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From library to logframe : Applying academic analysis of action research with Sudanese teachers within the management discourse of the development sector Paul Fean Centre for International Education University of Sussex. Today we’ll think about.

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From library to logframe: Applying academic analysis of action research with Sudanese teachers within the management discourse of the development sector

Paul Fean

Centre for International Education

University of Sussex

Today we ll think about
Today we’ll think about...

How is it possible to apply beliefs, theorisation and processes developed through academia in the education and development sector, particularly in challenging emergency and post-conflict contexts?

The library and the logframe
The ‘library’ and the ‘logframe’

Troubling the boundaries of academia and development practice
Troubling the boundaries of academia and development practice


Development practice




Practical & funding-oriented

Participant (in ‘the field’)

Funding-dependent projects

Rational management

Theory & abstraction

Methodology & process


Reflexive & critical

Outside view (in university)

Flexible projects (PhDs)

Academic discourse

Now let s break down some boundaries
Now, let’s break down some boundaries! practice

Think about your experience of moving between academic and professional roles.

  • To what extent were you able to draw upon your academic experience in practitioner roles or your practitioner experience in academic studies?

What challenges did you face in putting your academic knowledge into practice or applying your practical knowledge in academic contexts?

What is action research
What is action research? practice

“action research provides a means whereby research can become a systemic intervention, going beyond describing, analysing and theorizing social practices to working in partnership with participants to reconstruct and transform those practices.”

(Somekh, 2006, p.27)

What did we do
What did we do? practice

Reconnaissance phase:

  • Discussion sessions

  • Lesson observations

    Action research phase:

  • Data collection

  • Data discussion and analysis

  • ‘Trial of a new idea’

Being mufetih observant and analytical
Being practicemufetih(observant and analytical)

“Got to know students’ problems in detail, if they’ve got social or academic problems...Got to know the levels of the students.”

“They [the students] were happy, as they know the teacher feels interest in their problems.”

“[I learnt] nothing surprising, but learnt in detail what made the students leave education .”

(Adil in research workshop)


Being close to the learners
‘Being close’ to the learners practice

“Make a relationship between teacher and students, and also it encourage the students to be in the school to be near with, closer with the teacher.. because the student cannot learn from their enemy... you must be friends”

(Jaber, Headteacher)


Experimentalism practice


What did we find out
What did we find out? practice


Authoritative uncertainty

How to apply action research
How to apply practiceaction research?

Action research

Rational management

External priorities



Standardised, linear


Measurable, fixed, timeframe


Open, specific to context


Small-scale, relationships

Messy, complex

Implicit, diverse, long-term





Your ideas please

  • Practical issues: practiceWhat ideas do you have for steps that can be taken to scale up participatory education projects while retaining their ethical objectives?

Your ideas, please!

  • Your experience: What is your experience of translating knowledge and practices from academic to practitioner contexts or vice versa?

  • Transferring practices: How can we draw on academic beliefs and practices in the fast-paced and results-driven education and development sector?

Thank you for your participation practice

شكراً جزيلاً لمشاركتكم

Paul Fean