Following the action in action learning: towards ethnomethodological studies of (critical) action learning

Taylor & Francis
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Action Learning: Research and Practice, 2009, 6 (1), pp. 5 - 16
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Action learning is a pedagogical practice that helps participants learn by talking about their workplace action with fellow participants ('comrades in adversity') in their action learning set. This paper raises questions about the action in action learning, such as: how do members of an action learning set learn from and through each other? How do they learn through their developing conversation and interaction? To answer such questions, I argue that, 'ethnomethodology' (the study of 'member's methods' or 'folk methods' for doing any kind of practical action) is useful for showing the intricacy of the practical learning process in action learning, as in learning in action, more generally. The paper illustrates the conversational and interactional work of members doing things and learning together in action (for example discovering things in science and in board meetings); and argues that this approach may also be used to study action learning in practice.
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