How Have I Improved My Way To Professionalism In Education? 1967-2007


Jack Whitehead, Department of Education, University of Bath.


A paper to celebrate the 2007 graduations and knowledge-creation of Barry Hymer from Newcastle University, Eden Charles from the University of Bath and Margaret Follows from the University of Plymouth as a gift of ideas about educational theory from 40 years professional engagement in education.


A gift for the Department of Education of Newcastle University on the 13 July 2007 in memory of the creative educational space offered to this student of education in 1966/7


Forty years ago, in July 1967, I was a student here in the Department of Education of Newcastle University. I had enjoyed myself writing a special study on 'The Way To Professionalism in Education?'  The study included insights from my readings during the year and included the works of John Dewey, Erich Fromm, Richard Peters and Anna Freud. I look back on the study with both pleasure and embarrassment. There is the embarrassment of seeing the naivety of the writing with its belief that producing a good idea about enhancing professional in education was sufficient to move a social order in the desired direction. If only the world were that simple!  Then there is the pleasure of feeling my original passion for education and my initial engagement with ideas that have continued to influence my life in education and I hope that you feel in my contribution today.


Returning to the Department of Education in July 2007,  some 40 years later, is the catalyst for these reflections on the growth of my educational knowledge about enhancing professionalism in education. The stimulus to return was Barry Hymer's graduation later today for his Doctor of Educational Psychology Thesis on, How do I understand and communicate my values and beliefs in my work as an educator in the field of giftedness?[i] Barry's research programme was successfully completed with the supervision of Liz Todd and I know something of the delight in seeing doctoral researchers graduating after years of supervision.  Two weeks ago I felt this pleasure myself in celebrating with Eden Charles his graduation from the University of Bath, for his doctoral thesis on: How Can I Bring Ubuntu As A Living Standard Of Judgment Into The Academy? Moving Beyond Decolonisation Through Societal Reidentification And Guiltless Recognition.[ii] Also today, at the graduation ceremony of the University of Plymouth, Margaret Follows is celebrating her doctoral success for her thesis on  Looking For A Fairer Assessment Of Children's Learning, Development And Attainment In The Infant Years: An Educational Action Research Case Study.[iii]


Looking at the titles of these three doctoral theses gives an indication of the uniqueness and originality of these contributions to educational knowledge. What they also have in common is that they have researched the embodied knowledge in their professional lives and gained academic legitimacy for their stories of their educational influence in their own learning and in the learning of others. They have affirmed the value for their research of the idea of creating their own living educational theories. This is the idea that individuals can create their own living theories as explanations for their educational influences in their own learning and in the learning of others as they ask, research and answer questions of the kind, 'How do I improve what I am doing?' [iv][v]. I identify the affirmation I feel, when other individuals recognise the value and affirm the use of ideas that have emerged from my educational research, with what Marx said about producing something as a human being:


Suppose we had produced things as human beings: in his production each of us would have twice affirmed himself and the other.


In my production I would have objectified my individuality and its particularity, and in the course of the activity I would have enjoyed an individual life, in viewing the object I would have experienced the individual joy of knowing my personality as an objective, sensuously perceptible, and indubitable power.


In your satisfaction and your use of my product I would have had the direct and conscious satisfaction that my work satisfied a human need, that it objectified human nature, and that it created an object appropriate to the need of another human being.


I would have been the mediator between you and the species and you would have experienced me as a redintegration of your own nature and a necessary part of yourself; I would have been affirmed in your thought as well as your love.


In my individual life I would have directly created your life, in my individual activity I would have immediately confirmed and realized my true human nature.[vi]


What I have gained  from Barry's thesis is the idea of an inclusional approach to gifts and talents in education. I particularly like his idea of the creation of gifts and talents to counteract the prevailing emphasis on identification. Barry's focus on the emergence of the meanings of his ontological values as living standards of judgment through his self-study, and the originality of his idea of gift and talent creation can be appreciated in the Abstract to his thesis:


I articulate in narrative form the meanings of my embodied ontological values through their emergence in my practice - specifically in my practice of philosophy with children, in creating webs of meaning through dilemma-based learning, and in seeking to unmask (Foucault, in Rabinow, 1984) the concept of giftedness - by asking whose interests the concept serves. In the process of living, clarifying and communicating the meanings of these practices are formed, I argue, living epistemological standards of judgment for a new, relationally dynamic epistemology of educational enquiry..... I make a claim to originality in scholarship in articulating the emergence of the value-laden concept of generative-transformational giftedness and its latent fecundity in and relevance to the field of gifted and talented education. To this end, I suggest an inclusional, non-dualistic alternative to the identification or discovery of an individual's gifts and talents by arguing that activity- and development-centred (not knowing-centred) learning-leading-development (Vygotsky, ibid.) environments lead not to the identification of gifts and talents but to their creation. [vii]


Inspired by Barry's idea of gift creation I set to work on this paper with the idea of producing a gift of ideas about educational theory for the Department of Education of Newcastle University to celebrate both Barry's accomplishment and the creative space offered to me by the Department in my Dip. Ed. Year as I began my life-time's vocation in education.


Researching with a different question, Eden Charles also focuses attention in his Abstract on inclusional qualities in the African way of being, enquiring and knowing of Ubuntu:


This is a living theory thesis which traces my engagement in seeking answers to my question that focuses on how I can improve my practice as someone seeking to make a transformational contribution to the position of people of African origin. In the course of my enquiry I have recognised and embraced Ubuntu, as part of an African cosmology, both as my living practice and as a living standard of judgment for this thesis. It is through my Ubuntu way of being, enquiring and knowing that my original contribution to knowledge has emerged.[viii]


The examiner's commented:


We found the thesis to be an important, discerning and highly original piece of work, containing much publishable material about the new approaches necessary to address and alleviate oppressive practices of all kinds, especially those associated with colonialism and post-colonialism. Two key approaches are identified and described in depth: 'guiltless recognition' and 'societal re-identification'. These emerge from a perception of selfhood that is distinct within but not isolated from natural neighbourhood. The relationship between this perception, the African cosmology of Ubuntu and the recently described philosophical awareness of 'inclusionality' is brought out in a clear, insightful and well-rounded way, through the artful use of personal narrative.[ix]


Inspired by Eden's Ubuntu way of being and his ideas on 'guiltless recognition' and 'societal reidentification', I am seeking to produce an inclusional communication informed by an Ubuntu way of being that stresses the importance of recognising 'I am because we are'.


In the Abstract to her thesis Margaret Follows explains that:


This thesis tells the story of an infant head teacher researcher's journey into the heart of a living educational assessment landscape. She embarks on this journey to search for a fairer assessment of young children's learning, development and attainment. It is a journey that forces her to question everything about the professional world in which she works and lives... The research offers an original contribution to educational knowledge in that it clarifies meanings of the researcher's ontological value of a fairer assessment of children's learning, development and attainment and transforms that value into a living epistemological standard of critical judgement.


So, my intention today is to celebrate Barry Hymer's, Eden Charles' and Margaret Follows' accomplishments by offering this paper in the spirit of Barry's gift creation, Eden's Ubuntu way of being and knowledge-creation and Margaret's commitment to fairer assessment.  In producing the gift I can see that it also offers me the opportunity of accounting for what I have been doing to live a productive life in education since leaving Newcastle those 40 years ago! 


The gift is created with talents that had their genesis in the Library of the Department of Education here in Newcastle. I am thinking of the talents I bring to my work as an educational researcher who is generating living educational theories with an understanding of an action research approach to clarifying the meanings of ontological values, living logics and living standards of judgment in claims to educational knowledge. I am thinking of the expression of these talents in the living theory research programmes with their completed theses at . Each thesis has been given as a gift by the researcher to flow freely through web-space and accessible to all with the appropriate technology. From each researcher I have learnt much from the expression of their original contributions and critical judgment.


I am showing you these living theories to emphasise the importance of our collective contributions to educational knowledge and to stress the importance of amplifying the influence of each others' good ideas in our own work. In the collection of living theories flowing through web-space, each individual's contribution can be recognised and affirmed within the flow of their collective contribution.


These living theories are still being informed by the ideas I first encountered in the Library of the Department of Education of Newcastle University during 1966/7. The Department of Education provided me with a creative space in which to read, think and write. The Department also provided me with my first encounter with video-technology. I can still see the new equipment in 1966 with cameras and recorders an individual could hardly carry, with wires running everywhere that nobody had a clue how to use! We had a great deal of enjoyment learning how to use it in what was a new building with the most advanced technology of the day. This pleasure in exploring the educational potential of advances in technology is still with me as I hope to show in the development of visual narratives of educational influences in learning with the most advanced technology of today.


What I want to do is to draw your attention to, and captivate your imaginations with, the evolution of thinking about the nature of educational theory since leaving Newcastle for the past 40 years of professional engagement in education. I know that I might be mistaken in believing that enhancing professionalism in education is dependent on the quality of the professional knowledge-base of education. I might also be mistaken, in  believing that the quality of this knowledge-base is dependent on the validity of the educational theories that can explain the educational influences of individuals in their own learning, in the learning of others and in the learning of the social formations in which we live and work. However, until I am shown to be mistaken, I intend to hold these beliefs with a passion that flows with a life-affirming energy.


As you reflect on our conversation today I hope that you find something of significance for your own educational research in the creation and legitimation of living educational theories in the University. 


I am thinking in particular of the significance of focusing on including the flows of life-affirming energy with values in research that is educational.


I am thinking of an inclusional approach to the generation of living educational theories that requires a living logic.  


I am thinking of the new ways, enabled by digital technology, of communicating the embodied meanings of ontological values in the process of their clarification as they emerge in the practice of enquiries of the kind, 'how do I improve what I am doing?'


I am thinking of a living theory action research approach to professional development that uses new technologies in producing these theories in visual narratives with living standards of judgment. 


So, what I want to do is to show the evolution in this thinking about educational theory that had its genesis in my responses to my readings in the Library of the Department of Education of  Newcastle University some 40 years ago.


Creating Living Educational Theories.


Original ideas from my educational research at the University of Bath began to emerge in my first presentation to BERA in 1977 where I outlined the action reflection cycles used by a group of 6 teachers I worked with in one of the first Schools Council local curriculum projects[x].  Initially my ideas focused on a methodological concern to find an appropriate approach for exploring the implications of the question, 'how do I improve my practice?'  The ideas evolved from methodology to theory in a new understanding of living educational theories and  research-based professionalism in education. [xi] [xii] The ideas focused on the inclusion of 'I' as a living contradiction in questions of the form, 'How do I improve what I am doing?' and on the inclusion of 'I' as a living contradiction in the knowledge-claims to know one's educational influence in learning. They included the use of action reflection cycles, through which the meanings of embodied values could be clarified in the course of their emergence in practice and form living standards of judgement. I am thinking here of action reflection cycles in which individuals express concerns when their values are not being lived as fully as they could be. They imagine ways forward and choose one in an action plan, they act, gather data and evaluate the influence of their actions.


They ideas also included the living logics for engaging in educational enquiries. They included ideas about the significance of making public the living educational theories of practitioner researchers as  a contribution to the education of social formations and to the development of research-based professionalism in education.


One publication I would like to draw your attention to is Educative Relations in a New Era a paper published in Pedagogy, Culture & Society[xiii]. In this paper I stress the importance of judging an educator's educational influence in their educational relationships in terms of the student's own voice and learning. In the section on claiming to know my own educative influence with Kevin Eames, a doctoral researcher, I draw evidence from Kevin's learning in his doctoral thesis. The importance for me, of drawing on a student's own living theory of their educational influence in their own learning, is that I cannot claim to have educated anyone through what I do. I mean this in the sense of a causal relationship  between what I do and the educational influence an individual expresses in their own learning. This is because of the role I give to creativity in each learner. I believe that an individual's creativity mediates between what I do and their educational influence in their own learning. I take responsibility for my educational influences in my own learning and hence will accept the responsibility for claiming to know my educational influences in my own learning, while recognising the influences of others in this learning. I cannot overemphasise the importance of Eames' research[xiv] [xv], especially in his researching the development of a school-based teacher-researcher group in partnership with the masters programme at the University of Bath. Linda Grant came over from the Ontario College of Teachers to see this work in the mid 1990s and initiated similar developments in Ontario with Jacqueline Delong of the Grand Erie District School Board. You can appreciate  Jacqueline's integration of these ideas in her research into the development of a culture of inquiry with teacher-researchers in her doctorate (Delong, 2002) and access the publications from 5 volumes of Passion in Professional Practice from the front page of .


Working with the idea that educators, who are researching their educational influences in learning with their pupils and students, can judge their educational influences through the narratives of learning produced by pupils and students, continues to inform my tutoring of educational enquiries in masters programmes and my supervision of research degrees. One account of a master's enquiry that particularly pleases me is that of Joy Mounter[xvi] with her 6 year old pupils. The narrative and video evidence in Appendix 2 of this enquiry show the 6 year olds responding to Joy's enquiries with a creative reformation of the action research cycle known as the TASC Wheel (Thinking Actively in a Social Context) developed by Belle Wallace[xvii]. Joy can show her educational influences, in opening and sustaining a creative space with her pupils in school, and I can show my educational influence in helping to make public Joy's account through sustaining a creative space with the masters group in the Department of Education of the University of Bath. 


In the evolution of my thinking about the nature of educational theory I have become increasingly aware of the significance of finding appropriate ways of representing the educational influence of flows of life-affirming energy with values in educational relationships.


Flows Of Life-Affirming Energy With Values.


In relation to the significance in educational research of acknowledging the importance of a flow of life-affirming energy  I recall an experience while sunbathing in the park a couple of hundred yards from this Department of Education, before registering here for my Diploma of Education in 1966. I use the words of Paul Tillich[xviii]  to describe this experience as the state of being affirmed by the power of being itself. I experience this power as a flow of life-affirming energy with values. Through my introduction, here in the Departmental  Library,  to the writings of Richard Peters[xix] in his Ethics and Education I felt this energy flowing with the values of freedom, justice, consideration of interest, respect for persons, worth-while activities and a procedural principle of democracy. It was this flow of energy with values that led me to apply for and accept a first teaching post at Langdon Park School in London's Tower Hamlets in 1967.


I also felt this life-affirming energy with values in the writings of Erich Fromm where he focused his analysis on living a loving and productive life while working within and resisting the alienating influences of capitalist social formations. As I read his Fear of Freedom[xx], I was inspired by his idea that if an individual could face the truth without panic then they will realise that they are faced with the choice of uniting with the world in the spontaneity of love and productive work or of seeking a kind of security that destroys integrity and freedom. I still live with the tension in this recognition and continue to be inspired by a desire to enhance the quality of my loving relationships and productive work. The writings of Anna Freud[xxi] helped me to understand what can happen  in relation to normality and pathology when the development of a healthy expression of sexuality in relation to love and productive work is blocked. Her psycho-analysis of some 13 defence mechanisms resonated with my own experience and her ideas about projection continue to be helpful in resisting inappropriate interpretations of the behaviour of others. My psychoanalytic insights have continued to grow and the most recent influence is Daniel Cho's [xxii] analysis in Educational Theory where he draws on the work of Jacques Lacan:


"... knowledge is by definition the inquiry we make into the world, which is a pursuit inaugurated by a loving encounter with a teacher. With love, education becomes an open space for thought from which emerges knowledge."


My reading of Fromm's  Man For Himself[xxiv]  introduced me to Marxist theory with his distinction between the marketing and productive personalities. I felt the validity of his analysis of the workings of capitalist forms of social order with their pressure to conform to the characteristics of the marketing personality. That is, to conform to the imperatives of the movement of capital to maximise profit. While recognising the necessity of being paid for working, I felt that my vocation for education would permit me to evolve a loving and productive form of life while working with the socio-historical and socio-cultural influences of capitalism. Some 40 years later I think this feeling has been vindicated as I look back on a productive life in education. Part of this productive life has been concerned with understanding the living logics in educational enquiries.


Living Logics In Educational Enquiries


In the library of the Department of Education of Newcastle University I devoured the works of John Dewey on Democracy and Education[xxv] and on Logic: The Theory of Inquiry[xxvi]. What I felt in Dewey's Logic of Inquiry was a form of scientific living in which the individual experiences a problem, imagines a solution, acts, evaluates and modifies the problem, imagined solution and action in the light of the evaluation.  This logic can still be distinguished in my recent visual narratives on living inclusional values[xxvii] [xxviii] .  The importance of the logics of educational theories and educational enquiries was brought home to me through Marcuse's writings when he pointed out that logic is a mode of thought that is appropriate for comprehending the real as rational[xxix].


The evolution of my understanding of the logics of educational enquiries and educational theories has included an understanding of the 2,500 year old battle between dialectical and propositional logicians where each denies the rationality of the other[xxx] [xxxi].  Since 2002 I have engaged with the ideas of Alan Rayner[xxxii] on inclusionality and can see the benefits of developing a living logic from a relationally dynamic awareness of space and boundaries as connective, reflexive and co-creative. What I like about Rayner's living logic of inclusionality is that it can include insights from theories that are structured through dialectical or propositional logics without denying the rationality of either logic. I think the need for a living logic can be understood in relation to Ilyenkov's[xxxiii] question from his work on Dialectical Logic, 'If an object exists as a living contradiction, what must the thought be (statement about the object) that expresses it?'


The reason I stress the importance of a living, inclusional logic is because I think that Ilyenkov could not answer his question without engaging in an examination of the living logic in his own form of life. His decision to 'write' Logic, and not to engage in a self-study of his own life of enquiry[xxxiv] seems to me to have brought Ilyenkov back into the conflict with propositional logicians:


The concretisation of the general definition of Logic presented above must obviously consist in disclosing the concepts composing it, above the concept of thought (thinking). Here again a purely dialectical difficulty arises, Namely, that to define this concept fully, i.e. concretely, also means to 'write' Logic, because a full definition cannot by any means be given by a 'definition' but only by 'developing the essence of the matter'.


A decision to develop one's own living educational theory may rest on an understanding of the significance of exploring the implications of asking, researching and answering questions of the kind, 'How do I improve what I am doing?' and of the kind that Rayner prefers to ask, 'How may we respond receptively in this situation so as to sustain our natural co-creative neighbourhood?' . It includes resisting a colonisation of mind, such as the one I permitted below, through allowing the conceptual frameworks of propositional theories to dominate the generation of one's own living theory. I think that this resistance can be accomplished while acknowledging the value of insights from propositional theories in the generation of a living theory in one's educational enquiry.


Educational Enquiry And Acknowledging A Mistake In My Early Educational Theory


The ideas of Richard Peters[xxxv] in his Ethics and Education fascinated me through their focus on exploring the implications for a person who is exploring the implications of seriously asking themselves a question of the kind, 'What ought I to do?'. In my first lesson at Langdon Park School in 1967 I found myself feeling very concerned that I wasn't doing as good a job as I could do with my pupils and found myself saying, 'I must do this better', 'how do I improve what I am doing?' and 'how do I help my pupils to improve their learning?' These kinds of questions  continue to inform my research and educational enquiries. Perhaps the most significant transformation in my thinking came with the recognition that I was making the following mistake in my thinking about the nature of educational theory.


At the start of my second year's teaching in 1968 I registered for the Academic Diploma programme at the Institute of Education of the University of London and studied the philosophy of education component with a team of philosophers of education led by Richard Peters. I initially accepted the idea that educational theory was constituted by the disciplines of education of the philosophy, psychology, sociology and history of education. By 1971 I felt that I was mistaken in accepted this idea because I could not see that any of the propositional theories of the disciplines approach, either individually or in any combination could produce a valid explanation for my educational influence in my own learning, in the learning of others or in the learning of a social formation. My decision in 1973 to apply for and accept the post of Lecturer in Education at the University of Bath was based on a change in my vocation from educator to educational researcher. From the belief that the dominant view of educational theory in the profession was mistaken, I decided to see if I could help to generate a form of educational theory that could explain an individual's educational influence in learning. I like the way Paul Hirst acknowledged the following mistake in the disciplines approach to educational theory. Its clear articulation is consistent with the intuitions that moved me to reject the approach. Hirst explained that much understanding of educational theory will be developed:


"... in the context of immediate practical experience and will be co-terminous with everyday understanding. In particular, many of its operational principles, both explicit and implicit, will be of their nature generalisations from practical experience and have as their justification the results of individual activities and practices.


In many characterisations of educational theory, my own included, principles justified in this way have until recently been regarded as at best pragmatic maxims having a first crude and superficial justification in practice that in any rationally developed theory would be replaced by principles with more fundamental, theoretical justification. That now seems to me to be a mistake. Rationally defensible practical principles, I suggest, must of their nature stand up to such practical tests and without that are necessarily inadequate." [xxxvi]


It was the recognition of this mistake in 1971 that moved my sense of vocation from being a science teacher in comprehensive education to becoming an educational researcher in 1973 at the University of Bath, with a commitment to contribute to the generation of valid educational theories. In taking up the appointment I brought with me the enthusiasm for experimenting with the educational implications of new technologies that was first evoked in Newcastle in 1966. This enthusiasm for experimenting with new technology was heightened in 1971/2 by being provided with a video-camera and recorder, while Head of the Science Department of Erkenwald Comprehensive School in Barking. I was asked by the Headteacher and Inspectorate to explore its educational potential. Turning the camera on myself while teaching, and then viewing the results, gave me my first evidence of my existence as a living contradiction. I could see that what I was mistaken in my belief that I had established enquiry learning with my pupils. I could see that I was actually stifling enquiry learning because of the way I was questioning and structuring the learning resources. Hence my continuing emphasis on the importance of recognising the 'I' as a living contradiction in questions of the kind, 'How do I improve what I am doing?' Having now worked with hundreds of teachers who have used video I know that many have born witness to a similar experience of recognising themselves as living contradictions. They have also acknowledged an enhanced motivation to improve their practice from this recognition.


My interest in the educational influences of new technologies continues with the ease of access to streamed servers that are now making it possible to include video-data in visual narratives of educational influences in learning. These narratives[xxxvii] can communicate some of the meanings being expressed through the body, ie, non-verbally, in a way that written communications of print on pages of text cannot do. As I show you the visual narrative in a 2007 presentation to AERA[xxxviii] I hope that you can see and feel the power of the digital technologies for communicating the meanings of flows of life-affirming energy with values. I hope that you can see the potential of such narratives for showing how the expression of ontological values that are expressed in the practice of enquiry can be formed into the living standards of judgment[xxxix] of educational knowledge.


Using New Technologies In Producing Visual Narratives With Living Standards Of Judgment.


To close this celebration of accomplishment in the knowledge-creation of Barry Hymer, Eden Charles and Margaret Follows and to finish the wrapping of my present to the Department, I want to return to the image of the new video technology of the day in the Department in 1967.  I want to move the image to the present day use of digital technologies with the use of video-narratives and streaming servers. Using video in the Department of Education of the University of Newcastle in 1967 helped me to get over the embarrassment that still puts many people off researching their own practices with video. The use of digital technology today, especially the use of Quicktime as a video-player, with its facility of moving the images at speed with a cursor, has helped to extend my understandings into the relationally dynamic awareness of space and boundaries known as inclusionality[xl]. Visual narratives, using the new technology can integrate accounts of knowing oneself as a living contradiction (the dialectical accounts) and the insights from propositional theories including the disciplines of education, in the generation of living educational theories[xli]. 


What I am hoping is that my gift of ideas about educational theory to the Department of Education at the University is consistent with the originality of Barry Hymer's ideas on gift and talent creation, Eden Charles's Ubuntu way of being and knowing with guiltless recognition and societal reidentification, and Margaret Follows' understanding and commitment to fairer assessment.


The creation of this gift was catalysed by Barry Hymer's invitation to celebrate his graduation day here in Newcastle. This evoked memories of my educational response to the creative space opened up by staff, students, video and books in the Library in the Department of Education of Newcastle University in 1966/7. I am hoping that the gift is useful in the spirit of the early writings of Marx and of Barry's idea of gift creation from our talents as we affirm each other in enhancing our loving and productive lives. I am thinking of this affirmation in the expression of our talents and gifts in the generation and evaluation of our living educational theories in contributing to the creation of a world of educational quality.


Given that there is a forty year gap between the presentation of my first special study on 'The Way To Professionalism In Education?' and 'How Have I Improved My Way To Professionalism In Education? 1967-2007', if we leave it this long again, you will only have the virtual records to refer to!!


I usually end my e-mails with Love Jack in recognition of the loving warmth of humanity of Martin Dobson, a colleague I worked with in the Department of Education of the University of Bath. Here is the signature message that seems appropriate in affirming the value of the creative space offered by the Department of Education of Newcastle University to this new recruit to the profession of education in 1967:


Love Jack.


When Martin Dobson, a colleague, died in 2002 the last thing he said to me was 'Give my Love to the Department'. In the 20 years I'd worked with Martin it was his loving warmth of humanity that I recall with great life affirming pleasure and I'm hoping that in Love Jack we can share this value of common humanity.


Here is a copy of my latest book with Jean McNiff on Action Research Living Theory[xlii] for your library, given with the enthusiasm, creative spirit and love of educational enquiry I have shared with Jean over the last 25 years, and that I discovered in the Department of Education of the University of Newcastle those 40 years ago. Thank You.





[i] Hymer, B. (2007) How do I understand and communicate my values and beliefs in my work as an educator in the field of giftedness? Ph.D. Thesis, University of Newcastle. Retrieved 22 June 2007 from

[ii] Charles, E. (2007) : How Can I Bring Ubuntu As A Living Standard Of Judgment Into The Academy? Moving Beyond Decolonisation Through Societal Reidentification And Guiltless Recognition. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Bath. Retrieved 22 June 2007 from

[iii] Follows, M. (2007) Looking For A Fairer Assessment Of Children's Learning, Development And Attainment In The Infant Years: An Educational Action Research Case Study. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Plymouth. Chapter 7 on Creating Living Educational Theory About Assessment In The Infant Years, retrieved 3 July 2007 from

[iv] Whitehead, J. (1989a) Creating a Living Educational Theory From Questions of the Kind, 'How do I Improve My Practice?' Cambridge Journal of Education, Vol 19 No 1, pp. 42-52.

[v] Whitehead, J. (2006) Living Inclusional Values In Educational Standards of Practice and Judgment, Ontario Action Researcher, Vol. 8.2.1. Retrieved on 18 June 2007 from

[vi] Bernstein, R. (1971) Praxis and Action. London; Duckworth, p. 48.

[vii] See Abstract in i)

[viii] See Abstract in ii)

[ix] e-mail of 18 June 2007 from Director of Studies with congratulations on Eden's success.

[x] Whitehead, J. (1976) Improving Learning For 11-14 Year Olds In Mixed Ability Science Groups. Swindon; Wiltshire Curriculum Development Centre. Retrieved 22 June 2007 from

[xi] See iii)

[xii] Whitehead, J. (1989b) How do we Improve Research-based Professionalism in Education?-A question which includes action research, educational theory and the politics of educational knowledge.  1988 Presidential Address to the British Educational Research Association. British Educational Research Journal, Vol. 15, No.1, pp. 3-17.

[xiii] Whitehead, J. (1999) Educative Relations in a New Era.  Pedagogy, Culture & Society, Vol. 7, No.1, pp. 73-90 (Final draft before publication can be accessed at - retrieved 17 June 2007.

[xiv] Eames, K. (1990) Growing Your Own: The Development Of Action Researchers Within An Action-Research Approach To Whole-School Development British Journal of In-Service Education, Vol 16, No 2, pp. 123-127.

[xv] Eames, K. (1995) Action Research, Dialectics And An Epistemology Of Practically-Based Professional Knowledge For Education. Retrieved 18 June 2008 from . See Chapter 6, Action Research as a Form of Professional Knowledge in a Whole-School Setting ( pp. 193-224) Retrieved 18 June 2007 from

[xvi] Mounter, J. (2006) Can children carry out action research about learning, creating their own learning theory? MA Unit on Understanding Learners and Learning, University of Bath. Retrieved 18 June 2007 from

[xvii] Wallace, B. (2000) The TASC Wheel. See - Welcome to TASC – developing problem-solving and thinking skills across the curriculum. Retrieved 19 June 2007 from

[xviii] Tillich, P. (1973) The Courage To Be, p. 168. London; Fontana, p. 168.

[xix] Peters, R. S. (1966) Ethics and Education. London; Allen and Unwin.

[xx] Fromm, E. (1960) The Fear of Freedom, p. 18. London; Routledge & Kegan Paul.

[xxi] Freud, A. (1965) Normality and Pathology in Childhood. New York: International Universities Press

[xxii] Cho, D. (2005) Lessons of Love, Educational Theory, Vol. 55, No. 1, pp. 94-95.



[xxiii] Ibid, p. 37.

[xxiv] Fromm, E. (1947) Man For Himself, New York; Rinehart & Co., Inc.

[xxv] Dewey, J. (1916) Democracy and Education, London; The Macmillan Company.

[xxvi] Dewey, J. (1938) Logic: The Theory of Inquiry. New York: Henry Holt & Co.

[xxvii] See iv)

[xxviii] Whitehead, J. (2007)  Creating a World of Educational Quality through Living Educational Theories. Paper presented to AERA 2007 in Chicago on the 13th April. Retrieved 18 June 2007 from

[xxix] Marcuse, H. (1964) One Dimensional Man, London, p. 105. London; Routledge and Kegan Paul.

[xxx] Popper, K. (1963) Conjectures and Refutations. Oxford; Oxford University Press.

[xxxi] See xxiv)

[xxxii] Rayner, A. (2007) Essays and Talks About Inclusionality by Alan Rayner. Retrieved on the 18 June 2007 from

[xxxiii] Ilyenkov, E. (1977) Dialectical Logic, p. 320. Moscow; Progress Publishers.

[xxxiv] Marshall, J. (1999) Living Life As Inquiry. Systemic Practice and Action Research. Vol. 12, No.2, pp. 155-171.

[xxxv] See xvii.

[xxxvi] Hirst, P. (Ed.) (1983) Educational Theory and its Foundation Disciplines, p. 18. London;RKP

[xxxvii] See ii)

[xxxviii] See xxiii)

[xxxix] Laidlaw, M. (1996) How can I create my own living educational theory as I offer you an account of my educational development? Ph.D. thesis, University of Bath. Retrieved 19 June 2007 from

[xl] See xxvii)

[xli] McNiff, J. (2007) My Story Is My Living Educational Theory. New York; Thousand Island; Sage.

[xlii] Whitehead, J. & McNiff, J. (2006) Action Research Living Theory. London; Sage.