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Touching Base

Sometimes it is helpful to revisit the basic building blocks - starting with why... why you are enquiring, inquiring, researching...? It can entail a lot of emotional, as well as intellectual, work. What is it that is motivating you to want to begin this journey? 'This' journey? 'This' journey is a process of continual professional development of educational practice to realise an aspiration of contributing to bringing into being a cooperatively rational world. That aspiration gives rise to initially to questions such as, 'how do I improve the process of education here?', 'how do I improve my educational practice in this context?' Taking a Living Educational Theory Research path will lead you to trying to improve educational practice, examining carefully whether you are doing what you think you are doing and clarifying the values which form your explanatory principles of your educational influence in the learning of the social formation you are a contributing member of and in the learning of those (including your self) who comprise the social formation.

Developing your knowledge, understanding and practice of Living Educational Theory Research may help you to understand and improve and explain your educational practice - and in the process contribute to bringing into being a cooperatively rational world where humanity flourishes. As you venture along this path it is a good idea to check periodically this still serves your needs. You may find that it is not what you thought it was and does not help you to answer the question you now have. In which case, I hope you take from what you have learned travelling along this journey to help you on your new journey. Periodically take time to dig deeper into 'why' you are enquiring, inquiring and researching... what purpose does it serve. Keep checking your purpose has not changed and that another research paradigm or methodology would not be of more use.

Sometimes it is only by starting the journey that you find whether it is the 'right' one. So it is with Living Educational Theory Research. Best way of learning what, if anything, Living Educational Theory Research has to offer you is to 'do' and begin to create an account of your living-educational-theory. On this page you will find some of the building blocks and suggestions for further reading

What is a living-educational-theory?

Whitehead coined the term 'living-educational-theory' in the 1980s. You can find writings which establishes its provinance on https://actionresearch.net/. A 'living-educational-theory' is an educational practitioner researcher's valid values-rich explanation of their educational influence in their own learning, the learning of others and the learning of the social formation they are a contributing member of.

What is Living Educational Theory Research?

Research Paradigm.

A paradigm is a consensus among a community of practising scientists about certain concrete solutions called “exemplars” to central problems of their field. Their consensus is based on commitment to the paradigm. The commitment is derived from their training and values; it is not the result of critical testing of the paradigm.

Paradigm is the key term in Thomas Kuhn's (1922–1996) very influential book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962). As is frequently the case when new ideas are presented, Kuhn took an existing term and gave it a specialized meaning. The term paradigm now occurs frequently in every kind of discourse, usually to mean something like "way of thinking" or "approach to a problem.”

It is established by making it expicit and that is accepted by academics as a research paradigm.

Until you highlighted the important of clarifying Living Educational Theory Research as a paradigm, I was still focused on getting academic legitimation for living-educational-theories.

Living Educational Theory Research as a paradigm.

"I initially focused on getting academic legitimation for living-educational-theories.  Now that an impressive numbers of living-educational-theories have been legitimated by univerisities around the world it seems to me to be timely to focus on the idea of Living Educational Theory Research as a paradigm. 

I had avoided conceptualising Living Educational Theory Research because of a problem I experienced with traditional theories. The problem was that traditional theories derived an explanation for individual actions and individual from a generalised conceptual framework. I wanted to emphasise that a living-educational-theory was generated as an individual’s explanation for their educational influences in their own learning, in the learning of others and in the learning of social formations. Having established the academic legitimacy of living-educational-theories, I think that now is the time to establish Living Educational Theory Research as a research paradigm that can contribute to the development of a co-operative rational world."

Research Methodology

A system of ways of doing, teaching, or studying something, a body of methods, rules, and postulates employed by a discipline.

There is often a crude distinction made between quantitative and qualitative research. You might find it helpful to explore a bit further. Have a look at meanings of "naturalistic", "rationalistic"...

A Living Educational Theory Research methodology is a way of 'theory testing' and 'theory building'


Data is information which has been collected that is analysed for a purpose. For example data can be used to build up a case or as evidence to justify a claim to know something or to show that the claim is mistaken.

Data can also be analysed in order to improve your understanding of what is going on. For example, to test your assumption that you are you doing what you thought you were doing. When Jack was trying to get enquiry learning going on in his science lessons he videod himself teaching. When he analysed the recording he discovered to his surprise that rather than enabling his pupils to formulate their own questions he was giving his pupils the questions to ask.

Another use of data is to improve communication of tacit knowledge. Some of the narratives will include video-data, from educational relationships, to clarify ostensively and develop meanings of living standards of judgment. These standards include the value of educational responsibility for distinguishing the research as educational.






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