The purpose of mess in action research: building rigour though a messy turn

Cook, Tina (2009) The purpose of mess in action research: building rigour though a messy turn. Educational Action Research, 17 (2). pp. 227-291. ISSN 0965-0792

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Mess and rigour might appear to be strange bedfellows. This paper argues that the purpose of mess is to facilitate a turn towards new constructions of knowing that lead to transformation in practice (an action turn). Engaging in action research - research that can disturb both individual and communally held notions of knowledge for practice - will be messy. Investigations into the 'messy area', the interface between the known and the nearly known, between knowledge in use and tacit knowledge as yet to be useful, reveal the 'messy area' as a vital element for seeing, disrupting, analysing, learning, knowing and changing. It is the place where long-held views shaped by professional knowledge, practical judgement, experience and intuition are seen through other lenses. It is here that reframing takes place and new knowing, which has both theoretical and practical significance, arises: a 'messy turn' takes place.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: action research, mess, seeing, knowing, transformational
Subjects: X900 Others in Education
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing
Depositing User: EPrint Services
Date Deposited: 10 Dec 2009 10:06
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2023 12:20

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