This article focuses on the double role of the academic action researcher working as facilitator and researcher in democratic professional development projects. The inquiry is based on three partnership projects: ‘research circles’ in Sweden, ‘dialogue conferences’ in Norway and ‘tailored professional development’ in Finland. In a self-study and through the lens of practice architectures, we, as action researchers, explore how our practices are enabled and constrained in, as well as are enabling and constraining, professional development partnerships with teachers and educational leaders. A critical perspective is provided on how and what democratic practices evolve. The inquiry opens up understandings about how the academic action researcher’s practices entails multi-faceted ways of working to be able to accomplish different and somehow contradictory objectives, yet at the same time enacting democratic working methods. Furthermore, the act of recognition as a connecting aspect between prefiguring arrangements and evolving practices will be elaborated on to supplement perspectives offered by the theory of practice architectures.
- Action Research
- Practice Architectures
- Role of action researcher
- Nordic professional development