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Enter through this portal to a centre of educational optimism! 

Check out http://www.spanglefish.com/livingtheory for more introductions and resources to get you going

   enter our center for educational optimism

A great introduction to Living Eductional Theory research - the video of Jack Whitehead's TEDX talk 24th October 2019 at the University of Bolton, UK. https://youtu.be/Jf1kFHLdiPY


Welcome to a virtual community of the Living Values Improving Practice Cooperatively CPD/research project. The project is for:

  • Professionals who, whatever their field of practice, are committed to improving the life-chances and well-being of individuals and communities
  • Researchers developing understandings, quality and influence of Living Theory research as contributions to a world where humanity can flourish
  • Those who want to research their practice to create their own living-educational-theories and enquire co-operatively with others who also want to express life-affirming and life-enhancing values in practice.
  • Enhancing professionalism of educational practitioners through developing understanding and support for the recognition of master and doctor educators.


Through the project we will be researching to create and make public our knowledge of how we are each, and together, enhancing our educational influence in our own learning, the learning of others and the learning of the social formations we live and work in, using a Living Theory research approach. By a Living Theory research approach we mean that we are explaining this educational influence.

I believe that educational and education researchers agree that education is a values-laden practical activity and that explaining educational influences involves making value judgements about the learning that is taking place. The idea of judging an improvement also involves a value-judgement on what counts as an improvement. Hence the importance of clarifying the meanings of the values that are used as explanatory principles in explanations of educational influence.


Following Feyerabend’s insights, in his work on ‘Against Method’, the meanings of values are clarified in the course of their emergence in practice. In Living Theory research these values are often clarified in the course of their emergence in action-reflection cycles where a concern is expressed when values are not being lives as fully as possible and ways forward are imagined. One way forward is chosen and acted on whilst gathering data to make a judgement on the influence of one’s actions. An evaluation is carried out to judge the influence of the actions. Concerns, ideas and actions are modified in the light of the evaluations. An evidence-based explanation is produced to explain the educational influences in learning.


As we research to improve our individual daily practice we will be clarifying our values as they emerge in practice while we research together to learn how to improve how we learn, work and research co-operatively and collaboratively. 

We hope the content of this site captivates your imaginations and you feel supported and encouraged to, not only to make public your embodied knowledge and your living-educational-theories, but also to engage in co-operative enquiries that can spread the influence of the values and understandings that carry hope for the future of humanity.

We are currently building content from resources and references, (including papers, books, chapters, videos, podcasts) that have been particularly interesting/useful/challenging/thought provoking etc to to project researchers.

If you would like to join the project contact us or visit http://www.actionresearch.net and contact Jack Whitehead directly.

The site is evolving so you might want to set up a news feed to alert you to changes.

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