Margaret Farren M.Ed. Phd

School of Education Studies, Dublin City University

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Home Ph.D students Bernie Tobin (Primary school)

Bernie Tobin (Primary school)

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Research Proposal

I will investigate my role as Deputy Principal in developing community of practices as we focus on the diverse aspects of teaching and learning. My focus will be to learn how to support, learn with and from colleagues, and parents, as we undertake this activity. This will be facilitated through both informal contact, and in the formal contact of transfer of information meetings; Classroom Support Plan, School Support Plan and Individual Education Plan meetings; and Support and Care Team meetings.

I acknowledge each person’s entitlement to equality of opportunity to realise his/her potential for growth, to be listened to, to speak, to offer opinions, to question and to be happy, yet to be responsible for their words and actions towards others; to belong to a community that works lives and learns together for the good of all. Thus, my ontological and epistemological stances resonate with Heron (1996, p. 127) as he describes human flourishing as the “mutually enabling balance between autonomy, co-operation and hierarchy”. In recognising the self-determination of each person, as we support and learn with and from each other, while taking appropriate “responsibility for doing things to and for other people for the sake of their future autonomy” (ibid), I adopted the principles of Heron’s co-operative inquiry.

Co-operative inquiry is about working with other people who have similar concerns and interests to:

• Understand your world, make sense of your life and develop new and creative ways of looking at things.

• Learn how to act to change things you may want to change and find out how to do things better (Heron & Reason, date , p.).

These authors (1997) explain that co-operative inquiry rests on two participatory principles: epistemic participation and political participation. Epistemic participation means that the propositional knowledge-outcome of the research is grounded by the researchers in their own experiential knowledge. Political participation allows those involved the right to participate fully in designing the research that intends to gather knowledge about them. Heron( 1996, p. 1 ) clarifies this as involving “people researching a topic through their own experience of it, using a series of cycles in which they move between this experience and reflecting together on it. Each person is co-subject in the experience phases and co-researcher in the reflection phases.”

Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 May 2014 17:25