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.

Drawing on the Work of Nathalie Sarraute

Drawing on the Work of Nathalie Sarraute

I have been drawn to the work of Nathalie Sarraute for her relevance to inquiry practices and self-reflection. She explores the tendencies and potential patternings we experience and play out in interaction, which living life as inquiry is seeking to glimpse, to open to some, congruent, kind of noticing, review and experimentation in real time. She deliberately eschews notions of ego or the subject. I see her approach as compatible with a somewhat Buddhist notion of mindfulness, a non-egoic noticing of arising mind. She explores these issues through her extended crafts of writing, always questioning what it is possible to know and to say. I appreciate how Sarraute’s work is thus permeated with doubt, always tentative. It ...

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