Generating living-educational-theories from changing practices for changing times: past, present and future possibilities of self-study research

Whitehead, Jack and Huxtable, Marie (2014) Generating living-educational-theories from changing practices for changing times: past, present and future possibilities of self-study research. In: Garbett, Dawn and Ovens, Alan, (eds.) Changing practices for changing times: past, present and future possibilities for self-study research, Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Self-Study of Teacher Education Practices. The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand, pp. 208-211.

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Abstract

The study is positioned in terms of research into the self-study of teacher education practices (S-STEP) carried out since the founding of S-STEP in 1993. The changing practices are focused on enquiries of the kind, ‘How do I improve what I am doing?’ in the changing contexts in which the enquiries are located. The main theoretical assumption is that self-study researchers can contribute to the creation of a new educational humanism (Hamilton & Zufiauure 2014) through the generation of their own unique living-educational-theories (also known as living-theories). Not all self-studies produce living-theories, as a self-study researcher can focus on an extensive range of issues related to self. However, all living-theories are self-studies in that a researcher’s living-theories are the values-based, validated explanations they give for their educational influences in their own learning, in the learning of others and in the learning of the social formations within which their practice is located (Whitehead, 1989). These explanations include the researcher’s communication of their life-affirming and life-enhancing ontological values (the values that give their lives meaning and purpose) that are clarified and evolve as they emerge through their research. We are claiming that these values distinguish a post-Enlightenment, humanist social agenda that rejects stereotypes of normality (and abnormality) and struggles to replace them with normative ideas about the inclusion of difference (Hamilton & Zufiaurre, 2014, p. 150). We are making the assumption that values such as those expressed by Nelson Mandela which include freedom, justice and democracy in his Ubuntu (Whitehead, 2011) way of being, are ones that can be included within the new educational humanism. The theoretical framework includes the following distinction between education and educational researchers. Education researchers contribute to education knowledge within the forms and fields of knowledge of the philosophy, psychology, sociology, history, economics, politics, theology, leadership and administration of education. Educational researchers contribute to educational knowledge through theories such as their living-educational-theories generated as life-enhancing, values-based explanations of educational influence. Living-educational-theories of present learning include evaluations of past learning and an intention to improve practice in the future in ways that are not yet realized in practice. Improvement in practice is understood as practice that contributes to a world in which humanity can flourish and is expressed in the values-based living standards of judgment of the living-theorist. In making this distinction we are claiming, in our theoretical framework, that S-STEP researchers can contribute to the new educational humanism (Hamilton & Zufiaurre, 2014, p. 150). They can make this contribution, as shown below, by making public their living-educational-theories in which they are holding themselves accountable for living their values that carry hope for the future of humanity, as fully as possible.

Item Type: Book Section
Publisher: The University of Auckland
ISBN: 9780473286798
Departments: Non-Initial Teacher Education (Non-ITE)
Additional Information: Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Self-Study of Teacher Education Practices, 3-7 August 2014, Herstmonceaux Castle, East Sussex, England. Jack Whitehead and Marie Huxtable, University of Cumbria, UK.
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 31 May 2018 12:03
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2018 05:51
URI: http://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/3892

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