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Jack Whitehead

Personal details

Jack WhiteheadJob title: Honorary Professor in Education
Highest qualification: PhD
Email: jack.whitehead@cumbria.ac.uk

Jack began teaching science in 1967 in a London Comprehensive School and in 1973 moved to the University of Bath as a Lecturer in Education with the intention of contributing to the creation of a valid form of educational theory that could explain an individual's educational influences in learning.

Whilst researching at the University of Bath between 1973-2009 he originated and developed the idea that individuals could create their own living educational theories as explanations for their educational influences in their own learning, in the learning of others and in the learning of the social formations in which we live and work.

Academic interests

  • Enquiries of the kind, 'How do I improve my practice?' in a wide range of professional contexts, asked with the intention of improving practice and generating a living educational theory (an explanation of educational influences in one's own learning, in the learning of others and in the learning of social formations).

  • The development of multi-media narratives for generating valid, values-based explanations of influence in improving practice and generating knowledge.

  • The use of action research in supporting personal and systemic changes in organisations.

Recent external roles

  • President of the British Educational Research Association 1988-89
  • Distinguished Scholar in Residence Westminster College Utah, 2000
  • Visiting Professor at Brock University, Ontario, 2000.
  • Visiting Professor at Guyuan Teachers College, China, 2004.
  • Visiting Professor at Ningxia Teachers University, China, 2006 – present.
  • Visiting Fellow at the University of Bath, 2009 – 2012.
  • Adjunct Professor, Liverpool Hope University, 2010- present
  • External examiner at many UK and international universities

Research activities

Current projects

Selected outputs

Publications include:

Whitehead, J. (2008) How can we use TASC to develop our talents in the gifts we create? How can TASC help us as we account for our lives in our living educational theories? Gifted Education International. Vol. 21, pp. 179-189.

Whitehead, J. (2008) Using A Living Theory Methodology In Improving Practice And Generating Educational Knowledge in Living Theories. Educational Journal of Living Theories, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp 104-126. Retrieved 8 December 2008 from http://ejolts.net/node/80

Whitehead, J. (2009) Generating living theory and understanding in action research studies. Action Research. Volume 7(1): 85–99.

Whitehead, J. (2012) Educational Research for Social Change with Living Educational Theories. Educational Research for Social Change, 1(1); 5-21.

Whitehead, J. (2012) Living Educational Theories for Action Research in a Turbulent World, in Zuber-Skerritt, O. (Ed.) (2012). Action Research for Sustainable Development in a Turbulent World. Bingley, UK; Emerald.

Whitehead, J. & McNiff, (2006) Action Research; Living Theory. London; Sage

Farren, M. & Whitehead, J (2006) Educational Influences in Learning with Visual Narratives, in Childs, M., Cuttle, M. & Riley, K. (2006) Developing Innovative Video Resources For Students Everywhere; Glasgow; Glasgow Caledonian University.

Farren, M., Whitehead, J. & Bognar, B. (2011) Action Research in the Educational Workplace. Dublin; Academica Press.

McNiff, J. & Whitehead, J. (2011) All You Need To Know About Action Research (2nd Edition) London; Sage. 

McNiff, J. & Whitehead, J. (2011) You and Your Action Research Project, Third Edition. London; Routledge. 

McNiff, J. & Whitehead, J. (2005) Action Research for Teachers. London; David Fulton.

Selected recent keynote lectures

Combining Voices In Living Educational Theories That Are Freely Given In Teacher Research.  Presentation for the International Conference of Teacher Research on Combining Voices in Teacher Research, New York, 28 March 2008. Retrieved 1 June 2008 from http://www.jackwhitehead.com/aerictr08/jwictr08key.htm

Empowerment and action research: Personal growth, professional development, and social change in educational and community settings. Notes for a keynote presentation to the 'The Seventh Annual Action Research Conference University of San Diego School of Leadership and Education Science’. The theme of the conference was 'Empowerment and action research: Personal growth, professional development, and social change in educational and community settings.'  15th May 2010. Retrieved 26 August 2010 from http://www.actionresearch.net/writings/jack/jwsandiego10.pdf

Living Educational Theories and the Validity of Multi-media Narratives. A keynote address to the Council of Europe, Pestalozzi workshop in Bergen, Norway on the 16 September, 2010.

Action Research and Living Theory: Alternative Research Paradigms and Indigenous Knowledge Promotion. Lead Speaker and Resource Person at the workshop on the 14-17 February 2011 at Covenant University, Nigeria.

Inaugural Mandela Day Lecture at Durban University of Technology, South Africa on the 18th July 2011 Retrieved 1 May 2012 from http://www.actionresearch.net/writings/jack/jwmandeladay2011.pdf.

Action Research to Improve Coaching with Living Theories. Presentation to the Association for Coaching 10th Anniversary Conference from Inner Game to Neuroscience on the 22 June 2012 in Edinburgh. Retrieved 27 June 2012 from http://www.actionresearch.net/writings/jack/jwcoachlectureedinburgh010612.pdf