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

Ian Hardy, Petri Salo, Karin Rönnerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


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. 

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)383–398
JournalEducational Action Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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

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