descriptions and explanations practitioners offer as they address the question, 'How do I/we improve my/our work?' (Whitehead 1989). Grounded in inclusional logics and values, these accounts constitute a reconceptualistion of theory from normative propositional forms to new living forms. The validity of their accounts lies in practitioners' capacity for creative critical engagement, as they explain how they transform their practices into processes of critical theorising, using their articulated values as their living epistemological standards of judgement (Whitehead 2004), in order to contribute to emancipatory and just practices in their social formations. By making their accounts public, practitioners are contributing to a developing knowledge base (Snow 2001) that celebrates the capacity of all to integrate practice and theory, and through which practitioners can show how they hold themselves accountable for their practices as responsible citizens in democratic relation with others. Engaging in this reconceptualisation of theory involves engaging in debates about the nature and formation of symbolic power, and the uses of theory for social control or emancipation. My presentation demonstrates the generation of my own living educational theory, as I explicate the moral and political justification for my contribution to the education of social formations, and invite critical responses to my claims.



Snow, C. (2001) 'Knowing What We Know: Children, Teachers, Researchers', Educational Researcher, 30(7): 3–9. Presidential Address to the American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, Seattle.


Whitehead, J. (1989) 'Creating a living educational theory from questions of the kind, "How do I improve my practice?"', Cambridge Journal of Education 19(1): 137–153.


Whitehead, Jack (2004a) 'What counts as evidence in the self-studies of teacher education practices?' in J.J. Loughran, M.L. Hamilton, V.K. LaBoskey and T. Russell (eds) (2004) International Handbook of Self-Study of Teaching and Teacher Education Practices. Dordrecht; Kluwer Academic Publishers."


Details of the new book, Action Research For Teachers are in the What's New section of .


Bob's presentation on Sustainable Development Indictors, genuine progress or artificial rationalism, is on Wednesday 4th May in 1WN 3.8.