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Methodology and methods

Methodology and methods are often confused or used variously in the literature so you might want to look through both sections.


Jack introduces Living-Theory,  the distinction between Living-Theory research and other research methodologies and the development of a new epistemology. This is at a workshop for staff at Oranim College in Israel on the 7th July 2013 during a visit organised by Dr. Anat Geller, a member of staff at the college. The second was on multi-media narratives. Both can be accessed from the What's New section of his web-site actionresearch.net

A seminal text.

Whitehead, J. (1989) Creating a living educational theory from questions of the kind, "How do I improve my practice?' Cambridge Journal of Education, Vol. 19, No.1,1989, pp. 41-52

Access from actionresearch.net

This is also a good one to get going with

Whitehead, J., (2008) Using a living theory methodology in improving practice and generating educational knowledge in living theories. Educational Journal of Living Theories. Issue 1. pp. 103-126.

Access it from http://ejolts.net/node/80

Another is the chapter in the Research Methods for the Self-Study of Practice:

Whitehead, J. (2009) How Do I Influence the Generation of Living Educational Theories for Personal and Social Accountability in Improving Practice? Using a Living Theory Methodology. In Improving Educational Practice, pp. 173-194 in Tidwell, Deborah L.; Heston, Melissa L.; Fitzgerald, Linda M. (Eds.) (2009) Research Methods for the Self-study of Practice, Dordrecht; Springer.

This paper: Justifying the use of a living theory methodology in the creation of your living educational theory. Responding to Cresswell can be accessed from http://www.actionresearch.net/writings/arsup/Cresswellqualitativemethods.pdf

It is a bit complex but it might give you the confidence to use the language of different methodological approaches and to be clear about the differences between methods and methodology.

Whitehead, J. and McNiff, J. (2006) Action Research Living Values. London: Sage.

A review can be found on tascwheel.com. You can also get a preview on 'google books'.


Research methods 

These are some videos and papers concerning research methods, such as narrative, action research, participatory research, multimedia narrative and others that have been particularly helpful.

Multimedia narrative

Action research


Narrative enquiry


More on Logics, theories, models, methodologies, methods...


As I work with different references I will put them on. I don't think all of them are particularly useful but if you are interested and want to share some of my meanderings and make up your own mind I would be very pleased to hear from you if you would like to share your thinking with me.

I am going to try to gather bit and pieces on 'Action Research' here - (this is to remind me where I am parking things until I set up a seperate page)



Whitehead, J. (1989) Creating Living Educational Theories From Questions Of The Kind, ‘How do I improve my practice?’ Published in the Cambridge Journal of Education, Vol. 19, No.1,1989, pp. 41-52.

Whitehead, J. (2008) Using A Living Theory Methodology In Improving Practice And Generating Educational Knowledge in Living Theories. EJOLTs: Educational Journal of Living Theories. 1, (1), pp. 103-126. Accessed 30 August 2009 from ejolts.net/node/81

Dadds, M. & Hart, S. (2001) Doing Practitioner Research Differently, London; RoutledgeFalmer

Medawar, P. B. (1969) Induction and Intuition in Scientific Thought. London; Methuen & Co. Ltd. Some quotes Overview of Medawar and his writing

Mellor, N. (1999) has written on Messy Methods. Links from his site to papers and his thesis are well work following.

Ilyenkov, E. (1977) Dialectical Logic. Moscow; Progess publishers.

Habermas, J. (1976) Communication and the evolution of society. London: Heinemann. Key quote.

Godard, S. (2009) A case against school effectiveness accessed from Steven Godard's website.The TES article that draws on this paper is - Academics demolish 'useless' CVA system definitely worth looking at.

Berliner, D. (2009) Blame for school achievement gap misplaced. Berliner says that NCLB's accountability system is "fatally flawed" because it holds schools accountable for student achievement without regard for the out-of-school factors that affect it. A well respected academic in America contributes to the same arguement that is going on in England.

The practice of educators reflects theories which in turn are the lived expressions of values and beliefs. Sometime the links are obvious and explicity, more often they are not. In making them explicit and recognising where practice is not just inconsistent with my theories or beliefs about how people learn and grow with an increasing understanding of who they are and want to be in the world, but recognise where these inconsistencies have unintended consequences which in effect negate my values - what I hold as important.

 Strategic Forum for Research in Education

Lee, C. D. & Rochon, R. (2009) 2010 AERA Annual Meeting Theme: Understanding Complex Ecologies in a Changing World. Retrieved 22 July 2009 from  http://www.aera.net/Default.aspx?id=7588 .

Narrative and related research methods


Invitational Theory

Ellis, T.I. (1990) Invitational Learning for Counseling and Development. Highlights: An ERIC/CAPS Digest. Accessed from http://www.ericdigests.org/pre-9214/learning.htm



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