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Transforming professional learning: Educational action research in practice

Journal article
Authors Ian Hardy
Karin Rönnerman
Christine Edwards-Groves
Published in European Educational Research Journal
Volume 17
Issue 3
Pages 421-441
ISSN 1474-9041
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Education and Special Education
Pages 421-441
Language en
Keywords teacher professional learning, practice theory, educational action research, transformation
Subject categories Pedagogical Work


This article seeks to extend current understandings of educational action research, particularly how teachers’ actions, talk and ongoing relatings can serve as a vehicle for transforming their learning, including under current global conditions of more performative accountability. The research is grounded in Noffke’s (2009) understandings of the nature of the personal, professional and political dimensions that characterize action research. While validating Noffke’s (2009) dimensions, we also argue that specific instances of action research help provide insights into not just how action research might be currently understood, but details about how it has actually transformed teachers’ learning practices. To do so, we draw upon recent theorizing into the nature of educational practice, and an example of action research in one school in Australia. Specifically, and drawing upon Kemmis et al. (2014), we reveal the particular ‘doings’ (actions), ‘sayings’ (talk) and ‘relatings’ (relationships) that characterize specific instances of teachers’ learning during part of an action research cycle in this school, under current policy conditions. By indicating how this learning came about, we reveal how the personal, professional and political dimensions (Noffke, 2009) in action research settings are enacted, leading to transformed practice through specific doings, sayings and relatings under current conditions.

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