NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1177454
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Feb
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0309-8249
Does Action Research Have a Future? A Reply to Higgins
Foreman-Peck, Lorraine; Heilbronn, Ruth
Journal of Philosophy of Education, v52 n1 p126-143 Feb 2018
This paper presents a view of action research (AR) as a valuable way in which teachers can pose fertile questions and engage in inquiry with transformative possibilities. This counters claims of its being at best a sterile method of teacher research and at worst a perilous trap for teachers. Chris Higgins has argued that AR has lost its original intention of empowering teachers and sealing the theory practice divide. He claims that it has degenerated into a method devoid of thought. In its social science versions, it is harmful to the teacher-student relationship and teachers have been mislead into an impoverished idea of professional development. The impossible challenge for action research is to recover its original intention; impossible because the landscape of educational policy militates against it. The authors challenge Higgin's deep pessimism, his versions of AR and his negative account of the intellectual capacity of teachers. We argue that AR does empower teachers, integrates theory and practice and is alive and well, even though conditions in schools are not optimum. This argument is exemplified with numerous illustrations of actual AR projects, which evidence teachers' participatory and collaborative work, in which they engage in positive change. There is scope for teachers wishing to develop 'customised' AR projects of their own in current conditions which have transformative potential in changing the practice of the individual teacher. This in turn supports building and participating in a 'community of practice,' which strengthens the communal endeavour to contribute to good teaching and good education.
Wiley-Blackwell. 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148. Tel: 800-835-6770; Tel: 781-388-8598; Fax: 781-388-8232; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A