Educational Philosophy and Theory 46 (13):1474-1486 (2014)

There are marked similarities between Confucian ideas about the relationship between action, knowledge and learning, and contemporary educational thinking about action research. Examples can be seen in the relationship between action and research. First, Confucius emphasized the importance of ‘action’ which was different from ‘research’. The Confucian view of action implies that one should engage in a research process of deliberation in advance and then decide whether to take action or not. This kind of researched action is refined by the process of deliberation which could be called ‘research pre action’—the first stage of action research. Second, Confucius emphasized the importance of knowledge, and this reveals that Confucius emphasized the importance of knowledgeable action. This view of the relationship between knowledge and action inspires an insight into the relationship between knowledge, action, and action research. This competence to research and acquire new understanding in action could be called ‘research in action’—the second stage of action research. Third, Confucius emphasized the importance of learning to connect the relationship between knowledge and action. According to Confucius, learning is an important medium to accumulate knowledge, enable action, and improve the relationship between knowledge and action. And it might enable the possibility of a set of relations in which ‘action’ and ‘research’ might no longer be segregated in their traditional dichotomy. This relationship could be called ‘research on action’ in the third stage of action research. These observations of the Confucian view show a new direction in action research.
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DOI 10.1080/00131857.2014.966301
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References found in this work BETA

Thinking Through Confucius.David L. Hall & Roger T. Ames - 1991 - Philosophy East and West 41 (2):241-254.
The Analects of Confucius.Homer H. Dubs - 1939 - Journal of Philosophy 36 (20):557-558.
The Curriculum Experiment: Meeting the Challenge of Social Change.John Elliott - 1999 - British Journal of Educational Studies 47 (2):196-198.
You and Your Action Research Project.J. McNiff, P. Lomax & J. Whitehead - 1997 - British Journal of Educational Studies 45 (3):329-330.

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