Tensions in communication – teachers and academic facilitators in a critical friendship
Blog post by Marie-Helene Zimmerman Nilsson
Action research is often characterized by successful outcomes based on collaboration with people with a willingness to change. So, when a top-town decided project was planned in cooperation with the university and a school with a low level of achievement – it would have been easy to say ”no thanks” as an action researcher. BUT– we said yes – even though we realised it would be tough to initate cooperation with 35 teachers based on dialogue without their willingness to participate. Today, we conclude that risk-taking has been an essential component for learning for all throughout the project.
We would like to share our experiences about communication with the teachers during the development process. The findings revealed that communication in a context of professional distance did not lead to further communication, whereas communication in a context of confidence opened up for further dialogue.
Finally, we raise an essential question about action research in a top down decided project. Is it a too risky project to join or is it a part of our responsibility in society?
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