IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Making Space for Difference - The CARPP Approach to Action Research

Listed author(s):
  • Gill Coleman
  • Margaret Gearty
Registered author(s):

    At the Centre for Action Research in Professional Practice (CARPP), action research is embodied in a distinctive way that is eclectic and varied yet thematically coherent and values-based. This paper offers an articulation of this approach, using an experimental presentational form that combines descriptive storied form with analytical exploration. This exploration describes CARPP Action Research as the creation of ‘different spaces’ in which the action researcher/facilitator seeks to create qualities of boundedness, safety and validity, working with participants through cycles of action and reflection. Practices to engender such qualities are described and it is proposed that these offer an ‘emancipatory potential’ that, when realised, enables participants to take action outwards to the social and institutional settings of which they are a part. Two illustrative stories of practice are given, one describing how an MSc student in CARPP established an inquiry group, the other describing an action research programme with managers. The stories show how some of the qualities and values of the Centre are enacted through detailed practice that is sensitive to context. Links to critical theory are offered, and some questions as to the enduring consequences of such practice are considered.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Article provided by Rainer Hampp Verlag in its journal International Journal of Action Research.

    Volume (Year): 3 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 1+2 ()
    Pages: 190-214

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:rai:ijares:doi_10.1688/1861-9916_ijar_2007_01_coleman
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    Order Information: Postal: Rainer Hampp Verlag, Journals, Vorderer Lech 35, 86150 Augsburg, Germany. A subscripton is required to access pdf files. Pay per article is available at
    Web: Email:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rai:ijares:doi_10.1688/1861-9916_ijar_2007_01_coleman. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Rainer Hampp)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.