HOW DO I IMPROVE MY PRACTICE?: Creating a discipline of education through educational enquiry.

Submitted by Jack Whitehead
for the degree of Ph.D.
of the University of Bath
1999

Abstract

This thesis shows how living educational standards of originality of mind and critical judgement in educational enquiries has created a discipline of education.

The meanings of these standards emerged from an analysis of my research published between 1977-1999. The analysis proceeds from the base of my experience of myself, my I, as a living contradiction in the question, How do I improve this process of education here?

An educational methodology, which includes I as a living contradiction, emerges from the application of a four-fold classification of methodologies of the social sciences. Then the idea of living educational theories emerges in terms of the descriptions and explanations which individual learners produce for their own educational development.

A logic of the question, How do I improve my practice?, emerges from my engagement with the ideas of others and from an exploration of the question in the practical contradictions between the power of truth and the truth of power in my workplace.

A discipline of education, with its standards of originality of mind and critical judgement, is defined and extended into my educative influences as a professional educator in the enquiry, How do I help you to improve your learning?.

My living educational theory continues to develop in the enquiry , How do I live my values more fully in my practice?. I explain my present practice in terms of an evaluation of my past learning, in terms of my present experiences of spiritual, aesthetic and ethical contradictions in my educative relations and in terms of my proposals for living my values more fully in the future.


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