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Chapter 24 | Extending Epistemology within a Co-operative Inquiry

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Co-operative inquiry is a form of second-person action research in which all participants work together in an inquiry group as co-researchers and as co-subjects — not research on people or about people, but research with people. As co-researchers work together through cycles of action and reflection they engage in an ‘extended epistemology’ of experiential, presentational, propositional and practical ways of knowing. Our purpose in this chapter is to consider this extended epistemology in some depth. After an introductory overview, we consider each way of knowing in turn, first with some general remarks, then with a look at its role in the reflection phase, the action phase and the outcomes of a co-operative inquiry, including some examples from inquiry practice. We conclude with comments on issues of quality in the cyclic use of the four ways.

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