Critical and Creative Reflective Inquiry: Surfacing Narratives to Enable Learning and Inform Action

Published: 
Oct. 01, 2012

Source: Educational Action Research, Volume 20, Issue 4, 2012ת pages 605-622.

This article describes a critical and creative reflective inquiry (CCRI) structure and processes, as well as participant evaluations.

CCRI has a three-phased structure: descriptive, reflective, critical/emancipatory.

Reflectivity moves from ‘consciousness’ to ‘critical consciousness’ as participants critique and gain insight into their being within context.

In the descriptive phase one participant shares a narrative, supported by group members applying the principles of narrative interviewing.


As the narrator distances self from the narrative the reflective phase opens, where individuals creatively express their interpretation of the narrative shared.

Collective and critical reflection begins as group members dialogue interpretations.

As mutual understandings emerge, these are further contested and theorised in the critical/emancipatory phase.
Both perspective and practice transformations were expressed within the CCRI space and observed outside it.


The CCRI method created a communicative space for leaders to critically reflect, feel supported and develop knowledge and skills that they could immediately apply to daily leadership practice.

Skilled facilitation was found to be essential for enabling learning and efficacy and the use of creative expression enriched the inquiry, offering new and unexpected insights.

In conclusion, CCRI offers action researchers and participants a new method to explore (new) concepts relevant, and intended, to improve practice.

Updated: Apr. 28, 2013
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