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ERIC Number: ED422369
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Apr
Pages: 16
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Educational Action Researchers Creating Their Own Living Educational Theories.
Whitehead, Jack
A new paradigm of educational research is presented that is grounded in the living educational theories that educational action researchers produce for their own professional learning. In this new paradigm there is no one theoretical framework. Each individual action researcher is creating his or her own living theory in the explanations for their professional learning. The living theory theses and dissertations are also characterized by the explanatory power of the values and understandings that the action researchers embody in their explanations for their own learning and which they use as the standards of judgment to test the validity of their claim to knowledge. Values is defined as those qualities that give meaning and purpose to personal and professional lives. The importance of understanding the use of values as standards of judgment in testing the validity of such claims to knowledge is that they offer new standards to academic communities for legitimating the living theory paradigm. The unit of appraisal in the living theory paradigm is an explanation, produced by the singular action researcher, of his or her own professional learning in answering and researching questions related to improving one's own practice. The modes of inquiry used in creating living theories are focused on asking, answering, and researching questions related to improvement. In constructing living theories, it is necessary to include aesthetic values in claims to educational knowledge. In claiming that spiritual values can have a place in explanations for one's professional learning, the researcher acknowledges the importance of showing the meanings of these values in ways that are open to public validation. Data sources and evidence from a number of educational action researchers are listed in support of the living theory paradigm. The living educational theories being created through this paradigm can be related directly to the processes of improving students' learning. (Contains 47 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Diego, CA, April 13-17, 1998).