In First Person Action Research Judi Marshall invites her reader to join her in the rich world of first person inquiry: a reflexive approach to life and to one’s own participation in research and learning. Written as a collage of interrelated chapters, fragments and voices, this is an important meditation on the nature of inquiring action. Judi Marshall’s book provides an accessible introduction to self-reflective practice; exploring its principles and practices and illustrating with reflective accounts of inquiry from the author’s professional and personal life. The book also considers action for change in relation to issues of ecological sustainability and corporate responsibility. Writing is reviewed as a process of inquiry, and as a way to present action research experiences. Connections are made with the work of the literary authors Nathalie Sarraute and Kazuo Ishiguro to expand the scope of typical academic writing practices. First Person Action Research is an important and practical resource for students, teachers and practitioners of action research alike. It is a thoughtful and sensitive account of an emerging field in Research Methods.

Disciplines of Inquiry

Disciplines of Inquiry

Once inquiry has been initiated, how do we then shape it? I use the notion of disciplines for broadly based approaches to inquiry which have inherent quality processes and can be applied systematically. These include engaging in cycles of action and reflection, and interweaving inner and outer arcs of attention. They are outlined below, following consideration of some factors influencing how we adopt and enact disciplines. I sometimes use the term ‘practices’ for more specific activities within the broader notion of discipline.

Disciplines do not come ready formed, but need crafting to person and circumstances. Developing them is akin to learning basic practices of meditation such as paying attention to breath and posture, and letting thoughts pass rather than clinging at them. ...

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