Becoming Critical Again: Reconnecting Critical Social Theory with the Practice of Action Research

Oct. 01, 2012

Source: Educational Action Research, Volume 20, Issue 4, 2012, pages 571-585

This article is a reflexive account of the use of critical social theory within the author's practice as an action researcher.

The author discusses how a selective deployment of key constructs from the work of Jurgen Habermas has supported my work as a second-order action researcher.

The author demonstrates how these constructs can help deal with the practical and theoretical tensions faced when supporting groups of action researchers.

The author focuses on one of the key issues faced by any external agent trying to work within such groups: how to avoid imposing their own agendas and interpretations.

The author does this by discussing three foundational points within the process of action research – the nature of practitioners’ practical reasoning and the bases of critical self-reflection and collective action.

Updated: Apr. 28, 2013