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.risk-taker

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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