Developing an alternative epistemology of practice – Teachers’ action research as critical pedagogy

Engaging in action research pedagogy requires teaching not only about the subject matter but also encouraging ongoing individual and collective self-reflection, dissent, and community. This sort of pedagogy guides students toward discovering knowledge through their own engagement, setting an example of open-minded fairness, demonstrating honest critical inquiry, modeling the best forms of authority, and exercising power based on justice and respect for others and their rights. It requires pro-active teaching, the ability for the facilitator to imagine the classroom, foresee what is likely to happen and be attentive to blunders and to know how to manage them. Classrooms are cultural sites that give us the opportunity to practice and model equal treatment, respectful dissent, creativity and imagination, non-bias, respect for facts transparency of the process, meaningful conventions, standards that make sense and apply to everyone and an exemplary use of authority.

My struggle to promote critical consciousness, dialogue, creative and critical thinking and collaboration in my class led me to turn the classroom into a lab where I would experiment with action research as pedagogy. I began my course by asking students what they wanted, what would they contribute and how we will implement their recommendations. More importantly, I invited them to be my co-inquirers in what they perceived to be a radical approach to instruction. This article is an account of what took place specifically the way we all experienced the process.


About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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