Imagine tomorrow: Practitioner learning for the future in Educational Living Theory research


  • Jack Whitehead University of Cumbria


Practitioner research, Living Educational Theory, Multi-media narratives, educational influences in learning, global social movement


This paper offers explanations from a Living Educational Theory research approach to Action Research. The explanations are focused on practitioner learning for the future. They emerge from educational conversations that accept the point about societal renewal for the future:


Society needs to be renewed by making a shift from the negative energy of fear, competition, control and war to the positive energy of faith, love, hope and creativity. Clearly, we need to conceptualize and practice not just learning conferences but Loving Learning Conferences (Zuber-Skerritt, 2017, p. 224).


Contributions to previous Action Learning and Action Research conferences, that include the Action Research Networks of the Americas (ARNA), the Collaborative Action Research Network (CARN) and the Action Learning Action Research Association (ALARA), are analysed to explain how imagining tomorrow is included in the educational learning of practitioner-researchers who are contributing to the creation of the future, today.

The paper is grounded in the practice of individual practitioner-researchers as they generate their own living-educational-theories as explanations of their educational influences in learning, in enquiries of the kind, ‘How do I improve what I am doing?’ and ‘How do we improve what we are doing?’. The explanations include an evaluation of previous learning in making sense of the present together with an imagined possibility of a future that it not yet realized.

Meanings of good and educational conversations are clarified and used to demonstrate how authentic ‘we’ questions can be generated in relation to living as fully as possible values that carry hope for the flourishing of humanity (Gumede & Mellett, 2019). Meanings of participatory, ~i~we~I~us~ relationships (Mounter, 2019) are clarified and used as explanatory principles in explanations of educational influence that are contributing to a global social movement of practitioner-researchers who are contributing to creating a future with hope. 

Author Biography

Jack Whitehead, University of Cumbria

Jack Whitehead is a former President of the British Educational Research Association and Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Westminster College, Utah. He is a Visiting Professor at Ningxia University in China. He is a Visiting Professor of Education at the University of Cumbria. His original contributions to educational knowledge have focused on the explanations of individuals for their educational influences in learning in enquiries of the kind, 'How do I improve what I am doing?' These contributions can be accessed from his web-site at . He advocates the use of living-posters ( ) in developing participatory research programmes.