Do These Living Educational Theories Validly Explain Educational Influences In Learning With Values Of Humanity?

 

Jack Whitehead

Department of Education

University of Bath

 

DRAFT 1 June 2005

 

Abstract

 

The idea of living educational theories is introduced to the readers of Educational Theory to explain the educational influences of an individual in his or her own learning, in the learning of others and in the learning of social formations. Values of humanity are offered as explanatory principles and living standards of judgement for testing the validity of accounts that claim to know educational influences in learning. The exploration is focused on an educational action research methodology that can transform embodied values into explanatory principles and living standards of educational judgement. A distinction is made between education theories and educational theories. This distinction separates traditional forms of education theory, that are constituted by the disciplines of the philosophy, psychology, sociology, history, economics, politics, management and theology of education, from living educational theories that are generated by practitioner-researchers to account for their own lives of learning as they seek to live their values of humanity as fully as they can. Evidence from 18 doctoral and other research degrees legitimated in the Academy over the last ten years will be presented to show how these living educational theories are constituted by the explanations individuals produce for their educational influences in their own learning in the learning of others and in the learning of social formations. The need for multi-media accounts to communicate the living logics of these explanations in inclusional educational enquiries of the kind, 'How do I enhance my understanding of the meaning of my existence?' will also be examined.

 

The Nature of Educational Theory

 

Some 25 years ago, for a thesis on Educational Practice and its Theory (Whitehead, 1980), I analysed the Volumes of Educational Theory between 1951-1980. I did this to enhance my understanding of the nature of educational theory. In this analysis I was struck by the focus of debates on values and logic. From Cunningham's (1953) analysis of the 'Extensional Limits of Aristotelian Logic', through Mosier's (1969) 'From Enquiry Logic To Symbolic Logic', to Tostberg's, (1976) 'Observation Of The Logical Bases Of Educational Policy', the debate about the logical basis of educational practice, theory and policy was a focus of concern for readers of Educational Theory. A similar debate could be seen in the realm of values with ' (The Role Of Value Theory In Education' (Putler, 1954), 'Are Values Verifiable?' (Bayles, 1960), 'Education And Some Moves Towards A Value Methodology' (Clayton 1969) and 'Knowledge And Values' (Smith 1976). 

 

In creating and testing any educational theory within a research community it is important to establish an agreement about values and logics. With education being a value-laden practical activity concerned with learning, agreement about values is needed to distinguish what learning counts as 'educational'.  To talk rationally about the nature of the educational theories that can explain this valued learning there needs to be an agreement about the logics that distinguish the rationality of the theory. Hence I could appreciate the seriousness of the debates in the Journal about the nature of the values and logics that constituted educational theory.

 

My systematic enquiry into the nature of educational theory began in 1968 in a philosophy of education programme at the Institute of Education of London University. The dominant view of educational theory in this programme was that it was constituted by the disciplines of philosophy, psychology, sociology and history of education. I rejected this approach to educational theory in 1971 as I was conducting research for my masters degree in the psychology of education into the processes through which adolescents acquired scientific understanding (Whitehead, 1972). My rejection was based on my recognition that no existing theory drawn from the existing disciplines of education, either individually or in any combination, could produce an adequate explanation of my educational influence in my own learning or in the learning of my students. Paul Hirst, an early proponent of the 'disciplines' approach to educational theory, expressed the reason for my rejection better than I could myself when he recognized a similar mistake in saying that much understanding of educational theory will be developed:

 

" ...in the context of immediate practical experience and will be co-terminous with everyday understanding. In particular, many of its operational principles, both explicit and implicit, will be of their nature generalisations from practical experience and have as their justification the results of individual activities and practices.

 

In many characterisations of educational theory, my own included, principles justified in this way have until recently been regarded as at best pragmatic maxims having a first crude and superficial justification in practice that in any rationally developed theory would be replaced by principles with more fundamental, theoretical justification. That now seems to me to be a mistake. Rationally defensible practical principles, I suggest, must of their nature stand up to such practical tests and without that are necessarily inadequate." (Hirst, 1983, p. 18)

 

On recognizing my mistake I began to re-assess my vocation in education. Until this recognition I had felt content with my choice to be a teacher in a comprehensive school, teaching science to 11-18 year olds.  Given the significance I attached to educational theory as being of profound importance for the future of humanity, my sense of vocation moved from that of being a teacher to that of being an educational researcher. I decided to see if I could contribute to an educational theory that could produce adequate explanations for the educational influences of individuals in their own learning, in the learning of others and in the learning of social formations. Because of my experience and qualifications I was fortunate to be able to move to the University of Bath as a Lecturer in Education in 1973 to fulfill this desire. The account that follows, of the genesis and development of living educational theories, is based on my 32 year research programme into the nature of educational theory at the University of Bath.

 

The idea of educational influence

 

As much of the validity of what I write rests on the idea of living educational theories being constituted by explanations of educational influences in learning I want to explain what I mean by educational influence with the help of Said's writings.  Drawing on the work of Valery, Said says that as a poet indebted to and friendly with Mallarme, Valery was compelled to assess originality and derivation in a way that said something about a relationship that could not be reduced to a simple formula. Here is the key statement about 'influence' from the "Letter About Mallarme".

 

No word comes easier or oftener to the critic's pen than the word influence, and no vaguer notion can be found among all the vague notions that compose the phantom armory of aesthetics.  Yet there is nothing in the critical field that should be of greater philosophical interest or prove more rewarding to analysis than the progressive modification of one mind by the work of another. (Said, 1997, p. 15)

 

I agree about the significance of the word 'influence'. Putting this together with 'educational' in educational influence has the following meaning for me in relation to learning.

 

I am assuming that one of the characteristics of being human is that we learn. We learn from birth to death. What is of interest to me as an educational researcher are the educational theories that can explain the educational influence we have in our own learning, in the learning of others and in the education of our social formations. I see an educational influence as involving an intentional relationship. I am thinking of an intentional relationship that involves both originality of mind and critical judgement. Such intentional relationships prevent me from claiming that I have educated anyone, apart perhaps for myself, in the determinate sense of an 'if-then' causal relationship. I am meaning this in the sense that because I did something then the other person learnt something of value.

 

For me to recognise an educational influence in the learning of another I need to see that the other has exercised some originality of mind and critical judgement in mediating between what I have done and what they have learnt. I think the significance of this point will become clearer as I draw on empirical evidence of educational influence from some 18 living educational theory doctoral and other theses that have been completed with my supervision over the past 10 years in my work at the University of Bath. A further three theses are included in the Appendix and these were most significant in the genesis of my ideas. However, they were produced before the widespread use of digital technology and are not yet available on the web.

 

For me to recognise an educational influence in the learning of a social formation I need to see that the rules governing the social order have changed to embody more fully values that carry hope for the future of humanity. For example, one such change occurred in 1991 in the rules governing the good order of the University of Bath. Until 1991 the rules did not permit questions to be raised, under any circumstances, about the judgements of examiners of research degrees. In 1991 the rules changed to permit questioning on the grounds of bias, prejudice and inadequate assessment. It is such changes that I am associating with the academic freedom to question, and other values that carry hope for the future of humanity. 

 

I am also seeing the legitimation of living educational theories in the Academy as an educational influence in the learning of a social formation. The acceptance in the Academy of living epistemological standards of judgement, grounded in ontological embodied values of practitioner-researchers and living inclusional logic, indicates an educational change. It is a movement away from the sole reliance on a logic of domination in defining what counts as educational theory. I see such a movement as part of the evolution of postcolonial social formations. I am thinking of this evolution as a process of learning how to live values of humanity more fully in the rules that govern social orders. Space does not permit an analysis of the role of the pedagogisation of living educational theories in the evolution of a postcolonial social formation, but this is available elsewhere (Whitehead, 2004).

 

A distinguishing feature of a productive academic life is the originality of the ideas that emerge from one's research. One such idea I believe to be that of living educational theory.

 

The idea of living educational theory

 

I use the idea of living educational theory to distinguish the explanations that individuals produce for their educational influences in their own learning, in the learning of others and in the learning of social formations, from explanations drawn from other disciplines of education. The living educational theories I am drawing on in this paper have emerged through some five years or more of doctoral research programmes. You can check the evidence that such living educational theories have been accredited as valid in the Academy by going to the living theory section of http://www.actionresearch.net and accessing the following theses. Because of the importance of this evidence base in validating my claims about living educational theories, I have included an Appendix with the list of the theses, together with the urls where they can be accessed and an extract from each thesis abstract that highlights something of educational significance in the thesis.  I include three of the early theses at this point to illustrate my point about their significance and to stimulate your interest in the theses themselves. I shall refer to two of the latest additions below to illustrate how values of humanity can be clarified through the use of an action research methodology. I shall explain how the values can be used as both explanatory principles and epistemological principles for evaluating the validity of a claim to educational knowledge that is made from a living theory perspective:

 

Eames, K. (1995) How do I, as a teacher and educational action-researcher, describe and explain the nature of my professional knowledge? Ph.D. Thesis, University of Bath. Retrieved 19 February 2004 from http://www.actionresearch.net/kevin.shtml

 

The analyses I make of the resulting challenges to my thinking and practice show how educators in schools can work together, embodying a form of professional knowledge which draws on Thomism and other manifestations of dialectical rationality.

 

Laidlaw, M. (1996) How can I create my own living educational theory as I offer you an account of my educational development? Ph.D. thesis, University of Bath. Retrieved 19 February 2004 from http://www.actionresearch.net/moira2.shmtl

 

In this thesis I have tried to show what it means to me, a teacher-researcher, to bring, amongst others, an aesthetic standard of judgement to bear on my educative relationships with Undergraduate, Postgraduate, Higher Degree education students and classroom pupils in the action enquiry: 'How do I help my students and pupils to improve the quality of their learning?'

 

Holley, E. (1997) How do I as a teacher-researcher contribute to the development of a living educational theory through an exploration of my values in my professional practice? M.Phil., University of Bath. Retrieved 19 February 2004 from http://www.actionresearch.net/erica.shtml

 

With its focus on the development of the meanings of my educational values and educational knowledge in my professional practice I intend this thesis to show the integration of the educational processes of transforming myself by my own knowledge and the knowledge of others and of transforming my educational knowledge through action and reflection. I also intend the thesis to be a contribution to debates about the use of values as being living standards of judgment in educational research.

 

The process of action and reflection described by Holley (1997) highlights the importance of being clear about the methodological approach developed in the process of creating a living theory.

 

An action research methodology for creating living educational theories

 

A second original idea emerged from my research programme into the nature of educational theory as I appreciated the significance of including 'I' as a living contradiction in enquiries of the kind, 'How do I improve what I am doing?' This idea distinguishes a living action research methodology for creating and testing educational theory, from other forms of educational research.

 

This idea of existing as a living contradiction, in my educational enquiry and explanations of educational influence in learning, had its genesis as I watched a video-tape of me teaching in 1971. I had been given a video-camera by the Local Education Authority (School Board) to explore its value for teacher education. As I watched the video-tape I had the shock of recognising myself as a living contradiction. By this I mean that as I watched the tape I felt myself holding together my value of enquiry learning and my denial of this value in my practice. I could see that I had structured the learning resources and my questioning of the pupils in a way that was actually getting in the way of what I was intending to do in supporting enquiry learning. I wasn't being a hypocrite. Until I saw the video-tape I thought that I was supporting my pupils' enquiry learning. This experience of existing as a living contradiction had a profound influence on my understanding of the need for data from practice and the critical responses of others in testing the validity of my own beliefs. My understanding of a living action research methodology emerged from the following process of social validation.

 

In 1975-6 I worked on a local curriculum development project, funded by one of our National Agencies in the UK called The Schools Council. I worked for two years with 6 teachers to research the processes of improving learning for 11-14 year olds in mixed ability groups in science (Whitehead, 1976). 

 

On presenting to the teachers, my explanation for our educational influences in the learning of students and with each other, I again experienced myself as a living contradiction. I thought that I had constructed a valid explanation of our learning using contemporary models of evaluation, of change in teaching and learning and of curriculum innovation. However, the teachers were critical of the explanation saying that they could not see or find themselves in it! They challenged its validity. They asked me to go back to the data and reconstruct a story that showed what they had been doing. Working with Paul Hunt, one of the teachers, I did this, and we constructed a story that everyone agreed was a valid and adequate account of our learning. This description and explanation focused on action reflection cycles of:

 

                               Expressing concerns because values were not being lived as fully as they could.

                               Exercising imagination in the creation of an action plan to improve practice.

                               Acting and gathering data gathered with which to make a judgement about the effectiveness of the actions in relation to educational influences in learning.

                               Evaluating the action in relation to educational influence and submitting an explanation of the educational influence in learning to a validation group.

                               Modifying concerns, ideas and actions in the light of the evaluations.

 

What distinguished this living action research methodology from other forms of action research was the inclusion of 'I' as a living contradiction in both the enquiry and the explanations of educational influence in learning.  The explanations included action-reflection cycles of the kind:

 

                               I experience a concern when my values are not  being lived as fully as I think they could be.

                               I imagine what to do about this in an action plan.

                               I act and gather data with which to make a judgement on my effectiveness.

                               I evaluate my actions in relation to my values and understandings.

                               I  modify my concerns, plans and actions in the light of my evaluations.

 

I shall explain the significance of this methodology in more detail after the section on including values of humanity in explanatory principles. Its significance is in transforming the meanings of embodied values of humanity into explanatory principles and living epistemological standards of judgement. The first step below is to focus on the meanings of embodied ontological values and their inclusion as explanatory principles of educational influence in learning. I shall then go on to show how this methodology can be used to clarify the living logics that define an inclusional rationality in the creation and testing of living educational theories.

 

The writings of Jean McNiff have been most influential, together with our collaborative writings, in showing how individuals can create their own living educational theories through narrative and with the help of this living action research methodology (McNiff, 2005). Each living theory thesis analyses the ontological values of the researcher and includes them as explanatory principles in the living theory of educational influence in learning. This grounding in ontological values is important for self-study research:

 

The consideration of ontology, of one's being in and toward the world, should be a central feature of any discussion of the value of self-study research. (Bullough & Pinnegar, 2004 p. 319)

 

Including embodied ontological values of humanity in explanatory principles and living epistemological standards of judgement.

 

When I was born on the 29th August 1944, the world was at war. The racist doctrine that contributed to war had been set out by Adolf Hitler in 1933 with the kind of vitriolic rhetoric that characterised the more recent genocide in Rwanda in 1994:

 

With satanic joy in his face, the black-haired Jewish youth lurks in wait for the unsuspecting girl whom he defiles with his blood, thus stealing her from her people. With every means he tries to destroy the racial foundations of the people he has set out to subjugate. Just as he himself systematically ruins women and girls, he does not shrink back from pulling down the blood barriers for others, even on a large scale. It was and it is Jews who bring the Negroes into the Rhineland, always with the same secret thought and clear aim of ruining the hated white race by the necessarily resulting bastardization, throwing it down from its cultural and political height, and himself rising to be its master. (Adolf Hitler, My Struggle. The Jewish Virtual Library http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/kampf.html )

 

My Father gave me a copy of the book Victory in Europe when I was six, I can still recall the power of my comprehension in relation to values of humanity in seeing pictures of corpses piled high at Auschwitz. I understand at the age of 6 that human beings could kill each other because of differences in the way they looked. The inhumanity of this human capacity to violate what I recognise as values of humanity has remained with me as I work to enhance the flow of values that carry hope for the future of humanity.

 

The issue of preserving 'favoured races' formed a focus for one of the most influential texts of the 19th Century by Charles Darwin 'On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life' (1859)

 

So, when I think of embodied ontological values of humanity I recognise that I am making choices about which values carry hope for the future of humanity from a historical perspective of which values appear to carry hope and which do not. My claims about which values carry this hope are open to question from different socio-cultural perspectives and I can immediately see that my choices about these values can come into conflict with the choices of others. Because I see the educational relationships of educators with their students as value-laden, I make choices about which values of humanity I use in characterising learning as educational. I recognise the historical truth that some socio-cultural formations have placed the above racist and other colonising views at the heart of what is called education in that culture. However, I rule out, of what I recognise as educational, such claims because they violate my understandings of which values carry hope for the future of humanity. These values are the living and developing explanatory principles in living theories and I identify these values as postcolonial values that are significant in learning how to evolve a postcolonial social formation.

 

My early introduction to the educational values that carry hope for the future of humanity was in a philosophy of education curriculum at the Institute of Education of the University of London in 1968. Richard Peters (1966) one of the originators of the 'disciplines' approach to educational theory would explore the implications for a person who was seriously asking themselves questions of the kind, 'What ought I do to?' The 'seriousness' was important because it related the 'I' in the question, to the values used by the individual to give meaning and purpose to their lives. That is, the values were embodied, ontological values of the 'I'.  To justify the values, Peters used a form of Kantian transcendental deduction of the kind, given proposition x, if proposition y can be shown to be implied in x, then there are good reasons for accepting y. He argued that the ethical principles of freedom, justice, consideration of interests, worth while activities and respect for persons were necessarily implied in the  question. He also argued that democracy, as a procedural principle, was also implied in the question.

 

While benefiting from the philosophy course and being persuaded about the ontological significance of the above values I could see that when faced with the question, 'What ought I to do?' that philosophers could make such interpretations while those pursuing colonising and other harmful policies could be moving social formations in their desired direction irrespective of what the philosophers were thinking. Hence I preferred to explore the implications of asking questions of the kind, 'How do I improve what I am doing?' on the grounds that this could include both interpreting the world and changing it in a desired direction. This is what I mean by improvement. But which values of humanity can define the improvements? My approach to this question draws on a process of clarifying the values in the course of their emergence in the practice of enquiry and a process of justification that includes both Polanyi's approach in his Personal Knowledge (Polanyi 1958) and Habermas' (1976) approach to communication and the evolution of society. My approach is also grounded in an assumption about the nature of the self that is consistent with that of Vilayanur:

 

What exactly do people mean when they speak of the self? Its defining characteristics are fourfold. First of all, continuity. You've a sense of time, a sense of past, a sense of future. There seems to be a thread running through your personality, through your mind. Second, closely related is the idea of unity or coherence of self. In spite of the diversity of sensory experiences, memories, beliefs and thoughts, you experience yourself as one person, as a unity.

 

So there's continuity, there's unity. And then there's the sense of embodiment or ownership - yourself as anchored to your body. And fourth is a sense of agency, what we call free will, your sense of being in charge of your own destiny. (Vilayanur S. R. 2003)

 

I recognise that such a sense of self is working in my ontology and that I relate to every human being as unique. I also recognise my similarity to others in being consciously reflexive with a capacity to communicate. Like the declaration of independence of the thirteen colonies in 1776 I hold at the heart of my ontology that human beings have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness with the right to decide their own system of government to protect these rights and their safety (Declaration of Independence, 1776).

 

The ideas of Michael Polanyi were especially influential as I reformed my mind, from its belief in the primacy of propositional knowledge produced by positivist science. The re-formation including the transformatory decision of personal knowledge to understand the world from one's own point of view as an individual claiming originality and exercising judgement with universal intent.

 

So, here are some of the embodied ontological values I believe characterise the explanations and living epistemological standards in living educational theories.

 

At the heart of my ontology is something whose source I do not understand. It is a mystery to me yet fundamental to the hope I feel in living. I am referring to a life affirming energy I am aware of flowing through me. I identify this energy with Bataille's (1987, p.11) description of assenting to life up to the point of death. I have checked with those whose living theory theses I have supervised and they affirm such a flow of life-affirming energy as being influential in the creation of their own living theories.

 

Another ontological value I express in my educational relationships is for embodied knowledge. I mean embodied knowledge in the same words that Husserl (1931, p.12) writes about knowledge in the transcendental sphere. So replacing his transcendental sphere by my experience of embodied knowledge, I believe that:

 

...we have an infinitude of embodied knowledge previous to all deduction, knowledge whose mediated connexions (those of intentional implication) have nothing to do with deduction, and being entirely intuitive prove refractory to every methodologically devised scheme of constructive symbolism"

 

The significance of this ontological value in my educational relationships is that it relates to the meaning I give to my life through my work in education. I have worked to enable practitioner-researchers to create their own living theories from the ground of their embodied knowledges. They have received accreditation from the Academy for their originality of mind and critical judgement, extent and merit of their work and matter worthy of publication. These are criteria used by the University of Bath to legitimate doctoral degrees.

 

Enquiry learning is another ontological quality that characterises my theory of being. I ask questions and learn as I explore the implications of answering them. Asking, researching and answering questions of the kind, 'How do I improve what I am doing?' has been a characteristic of my way of being. I bring this commitment to enquiry learning into my explicit pedagogic relations by emphasising the importance of this kind of question in my supervision of research programmes. I have been influenced in this commitment to enquiry by Collingwood's insight:

 

Whether a given proposition is true or false, significant or meaningless, depends on what question it was meant to answer; and any one who wishes to know whether a given proposition is true or false, significant or meaningless, must first find out what question is was meant to answer (Collingwood, 1991, p. 39)

 

Academic freedom is another ontological value. Academic freedom under the law is protected by law in the UK. I value academic freedom as an ontological principle and have explained the growth of my educational knowledge in relation to this value (Whitehead, 1993).

 

As a bedrock of my hope in human existence I bear witness to love as a value of humanity that carries hope for the future of humanity and my own. I love what I do in education. My students tell me that they feel this as a life-affirming energy that flows into our relationship and influences their enquiries. I recognise this love in Cho's terms when he says that with love, education becomes an open space for thought from which emerges knowledge. For Cho, as for me, it is important to make clear that in explaining the educational influence of love in learning, between two or more people in an educational relationship, it is not a matter of  'merely caring for one another, nor do they pass knowledge between each other' (Cho, 2005, p. 95). It is a matter of seeing that love opens a space for those in educational relationships to preserve the distinctiveness of their positions by turning away from one another and toward the world in order to produce knowledge through inquiry and thought (Cho, 2005. p. 95).

 

Another educational researcher who I would say loves what she does, is Jean McNiff. I have worked with Jean, most productively for over 20 years. Our relationship changed to friends and colleagues with the successful completion of her doctorate in 1989. When I say that I love what Jean does I mean this in the sense that Jean's presence in what she is doing, connects with and enhances my life-affirming energy in its flow through our shared living space. For example, on 12 March 2005, Jean convened an interactive symposium with 5 of the doctoral researchers she is supervising at Limerick University, at the Annual Conference of the Educational Studies Association of Ireland on The transformative potentials of our self-studies for a new epistemology of educational enquiry in our university. (McNiff, 2005b) Jean's contribution was on How do I explain the significance of this symposium for exercising our educational influence for the development of global networks of communicative action? (McNiff, 2005c)

 

In this paper, Jean is encouraging each of the researchers she is supervising to preserve the distinctiveness of their enquiries. She analyses how she encouraging them to express and enhance their own contributions to educational knowledge in the living space we all share.

 

Love, as an embodied value, an explanatory principle and living standard of judgement is not usually used in evaluating the validity of a claim to educational knowledge in the Academy. Yet, love, as a living standard of judgement has been legitimated in some of the living theory doctorates accepted by the Academy after five or more years of enquiry. A change in the University of Bath regulations during 2004 allowed the submission of multi-media accounts using e-media and this has opened opportunities for communicating the meanings of living epistemological standards of judgement using visual narratives.

 

Two recently completed doctoral enquiries by Mary Hartog and Madeline Church have used an action research methodology to clarify the meaning of love. They clarified the meaning of love as an embodied value, explanatory principle and standard of judgement in their living educational theories of their own learning. Eleanor Lohr is also focusing on the meaning of love at work in her doctoral enquiries.

 

Mary Hartog's thesis 'A self study of a higher education tutor: how can I improve my practice?' was the first thesis, under the new regulations, to submit a visual narrative and analysis of educational relationships. The explanation of learning connects, in the visual narrative, ostensive definitions of loving and life-affirming educative relations with lexical definitions:

 

Evidence is drawn from life-story work, narrative accounting, student assignments, audio and video taped sessions of teaching and learning situations, the latter of which include edited CD-R files. These clips offer a glimpse of my embodied claims to know what the creation of loving and life-affirming educative relations involves. (Hartog, 2004, http://www.bath.ac.uk/~edsajw/hartog.shtml)

 

Madeline Church (2004) in her doctoral enquiry, 'Creating an uncompromised place to belong: why do I find myself in networks?' has successfully defended her thesis, in her viva-voce examination, which included the following claims to know:

 

I show how my approach to this work is rooted in the values of compassion, love, and fairness, and inspired by art. I hold myself to account in relation to these values, as living standards by which I judge myself and my action in the world. This finds expression in research that helps us to design more appropriate criteria for the evaluation of international social change networks. Through this process I inquire with others into the nature of networks, and their potential for supporting us in lightly-held communities which liberate us to be dynamic, diverse and creative individuals working together for common purpose (Church, 2004, http://www.bath.ac.uk/~edsajw/church.shtml )

 

Eleanor Lohr's (2004) prologue to her doctoral enquiry, 'Love at Work' presents a visual narrative and analysis of her inclusional value of loving. In the thesis submitted for examination, Lohr makes the claim:

 

In this thesis I represent the meanings of love as I experience love at work in my life. By writing, I learn how to craft the words to express that knowledge.  By seeing the visual images, I begin to understand the power of loving presence.  By listening to the reverberations of my body, I bring critical judgement into my action and articulate this judgement as living epistemological standards of love.  These loving standards enable me to judge the value of my practice, and to be better accountable for what I do. (Lohr, 2004, http://www.jackwhitehead.com/elFront%202.htm )

 

Each living theory thesis involves the researcher in explaining their educational influence in their own learning in terms of embodied ontological values. I want to emphasise the uniqueness of each explanation with the unique constellation of values that characterise the individuals own sense of identity. James Finnegan, for example, asks 'How can love enable justice to see rightly?' (See Appendix) Marian Naidoo (2005) whose living theory thesis is under examination focuses on the embodied ontological value of passion for compassion in her creation of a living theory of responsive practice. Space does not permit me to say more about the living theories of each individual researcher and they clearly speak for themselves in their theses.

 

Having accepted Cho's conclusions about love, knowledge and inquiry and drawn your attention to the web-spaces where the evidential base can be accessed to judge the validity of claims to knowledge that have been made using love and other values of humanity as standards of judgement, I now want to move on to clarifying the living logics in living educational theories.

 

Living inclusional logic in living educational theories

 

I like Marcuse's (1964) idea that logic is the form that reason takes in understanding the real as rational. I use three different logics in my research into the nature of educational theory. Two of these logics, propositional and dialectical, are likely to be familiar to the readers of Educational Theory. These are often held to be incompatible for the reasons given below. The third logic, inclusional logic, could be new to readers of Educational Theory, and I will describe its characteristics and explain how it can hold together both propositional and dialectical logics in explanations for educational influences in learning.

 

In living educational theory I use the propositional logic that structures the majority of papers in Educational Theory and the papers in the majority of educational research journals in the Academy. By this I mean that I can follow an argument whose logic abides by the Aristotelean Law of Contradiction in forbidding the possibility of two mutually exclusive statements being true simultaneously. I am thinking here of the argument used by Karl Popper to show that dialectical theories that contained contradictions between statements are entirely useless as theories

 

In answering his question, 'What is Dialectic?', Popper (1963) rejects dialectical claims to knowledge as, 'without the slightest foundation. Indeed, they are based on nothing better than a loose and woolly way of speaking' (Popper, 1963, p.316).

 

Popper demonstrates, using two laws of inference, that if a theory contains a contradiction, then it entails everything, and therefore, indeed, nothing. He says that a theory which adds to every information which it asserts also the negation of this information can give us no information at all. A Theory which involves a contradiction is therefore entirely useless as a theory (Popper, 1963, p.317).

 

Gorard and Pring are two theorists of education whose theories conform to this logic:

 

For an education theorist such as Gorard:

 

"... theory is a set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena, especially one that has been repeatedly tested or is widely accepted and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena." (Gorard, 2004, p.8)

 

This appears to conform to the view of theory in the philosophy of education(al) research of Pring:

 

" 'Theory' would seem to have the following features. It refers to a set of propositions which are stated with sufficient generality yet precision that they explain the behaviour of a range of phenomena and predict which would happen in the future. An understanding of these propositions includes an understanding of what would refute them." (Pring, 2000, pp. 124-125).

 

I use insights from such propositional theories as I educate myself in my own learning. This can be seen in my integration of insights from the work of Habermas and others in the growth of my educational knowledge (Whitehead, 1993). For example, in subjecting the accounts of my educational influence in my own learning to public criticism I explicitly draw on Habermas' ideas on the four criteria of social validity I am using in reaching an understanding with you:

 

The speaker must choose a comprehensible expression so that speaker and hearer can understand one another.

The speaker must have the intention of communicating a true proposition (or a propositional content, the existential presuppositions of which are satisfied) so that the hearer can share the knowledge of the speaker.

The speaker must want to express his intentions truthfully so that the hearer can believe the utterance of the speaker (can trust him).

Finally, the speaker mush choose an utterance that is right so that the hearer can accept the utterance and speaker and hearer can agree with on another in the utterance with respect to a recognized normative background. Moreover, communicative action can continue undisturbed only as long as participants suppose that the validity claims they reciprocally raise are justified. (Habermas, 1976, pp.2-3)

 

I also use Habermas' emphasis on learning from his theory of communicative action as a support for my own focus on educational influences in learning.

 

"...I have attempted to free historical materialism from its philosophical ballast. 'Two abstractions are required for this: I) abstracting the development of the cognitive structures from the historical dynamic of events, and ii) abstracting the evolution of society from the historical concretion of forms of life. Both help in getting beyond the confusion of basic categories to which the philosophy of history owes its existence.

 

A theory developed in this way can no longer start by examining concrete ideals immanent in traditional forms of life. It must orient itself to the range of learning processes that is opened up at a given time by a historically attained level of learning. It must refrain from critically evaluating and normatively ordering totalities, forms of life and cultures, and life-contexts and epochs as a whole. And yet it can take up some of the intentions for which the interdisciplinary research program of earlier critical theory remains instructive.

 

Coming at the end of a complicated study of the main features of a theory of communicative action, this suggestion cannot count even as a 'promissory note'. It is less a promise than a conjecture." (Habermas, 1987, p. 383)

 

For those committed to one logic, the logic of propositions, it may be unacceptable to use three different logics in comprehending the rationality of living educational theories. Researchers committed to propositional logic could use Popper's refutation of dialectics to reject the validity of my use of dialectical logic in my theorising.  However, I use dialectical logic in explaining my educational influence in my own learning as I explore the implications of responding to my existence as a living contradiction. I draw on Comey's (1972), and  Ilyenkov's (1977) ideas in my insights into dialectical logic. I go back some 2,500 years, to Plato's descriptions of the ideas of Socrates in The Phaedrus, his poetic dialogue on Love, for my understanding of the art of a dialectician as including both the 'One and the Many'.  According to Comey the three laws of dialectical thought were derived by Engels from Hegel. These laws are: The identity and Conflict of Opposites; The Transition of Quantitative into Qualitative Changes; the Negation of the Negation.

 

Existing as a living contradiction in my educational enquiry, 'How do I improve what I am doing?', means that I hold together opposing experiences in relation to my values. When these are put into statements such as I am free and I am not free they can be taken to be mutually exclusive and, therefore, conflicting with one another. At the same time these opposites form an interrelated polarity so that they presuppose and reciprocally affect each other, and, consequently form a dialectical unity. The unity and conflict of internal opposites provide the impetus for change and development.

 

I imagine that as a reader of Educational Theory, you reflect on what you are doing in education. I believe that you have experienced yourself as a living contradiction in the sense that you hold together, in your experience, values that you desire to live as fully as possible, with the recognition that some of these values are, at the same time, being denied in practice. I also believe that valid explanations for what you are doing and learning will need to include a recognition of the motivating power of resolving such contradictions.

 

There is however a problem in producing dialectical explanations for such learning within the logic and language of Educational Theory and other Journals of Educational Research. The dominant logic of such texts is propositional logic. As soon as a dialectician seeks to communicate, using statements whose meanings rest upon lexical definitions related solely to other statements, the dialectical writer is faced with the Law of Contradiction. One of the greatest proponents of dialectical logic of the last century, Evard Ilyenkov, was still faced with this problem in a fundamental question that he couldn't answer before he died.

 

Ilyenkov's question about dialectical logic continues to fascinate me. He asked, 'If an object exists as a living contradiction, what must the thought (statement about the object) be that expresses it?' (Ilyenkov, 1977, p 320). The question is closely related to the problem of 'writing logic'. As soon as an attempt is made to 'write logic' dialecticians are faced with the problem, clearly defined by Popper, of the law of contradiction in the construction of theory. My own resolution to this problem is to move into a living inclusional logic to explain educational influences in learning and to use multi-media forms of representation in the presentation of living educational theories.

 

In using a living logic to explain my educational influence in the learning of others and in the education of social formations I draw on Rayner's (2005) idea of inclusionality. It took me many months to develop an inclusional awareness. I think this was because my school and university learning had focused on the kind of knowledge that supported the Cartesian split of mind and body into discrete things. Although I had been influenced by Polanyi's ideas about personal knowledge (Polanyi, 1958) and his point about the need to strip away the crippling mutilations of centuries of objectivist thought, I still found it took time and a major shift in perception to understand the living logic of inclusionality. My difficulties may also be gendered. Mary Hartog's (2004) analysis of women's ways of knowing has helped me to understand why women tend to relate inclusionally.

 

The shift in perception into inclusionality focused on the development of a relationally dynamic awareness of space and boundaries with other people and objects. An inclusional awareness involves experiencing boundaries as relationally dynamic connections. The boundaries are also reflexive and co-creative and flow with space. Inclusionality also involves a sense of oneself as complex. For Rayner (2004), a complex self is a fully contextualised understanding of self-identity that is formed through the reciprocal coupling of inner and outer spatial domains through an intermediary self-boundary.

 

While I can now use Rayner's words with understanding, this understanding only came after months of reflection upon their meaning. This extension and transformation of my educational knowledge came as I gradually understood the significance of a relationally dynamic awareness of space and boundaries in educational relationships and in my explanations of educational influence. Conversations with Rayner on inclusionality helped to develop this understanding and I video-taped the most significant conversation in which I felt my transformation into inclusional understanding. Those with access to the technology can access this video-clip at

http://www.jackwhitehead.com/rayner1sor.mov (This is a 36.98 Mb clip and it takes 15 minutes with my broadband connection to download and open in Quicktime).

 

This brings me to a most important point about the need to open Educational Theory to multi-media forms of representation for the communication of the multi-sensorial meanings of values-based explanatory principles and standards of judgement as well as the meanings of living logics. Eisner (1993) has stressed the importance of  developing such forms of representation and the problems and perils of these alternative forms of data representation (Eisner, 1997). I am saying that multi-media forms of representation are necessary for the communication of the meanings of living logics and values in the creation and testing of living educational theories. They are necessary because of the relationship between ostensive and lexical definitions in the communication of the meanings of embodied values living standards of judgement and living logic. Ostensive definitions, using visual narrative, are necessary to establish intersubjective agreement about the meaning of the values and logics. Lexical definitions are also needed for sharing meanings from the purely propositional, traditional theories, disciplines of education and other sources.

 

Action Research Expeditions is an e-Journal, hosted by the University of Montana that has embraced these multi-media forms of representation and is now at the forefront of the field of educational action research. While I can access Educational Theory as an Electronic Journal from the Library and Learning Centre of the University of Bath, there are no live links to multi-media visual narratives of educational influence as yet available from Educational Theory. If they were available you could now go to:

 

http://www.arexpeditions.montana.edu/articleviewer.php?AID=80

 

and access my multi-media account of Do action researchers' expeditions carry hope for the future of humanity? How do we know? An  enquiry into reconstructing educational theory and educating social formations. (Whitehead, 2004)

 

and access the visual narratives in Part 11 on:

 

How Valid Are Multi-Media Communications Of My Embodied Values In Living Theories And Standards Of Educational Judgement And Practice?

 

at

 

http://www.actionresearch.net/multimedia/jimenomov/JIMEW98.html

 

This access would enable you to test the validity of my claim that multi-media forms of representation are required to communicate the meanings of living values, as explanatory principles and living standards of judgement, in living educational theories. This access would also permit readers to test the validity of my claim that living logics can provide an inclusional form of rationality for the creation and testing of living educational theories. Readers may wish to access these multi-media accounts from the front-page of http://www.actionresearch.net and to respond with the results of their critical tests of validity in the living action research forum that is accessible from the What's New Section of this web-space. Maggie Farren is an educational action research and lecturer in e-learning whose living theory account shows how she has pedagogised living theories in her pedagogy of the unique and web of betweenness at Dublin City University. I can think of no better evidence to support the ideas in this paper than that on her web-site (Farren 2005).

 

I would be most interested to hear the responses of the readers of Educational Theory to my claim/belief that the living theory resources at http://www.bath.ac.uk/~edsajw/living.shtml in the 18 living theory doctoral and other living theory accounts has provided a knowledge-base for the development of educational theory. It was this intention that I had in mind when I began my enquiry into the nature of educational theory at the University of Bath in 1973. This enquiry resonates with Kilpatrick's (1951) belief about the nature of educational theory and seeks to carry forward Cho's (2005) recognition of the vital nature of love in educational theory. It also connects with Zembylas' and Vrasidas' point that:

 

To suggest the "unconditional" respect and even love, might have some ethical significance in online education would also bring into focus what might be a responsible response to the other, despite the institutional constraints of pedagogical practices that frown on such notions." (Zembylas & Vrasidas, 2005, p. 75)

 

I am hopeful that we will find it possible to connect our educational theories through the flow of communications in web-space and that this connection will serve to enhance the flow of values, standards, logics and understandings in Educational Theory that carry hope for the future of humanity.

 

Acknowledgements

 

I have benefited from the responses of Moira Laidlaw and Jean McNiff to earlier drafts of this paper.

 

References

 

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McNiff, J. (2005b) The transformative potentials of our self-studies for a new epistemology of educational enquiry in our university. An Interactive Symposium at the 2005 Annual Conference of the Educational Studies Association of Ireland. Retrieved on the 8th March 2005 from http://www.jeanmcniff.com/interactive.html

 

McNiff, J. (2005c) How do I explain the significance of this symposium for exercising our educational influence for the development of global networks of communicative action? Paper presented to the 2005 Annual Conference of the Educational Studies Association of Ireland. Retrieved on the 8th March 2005

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Zembylas, M. & Crasidas, C. (2005) Levinas and the "Inter-face": The ethical challenge of online education. Educational Theory, Vol. 55, No.1, pp. 61-78.


Appendix

 

List of Theses with urls and points of educational significance from the Abstracts

 

Eames, K. (1995) How do I, as a teacher and educational action-researcher, describe and explain the nature of my professional knowledge? Ph.D. Thesis, University of Bath. Retrieved 19 February 2004 from http://www.actionresearch.net/kevin.shtml

 

The analyses I make of the resulting challenges to my thinking and practice show how educators in schools can work together, embodying a form of professional knowledge which draws on Thomism and other manifestations of dialectical rationality.

 

Evans, M. (1995) An action research enquiry into reflection in action as part of my role as a deputy headteacher. Ph.D. Thesis, Kingston University. Retrieved 19 February 2004 from http://www.actionresearch.net/moyra.shtml

 

Within a hierarchically organised institution, I learned to work with teachers collaboratively, enabling us all to participate in a dialogical learning community, in which we took control of our learning so that we owned our development, establishing value positions and supporting and nurturing each other through empathising with each other's experiences. We learnt to recognise, value and express our feelings about our action and our learning, using story to transform our understanding of a situation and to engage others in exploring new perspectives of it. In this thesis I show how teachers can effect changes which lead to improved professional practices, greater understanding of each other and increased motivation and how their school-based work was legitimated by the Academy in the form of Post Graduate Diplomas.

 

Hughes, J. (1996) Action planning and assessment in guidance contexts: how can I understand and support these processes while working with colleagues in further education colleges and career service provision in Avon. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Bath. Supervised by Paul Denley. Retrieved 19 February 2004 from http://www.actionresearch.net/jacqui.shtml

 

The thesis presents an action enquiry approach to improving understanding of action planning and assessment in guidance within further education colleges and career service in Avon. Within the thesis I integrate the elements within my enquiry to provide an original holistic representation of my search for understanding of, and my learning about, these issues and about my own educational development. Within this synthesis, I also offer a new understanding of the theoretical origins of action planning and the ways in which these can influence practice. In addition I proffer a new 'process' model which incorporates assessment in guidance within the action planning cycle.

 

Laidlaw, M. (1996) How can I create my own living educational theory as I offer you an account of my educational development? Ph.D. thesis, University of Bath. Retrieved 19 February 2004 from http://www.actionresearch.net/moira2.shmtl

 

In this thesis I have tried to show what it means to me, a teacher-researcher, to bring, amongst others, an aesthetic standard of judgement to bear on my educative relationships with Undergraduate, Postgraduate, Higher Degree education students and classroom pupils in the action enquiry: 'How do I help my students and pupils to improve the quality of their learning?'

 

Holley, E. (1997) How do I as a teacher-researcher contribute to the development of a living educational theory through an exploration of my values in my professional practice? M.Phil., University of Bath. Retrieved 19 February 2004 from http://www.actionresearch.net/erica.shtml

 

With its focus on the development of the meanings of my educational values and educational knowledge in my professional practice I intend this thesis to show the integration of the educational processes of transforming myself by my own knowledge and the knowledge of others and of transforming my educational knowledge through action and reflection. I also intend the thesis to be a contribution to debates about the use of values as being living standards of judgment in educational research.

 

 D'Arcy, P. (1998) The Whole Story... Ph.D. Thesis, University of Bath. Retrieved 19 February 2004 from http://www.actionresearch.net/pat.shtml

 

I offer this thesis, therefore as an original contribution to the nature of engaged and appreciative responses made by teachers as well as by pupils in the field of story writing and story reading.

 

I offer it as an original contribution to the educational value of such responses as a form of interpretive assessment in the context of classroom teaching and external examining.

 

I also offer it as an original contribution to educational knowledge - the process of coming to know - as I have sought to construct my developing perceptions as a living educational theory.

 

 Loftus, J. (1999) An action enquiry into the marketing of an established first school in its transition to full primary status. Ph.D. thesis, Kingston University. Retrieved 19 February 2004 from http://www.actionresearch.net/loftus.shmtl

 

Claim Number One. This thesis contributes to the professional knowledge-base of education in a description and explanation of how a headteacher in a newly formed primary school has asked, researched and answered questions of the form 'How can I improve my own leadership and management?'.

 

Claim Number Two. This thesis makes an original contribution to knowledge in an analysis of the extent to which industrial marketing strategies were effective in the educational context of marketing a primary school.

 

Claim Number Three. This thesis is an original study of a headteacher in a primary school striving to live his values in his practice so as to maintain his integrity in the light of incessant changing education reforms.

 

Whitehead, J. (1999) How do I improve my practice?  Creating a discipline of education through educational enquiry. Ph.D. University of Bath. Retrieved 19 February 2004 from http://www.actionresearch.net/jack.shtml

 

This thesis shows how living educational standards of originality of mind and critical judgement in educational enquiries has created a discipline of education... My living educational theory continues to develop in the enquiry , How do I live my values more fully in my practice?. I explain my present practice in terms of an evaluation of my past learning, in terms of my present experiences of spiritual, aesthetic and ethical contradictions in my educative relations and in terms of my proposals for living my values more fully in the future.

 

Cunningham, B. (1999) How do I come to know my spirituality as I create my own living educational theory? Ph.D. Thesis, University of Bath. Retrieved 19 February 2004 from http://www.actionresearch.net/ben.shtml

 

I show how my living engagement with my God is enabling me to author my life and is part of the interweaving of my values in my educative relationships with others.

 

I show the meaning of my values as I explain my educative relationships in terms of how I dialectically engage the intrapersonal with the interpersonal.

 

I show how a dialectic of both care and challenge that is sensitive to difference, is enabling me to create my own living educational theory which is a form of improvisatory self-realisation.

 

I show how my leadership comes into being in my words and actions as I exercise my ethic of responsibility towards others.

 

Adler-Collins, J. (2000) A Scholarship of Enquiry, M.A. dissertation, University of Bath. Retrieved 19 February 2004 from http://www.actionresearch.net/jekan.shtml

 

My story represents a journey of several inter-woven strands of my "I", those of soldier, nurse, Buddhist priest, teacher and researcher. This journey is held up to critical examination and reflection over a 5 year period of completing a Masters Degree in Education... The telling of this story is set within the changing shape and form of education policy and politics within academia, as it responds to the challenges presented by the new forms of knowledge represented by the evolving forms of new technology.

 

Finnegan, (2000) How do I create my own educational theory in my educative relations as an action researcher and as a teacher? Ph.D. submission, University of Bath. Retrieved 19 February 2004 from http://www.actionresearch.net/fin.shtml

 

In helping to facilitate an expression of student voices in my teaching, as I seek to improve their learning, I enable my sixth form students and myself to engage in more democratic actions and more egalitarian power relations in the classroom, primarily through the elicitation/creation, greater enactment, and evaluation of teaching/learning communicative activities. In this, How can I help you to improve your learning? is a question worth asking my sixth form students.

 

My work also shows that I have become a more reflective practitioner as I dialogue with the writings of other educators whilst seeking to relate my values concerning democratic action and social justice to my classroom teaching.

 

Austin, T. (2001) Treasures in the Snow: What do I know and how do I know it through my educational inquiry into my practice of community? Ph.D. Thesis, University of Bath. Retrieved 19 February 2004 from http://www.actionresearch.net/austin.shtml

 

I demonstrate how a teacher researcher can create her own knowledge through

a combining and recombining practice, personal creativity, intuition, theoretical

frameworks, and critical judgement in various degrees at different times. Set in a narrative context, I present a living picture of helping to form and work

with communities of students, parents, teachers, and teacher researchers which provides the life-situations in which I created my own knowledge and strive to identify and live out my values.

 

This thesis shows an alternative to traditional forms of criticism frequently

found in academic work related to the growth of knowledge. This alternative is a written representation of my values that I use as my living standards of practice and judgment in the self-study of my professional practice.

 

Mead, G. (2001) Unlatching the Gate: Realising the Scholarship of my Living Inquiry. Ph.D. University of Bath. Retrieved 19 February 2004 from http://www.actionresearch.net/mead.shtml

 

As the thesis draws to a close, eschewing the notion of a generalisable theory in favour of one that is situated and particular, I also identify six underlying principles that inform my continuing life of inquiry:

 

 

*trusting the primacy of my own lived experience as the bedrock of inquiry, whilst remaining open to the world of ideas and to what others have to offer.

*valuing the originality of mind and critical judgement inherent in my own forms of sense-making and knowledge creation and the wide variety of forms of representation that they generate

*exercising my will to meaning to move me towards what brings a sense of significance and purpose to my life and to clarify my vocation as a healer and educator

*making an existential choice of optimism, of doing my best, of striving to make things better or to make the best of any given situation for myself and with others

*refusing to subsume my life of inquiry within any prescribed form, "following my bliss" to find my own path as a unique and eccentric human being

*communicating and accounting to others for my life of inquiry as an individual claiming originality and exercising my judgement responsibly with universal intent.

 

Bosher, M. (2001) How can I as an educator and Professional Development Manager working with teachers, support and enhance the learning and achievement of pupils in a whole school improvement process? Ph.D. University of Bath. Retrieved 19 February 2004 from http://www.actionresearch.net/bosher.shtml

 

The first claim is the manner in which the thesis has engaged in a personal learning process using insights from the paradigm of Action Research, and the fields of School Effectiveness and School Improvement. These are combined and grounded in my day-to-day professional life as an educator and provide a means of showing how my learning is integrated into a school improvement process. It also shows how my living educational theory develops.

 

Delong, J. (2002) How Can I Improve My Practice As A Superintendent of Schools and Create My Own Living Educational Theory? Ph.D. University of Bath. Retrieved 19 February 2004 from http://www.actionresearch.net/delong.shtml

 

 

The originality of the contribution of this thesis to the academic and professional knowledge-base of education is in the systematic way I transform my embodied educational values into educational standards of practice and judgement in the creation of my living educational theory. In the thesis I demonstrate how these values and standards can be used critically both to test the validity of my knowledge-claims and to be a powerful motivator in my living educational inquiry.

 

The values and standards are defined in terms of valuing the other in my professional practice, building a culture of inquiry, reflection and scholarship and creating knowledge.

 

Scholes-Rhodes, J. (2002) From the Inside Out: Learning to presence my aesthetic and spiritual being through the emergent form of a creative art of inquiry. Ph.D. University of Bath. Retrieved 19 February 2004 from http://www.bath.ac.uk/~edsajw/rhodes.shtml

 

I hold my changing sense of the world clearly at the centre of my learning, my sense of spiritual and aesthetic belonging expressed as a sense of 'exquisite connectivity'. I develop a notion of 'live' and 'life' meanings as I begin to explore my understanding of its emergent possibilities, holding a fragile sense of a connected world side by side with the generative capacity of my dialogic voice.

 

I create an intricate patterning of personal stories and dialogic inquiry process, forming a sense of coherence from the juxtaposition of emotional images with the clarity of a reflective and cognitive dialogue.

 

Roberts, P. (2003) Emerging Selves in Practice: How do I and others create my practice and how does my practice shape me and influence others? Ph.D. University of Bath. Retrieved 19 August 2004 from http://www.bath.ac.uk/~edsajw/roberts.shtml

 

This thesis outlines a notion of selves as relational, multiple, embodied and imaginal, in contrast to the more dominant Cartesian framework in which selves have been conceived of and enacted as separate, singular, disembodied and literal. It shows how my practice as a management educator on a two year part-time postgraduate programme in People and Organisational Development and as an organisational change consultant in different contexts attempts, over time, to realise such a relational view of the way unique, contextualised, embodied selves emerge as I engage in and write about my practice with others...

 

Tracking my unique form of relational emergent practice, as it has evolved over the six years of this thesis, using the method of writing accounts of my work and sharing these with people I have been working with in cycles of action and reflection (what I call in short 'showing my work to others'), will demonstrate the originality of this work as well as its contribution to both 'living life as inquiry' and to a 'living educational theory'. 

 

Punia, R. (2004) My CV is My Curriculum: The Making of an International Educator with Spiritual Values. Ed.D. University of Bath. Retrieved 19 August 2004 from http://www.bath.ac.uk/~edsajw/punia.shtml

 

This autobiographical self-study presents my living educational theory of lifelong learning as an international educator with spiritual values including belief in cosmic unity, continuous professional development for personal and social development of life in general. The landscape of knowledge includes India, UK, Singapore, Hong Kong, Fiji, Samoa and Mauritius in several roles including a lecturer, teacher trainer, change agent in curriculum, staff, school development, a training technologist in corporate learning and a student in the University of Bath.

 

Hartog, M. (2004) A Self Study Of A Higher Education Tutor: How Can I Improve My Practice? Ph.D. University of Bath. Retrieved 19 August 2004 from http://www.bath.ac.uk/~edsajw/hartog.shtml

 

My claim to originality is embodied in the aesthetics of my teaching and learning relationships, as I respond to the sources of humanity and educative needs of my students, as I listen to their stories and find an ethic of care in my teaching and learning relationships that contain them in good company and that returns them to their stories as more complete human beings.

 

Evidence is drawn from life-story work, narrative accounting, student assignments, audio and video taped sessions of teaching and learning situations, the latter of which include edited CD-R files. These clips offer a glimpse of my embodied claims to know what the creation of loving and life-affirming educative relations involves.

 

Church, M. (2004) Creating an uncompromised place to belong: Why do I find myself in networks? Retrieved 24 May 2005 from  http://www.bath.ac.uk/~edsajw/church.shtml

 

I show how my approach to this work is rooted in the values of compassion, love, and fairness, and inspired by art. I hold myself to account in relation to these values, as living standards by which I judge myself and my action in the world. This finds expression in research that helps us to design more appropriate criteria for the evaluation of international social change networks. Through this process I inquire with others into the nature of networks, and their potential for supporting us in lightly-held communities which liberate us to be dynamic, diverse and creative individuals working together for common purpose. I tentatively conclude that networks have the potential to increase my and our capacity for love.

 

(I would have liked to place the following three research degrees on the web as these were most significant in helping me to work through some of initial original ideas in my own research. Unfortunately they were produced without the aid of the e-media necessary to place the accounts on the web. The texts are however in the library of the University of Bath:

 

Foster, D. (1982) Explanations for teachers' attempts to improve the process of education for their pupils. M.Ed, (research), University of Bath.

Gurney, M. (1988) An action enquiry into ways of developing and improving personal and social education. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Bath.

McNiff, J. (1989) An explanation for an individual's educational development through the dialectic of action research. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Bath. )