Distancing when undertaking first person action inquiry: Two devices

Collins, David F (2018) Distancing when undertaking first person action inquiry: Two devices. Action Learning Action Research Journal, 24 (1). pp. 87-114.

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Action Inquiry is a methodology with the desired outcome of research action producing systemic change. In the context of a doctoral study seeking to explore how art-based pedagogies may empower educational practice, Action Inquiry was an obvious choice where empowerment involves social work practitioners exploring this question together. As part of a participatory approach, a process of self-examination is integral to the author’s inquiry as a means of contextualising professional practice in terms of social, cultural and political dynamics, and as a means to appreciate the journeys of participants in the author’s inquiry. In this article the author discusses distancing, a process of estrangement, as a means of exploring and analysing personally generated data. Two devices are developed to enhance distancing in self-inquiry, particularly when the data is challenging because it is ‘too close’ to the inquirer. The first is a visual Johari Window (Luft and Ingram 1955), involving a series of self-portraits and collaged images related to the author’s educational journey in life. The second is a dramatic device inspired by the work of Dorothy Heathcote (Heathcote and Bolton 1995) that involves the development of a fictitious character who presents the work of the author and provides opportunities for transformative reflection. The character of William Loveday is developed during a number of educational events using an iterative spiral of planning, performance, evaluation and further performance. The inquiry shows how visual art and drama can provided potent possibilities to critique and reappraise both doctoral work and practice education through a process of distancing. The author highlights how these devices can be adapted to numerous practice situations involving self-inquiry and participatory inquiry and to empower educational practice.

Item Type: Article
8 December 2018Accepted
8 December 2018Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: distancing; drama; first person action inquiry; visual autoethnography
Subjects: CAH15 - social sciences > CAH15-04 - health and social care > CAH15-04-01 - social work
CAH22 - education and teaching > CAH22-01 - education and teaching > CAH22-01-01 - education
Divisions: Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences > School of Education and Social Work
Depositing User: David Collins
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2019 10:23
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2022 15:55
URI: https://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/7079

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