Participatory Methods and Reflective Practice Applied to Research in Educationfor Sustainability

Chris Gayford


This article describes research with schoolteachers using participatory methods and reflective practice. These approaches have been used to enable teachers to establish theirpractice needs in relation to education for sustainability (EfS) and also maintain the integrity of their subject disciplines. The participatory methods are derived from varioussources used in different contexts, but have the purpose of being empowering and democratic. The intention is to develop knowledge and action that is directly useful to theparticipating group through a process of collective self-enquiry, where reflection helps to focus on the learning process rather than the outcomes. The ways that these methods havebeen applied, their derivation from other fields of research, their strengths, as well as the problems encountered when applying them, are discussed.

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