Madeline Church

October 2004 submission to the University of Bath. Graduated 19th July 2005


My inquiry sits within the reflective paradigm. I start from an understanding that knowing myself better will enhance my capacity for good action in the world. Through questioning myself and writing myself on to the page, I trace how I resist community formations, while simultaneously wanting to be in community with others. This paradox has its roots in my multiple experiences of being bullied, and finds transformation in my stubborn refusal to retreat into disconnection.

I notice the way bullying is part of my fabric. I trace my resistance to these experiences in my embodied experience of connecting to others, through a form of shape-changing. I see how question-forming is both an expression of my own bullying tendencies, and an intention to overcome them. Through my connection to others and my curiosity, I form a networked community in which I can work in the world as a network coordinator, action-researcher, activist and evaluator.

I show how my approach to this work is rooted in the values of compassion, love, and fairness, and inspired by art. I hold myself to account in relation to these values, as living standards by which I judge myself and my action in the world. This finds expression in research that helps us to design more appropriate criteria for the evaluation of international social change networks. Through this process I inquire with others into the nature of networks, and their potential for supporting us in lightly-held communities which liberate us to be dynamic, diverse and creative individuals working together for common purpose. I tentatively conclude that networks have the potential to increase my and our capacity for love.

Through this research I am developing new ways of knowing about what we are doing as reflective practitioners, and by what standards we can invite others to judge our work. I am, through my practice, making space for us to flourish, as individuals and communities. In this way I use the energy released by my response to bullying in the service of transformation.


You can download the PhD in Parts in PDF format

For the Title Page, Contents, Acknowledgements and Abstract, click here

For the Introductory Framing, The Back Story, Writing Interlude One, Ways of Being and Knowledge: The Ontological, Methodological, Epistemological Triangle, click herepages 1- 59

Episode One: Participation, Relationships and Dynamic Change, Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Writing Interlude Three, click herepages 60-110

Episode Two: From Evaluation as Bullying to Evaluation as Inspiration, Writing Interlude Fourpages 111-142

Writing the End, Ending the Writing, Bibliography

Appendix Ia - Church, M. et. al. (2003) Contents of Working Paper 121

Appendix Ib - Church, M. et. al. (2003) Text of Working Paper 121

Appendix II - Church, M. & Bitel, M. (2001) Paper for UKES Conference

Appendix III - Nunez & Wilson-Graw 92003) Towards a Conceptual Framework

Appendix IV - Church, M. & Jopss, S. (2003) Introduction to Networks

Appendix V - Church, M. (2000) Colombia Forum, Issue 22