Becoming connected, being caring

Julienne Meyer, Charlotte Ashburner, Cheryl Holman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This paper highlights perspectives on action research in education, health and social care and was originally presented as a keynote at the International Practitioner Research Conference and Collaborative Action Research Conference in 2005. The paper links with the other conference keynote given by Stephen Kemmis, co‐author of Becoming Critical. It reflects on the importance of Being Caring in action research in the context of health and social care; particularly in relation to emotionally supporting practitioners to improve their practice in settings which do not always welcome more emancipatory or critical approaches often used in education. The paper begins by exploring the nature of practitioner research and action research in health and social care and its links with quality. It argues that health and social care professionals have often drawn their methodological understanding from the literature written by colleagues in education. This literature tends to support critical and emancipatory forms of action research, which health and social care professionals have tended to adopt in an uncritical manner. Reflecting on some of the contextual constraints in health and social care, it argues that many of these factors are beyond the control of individual practitioners and suggests a need to focus on the neglected area of emotions, in addition to, contextual issues. To illustrate the usefulness of this approach an example of psychodynamically informed action research is given. The paper concludes that in the quest to be critical, practitioner researchers/action researchers in education, health and social care may be ignoring the emotional contexts in which they work. It suggests that being caring may be the key to being critical
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-496
Number of pages19
JournalEducational Action Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006


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