NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ817908
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Apr
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1476-7333
Action Learning: Nothing So Practical as a Good Theory
Mumford, Alan
Action Learning: Research and Practice, v3 n1 p69-76 Apr 2006
Kurt Lewin's epigrammatic paradox is particularly true for action learning. Marquardt and Waddill (2004), and previously Yorks O'Neil and Marsick (1999) have approached the issue of the relationship between theory and action learning by looking at a variety of theories which they have placed in "schools". This provides an interesting analysis, but may be less well fitted to demonstrate the "practical" element in Lewin's statement. While it is interesting for many of us to know that our ideas or our actions can be interpreted and, even better understood, in relation to a school, it is my experience that for many people action is more related to the ideas of a particular individual rather than to a diffuse categorisation such as a school. From this perspective, it is even more bizarre than it first seemed that Reg Revans, otherwise acknowledged by Marquardt and Waddill as their main source about action learning, does not appear in any of the five schools they have created. Moreover, the twenty six names they include in their schools embrace a number of theorists who are really peripheral in terms of the specifics of action learning, whatever their merits as general theorists about learning in total. In this article I look at the potential for understanding about, and implementation of, action learning through the work of the five theorists who I believe to be most significant. Significant because of the content of their theories, and because they are theorists most likely to be known to, and at least partially understood, by facilitators of action learning.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A