Bildung and educational action research: resources for hope in neoliberal times

A1 Journal article (refereed)

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Ian Hardy, Petri Salo, Karin Rönnerman
Publisher: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group
Publication year: 2015
Journal: Educational Action Research
Journal acronym: EAR
Volume number: 23
Issue number: 3
Start page: 383
End page: 398
eISSN: 1747-5074


This paper draws upon empirical research to provide insights into current teacher learning practices under broader neoliberal conditions, and how the latter might be resisted. The paper contrasts neoliberal approaches to teachers’ learning with the Nordic tradition of educational action research and ‘Bildung’ as alternative resources to guide teachers’ and principals’ collective learning practices in schools, and draws upon empirical research to provide evidence of the benefits and challenges of doing so. The paper draws upon research into the learning practices of primary teachers in Australia, early childhood teachers in Sweden, and principals in Finland. The research reveals the influence of more Bildung- informed conceptions of educational action research, even as these are chal- lenged by existing administrative cultures, and neoliberal pressures. The research presents ‘resources for hope’ to promote collective learning based on demo- cratic values, not in an idealized or abstract manner, but in a way which is simultaneously cognizant of empirical realities.


Bildung, Educational action research, managerialism, neoliberalism, Teacher professional development

Last updated on 2020-05-08 at 05:28

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