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Action research generates middle leading for professional learning of others

Conference contribution
Authors Karin Rönnerman
Published in Paper presented at the CARN-conference University of Crete, Rethymnon 20-22 October, 2017
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Education and Special Education
Language en
Keywords action research, middle leading, capacity
Subject categories Educational Sciences


This paper explores the interconnectivities between action research, professional learning and leading practices in education. The argument in the paper is that action research do not only have long-term effects on professional learning and development but generates capacities for leading, here called middle leading. Results are drawn from a longitudinal study conducted in early childhood education in a city- district of Sweden where a group of teachers had taken a year-long action research program. After finishing the program those teachers set up action research in own practices by leading their colleagues, which has going on since 2005 and includes today all personnel in the city district. Data is collected through observations, interviews and surveys as well as policy documents. By using practice theory it is shown how action research, professional learning and leading is strengthen the enactment of the other and how these exist not as separated boundaries but as connected, interconnected and interdependent practices. For participants, their educational journey from professional learning to leading was generated by their participation in action research. The paper introduces how generative leadership rescripts the promise and influence of participating in action research. It readdresses limitations in educational action research literature that has a propensity for restricting descriptions about its affect to the life of the project; seldom tracing its ongoing influences through time.

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