How do I contribute to the education of myself and others through improving the quality of living educational space? The story of living myself through others as a practitioner-researcher.

Abstract of PhD Submission to the University of Bath, 2008
Simon Riding.

Within this text I propose and demonstrate an original relationally dynamic standard of judgement within my practice of Living Myself Through Others. I explore the ongoing nature of transition between living educational spaces upon myself and how this process of change is addressed as I move through different stages of my career and life. I argue that I am able to improve the quality of the living educational space because of the relationships and experiences that I have had, alongside the living core values that I hold. This thesis reflects on the potential impact of enabling teachers to engage as teacher-researchers within their own school and accounts for the process I went through in order to make this happen. I further argue for the need to consider how practitioner accounts are assessed in order to ensure that the future of education is driven forward through the development of teachers as researchers influencing what educational knowledge is and how it is produced. The following text is a living educational theory action research enquiry that utilises autobiography as a way of accounting for one educator's transitions from being a classroom teacher, through middle leadership and finally into senior school leadership. I argue that I am the educator that I am because of the life I have led and the life that I am currently leading. This thesis addresses the vastly important influence of relationships within education and explores how these relationships impact on my practice as an educator. The text incorporates and captures these relationships through enabling these others to speak through their own voice. This thesis explores how I was able to create the shared living educational space necessary to enable teacher-research to occur and flourish.


Title, contents, texts, acknowledgements, abstract Pages 1-7

Preface Page 8

Introduction Pages 12-20

Sequence 1: Values in Education Pages 21-83

1.1 Living myself through others 24
1.2 Methodology 44
1.3 Living Educational Theory 56
1.4 Action Research 59
1.5 Living Educational Space 68
1.6 Significant Others (1) 70
1.7 The criteria 76
1.8 Ethics 82

Sequence 2: The Past Pages 84-186

2.1 Autobiography 87
2.2 The School-Refuser Story 109
2.3 My parents 114
2.4 Significant Others (2) 120
2.5 Teaching and learning 128
2.6 Me as teacher-learner 145
2.7 Middle leadership 159
2.8 From Middle Leader to Senior Leader 163

Sequence 3: The Present Pages 187-255

3.1 The new Assistant Headteacher 188
3.2 Significant Others (3) 205
3.3 Line management and the early days 210
3.4 The dark 220
3.5 More teacher-research 221
3.6 The Bitterne Park Teacher-Research Group 230
3.7 Reflections on the Year 253

Sequence 4: The Future Pages 256-274

4.1 Living educational space 257
4.2 Living myself through others 259
4.3 Life story 272

Epilogue Pages 275

Appendices Pages 276-298

Appendix 1 Transcript 276
Appendix 2 Teacher Narrative 282
Appendix 3 E-Mail 285
Appendix 4 E-Mail 287
Appendix 5 E-Mail 291
Appendix 6 Interview Transcript 294
Appendix 7 Critique of a piece of research 297

References Pages 299-310


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