The practice of helping students to find their first person voice in creating living-theories for education

Whitehead, Jack (2015) The practice of helping students to find their first person voice in creating living-theories for education. In: Bradbury, Hilary, (ed.) The SAGE handbook of action research, third edition. SAGE Publications, London, UK, pp. 247-255. Item availability may be restricted.

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Abstract

In a living theory approach to action research (Whitehead, 1989) individuals produce validated explanations of their educational influence in their own learning (first person action research), in the learning of others (second person action research) and in the learning of the social formations in which the research lives, works and researches (third person action research) (Whitehead 2007). At the heart of these explanations are the first person voices of the action researcher. Hence it is a necessary condition for the creation of a living-theory that students learn to use their first person voice. I make a distinction: Living Theory research differs from a living-theory. This is a distinction between the general principles of living theory research and the unique explanations produced by individuals that constitute their living-theories. When I use ‘I’, I am not referring to an egotistical ‘I’. I am referring to the relational ‘I’ of infinite conversation, described by Buber (1970).
How dissonant the I of the ego sounds! … But how beautiful and legitimate the vivid and emphatic I of Socrates sounds! It is the I of infinite conversation. (p. 117)
To help students find their first person voice I tell them the following story of how I learned to include my own voice in my explanations of educational influence in the face of pressures from academics to eliminate my ‘I’ from my explanations of educational influence. I offer my story as a way to exemplify how courage can be found and success can ensue.

Item Type: Book Section
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISBN: 9781446294543
Related URL(s):
Departments: Non-Initial Teacher Education (Non-ITE)
Additional Information: Chapter 23 within book.
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2018 13:33
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2018 04:10
URI: http://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/3778

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