Living Theory Group

Free copy of Jack Whitehead's 2018 book on Living Educational Theory (Living Theory) As A Way of Life

A Living Educational Theory (Living Theory) approach focuses attention on the experiences and implications of living values that carry hope for the flourishing of humanity. These values are the life-affirming and life-enhancing values that give meaning and purpose to the researcher’s life. They are clarified as they emerge in the course of researching questions such as, ‘How am I improving what I am doing?’ They form the explanatory principles and standards by which improvements in both practice and knowledge-creation are judged.

The approach stresses the importance of extending the influence of these ontological and relational values and understandings in explanations of educational influence. In a Living Educational Theory approach to research and a human existence, individuals hold their lives to account by producing accounts of their living-educational theories; that is ‘explanations of their educational influences in their own learning, the learning of others and the learning of social formations, in enquiries of the kind, 'How am I improving what I am doing?'’(Whitehead, 1989).

A Living Theory researcher can use methods and draw insights from a range of other methodologies and theories, such as Action Research, Narrative Enquiry, Self-Study, Participatory Research, Autoethnography, Ethnography, Grounded Theory, Critical Theory and Case Study, as well as various quantitative methods. Researchers new to Living Theory research might visit an introduction and read the Advanced Bluffer’s Guide.

For tutors and practitioner researchers on masters degree programmes interested in classroom research and action reflection see Action planning in improving practice and in generating educational knowledge See also the Master's Writings.

For Living Theory continuing professional development Programmes (CPD) see Living Values, Improving Practice Co-operatively.

For supervisors and Living Theory researchers on doctoral programmes interested in research methodologies see Doctoral Writings

For those wanting to develop their support for doctoral and masters researchers and looking for further references try here

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Jack Whitehead, Visiting Professor of Education, University of Cumbria, UK & Extraordinary Professor in Community-Based Educational Research at North West University, South Africa. E-mail me at

What's new in the 2022-23 Academic Year?

Current issue of the Educational Journal of Living Theories (EJOLTS), December 2022, 15(2) freely available


Download copy of Suresh Nanwani's book on Human Connections: Teaching Experiences in Chingqing, China and Beyond.

Workshop details and access to, 'An introduction to developing your Action Research as values-led research that contributes to the flourishing of Humanity locally and globally', led by Marie Huxtable and Jack Whitehead at CARN 2023 on the 12th May 2023.

Jack Whitehead’s contribution to the 2023 CARN Symposium on 'Talking locally connecting globally across the living boundaries of cultures of enquiry', 9th May 2023

Jack Whitehead's contribution, on 'Interrogating Consequential Education Research in Pursuit of Truth in Living Educational Theory Research: A response to Rich Milner’s 2023 AERA Presidential Address', in the Symposium on 'Interrogating Consequential Education Research in Pursuit of Truth in Living Theory Educational Research' with Jacqueline Delong, Tata Ratnum, Parbati Dunghana, Michelle Vaughan and Jack Whitehead, on the 4th May 2023

Jack Whitehead’s contribution to the 2023 CARN Symposium on 'Talking locally connecting globally across the living boundaries of cultures of enquiry', 9th May 2023

Jack Whitehead's slides for his contribution, on 'Generating living-educational-theories with love in transforming excessive teacher entitlement' in the 2023 AERA Symposium on 'Consequential research: Opening to relational dialogue in pursuit of what is just and therefore true, on the 4th May 2023, with Cheryl Craig, Tara Ratnam, Marie-Christine Deyrich, Richard Sawyer, Eliza Pinnegar and Stefinee Pinnegar and Jack Whitehead. 

Jack Whitehead's virtual presentation on Reimagining our professional futures together with Living Educational Theory Research (LETR), to the International Professional Development Association Conference on 25th November 2022.

Marie Huxtable's and Jack Whitehead's virtual presentation on, The role of professional learning and Living Educational Theory Research in reimagining our futures together, at the 2022 IPDA International Conference on the 26 November 2022 with the theme ‘Reimagining our futures together: The role of professional learning’.

Marie Huxtable's and Jack Whitehead's virtual presentation on, 'Enhancing academic citizenship, service and community engagement with Living Educational Theory Research', to Durban University of Technology’s Annual Learning and Teaching Imbizo, 23rd November 2022.

Sustaining and Thriving Transformative Living Educational Theory Research and Practice in Challenging Times and Contexts. Jack Whitehead's and Marie Huxtable's virtual presentation to the 3rd International Conference on Transformative Educational Research and Sustainable Development – TERSD (4th November 2022, Nepal).

Symposium on 'Changing Lives through Action Research and Living Educational Theory Research in Cultures of Inquiry' at the 2022 Collaborative Action Research Network Conference on the 29th October 2022 at the National College of Ireland in Dublin with Jacqueline Delong,Tara Ratnam, Michelle Vaughan, Parbati Dhungana and Jack Whitehead.

Jack Whitehead's notes for the Higher Education Learning and Teaching Association of South Africa (HELTASA) webinar on the 14th July 2022.

Jack Whitehead's presentation on Researching your Educational Influences in Teaching and Learning, on the 28th June 2022 to the Edge Hill University Solstice/CLT Conference

Jack Whitehead's presentation on Expanding the frontiers of ARNA through Living Educational Theory Research on the 28th June 2022 to the Action Research Network of the Americas Conference.

Jack Whitehead's presentation on 'Researching Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: World Leading Educational Research at Edge Hill University' on the 27th June 2022 to Edge Hill University staff.

Suresh Nanwani's book on' Human Connections: Teaching experiences in Chongqing, China and beyond'.



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