My research follows a model of carrying out relatively simple steps, the steps of an action enquiry, repeated over and over again with the outcomes of one step feeding into another. It is a constant, daily, process of examining my practice, imagining approaches that fit better with my values and modifying practice. In imagining new approaches I incorporate insights gained along the way.
This makes the process very complex and examining any particular detail shows more and more details. You may have noticed when I drew on Chris’s and Dan’s reports for their LCA tasks the analysis is rather onion like in terms of the layers within layers that can be revealed. The multimedia representation of this research will be beautiful and much better at representing the complexity than words.
Fractals from the Mandelbrot set
While carrying out my spirals of personal action enquiries I realised that the same tension that Arendt identifies between the role of the spectator and the role of the actor is evident in much research into education (Coulter and Wiens 2002). Frequently research into education follows the social science model in that the researcher is external to practice. In other words the researcher acts as a spectator and observes practice. Additionally, the account of the research is the researcher’s account. The participants in the research are the objects of the research. Action research appeared to provide a model that I could be more comfortable with. However in some modes of action research practitioners carried out their practice, observed by a researcher, often from the university. It is the role of the researcher to observe, describe and explain the research. Those taking part in the research are again objects while the researcher generates the theory.
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Images generated using Fractint v. 18.21 available from http://spanky.triumf.ca/www/FRACTint/fractint.html