Something about myself

I retired in 2004 from Anglia Ruskin University. (
I became Professor of Education in 1990, on the basis of my research and publications on action research and my current designation is 'Emeritus Professor Education'.

At university I studied English literature, continuing my early love of fiction and beginning my lifelong sense that education must be above all a creative process and that the creative arts are a key dimension of humanity – as forms of understanding as well as recreation.

My first teaching post was in a Technical College where I taught ‘liberal studies’ to student electricians, engineers, nurses, etc. I then taught English to student teachers at the University of Malawi for three years before returning to teacher education in the UK, specialising in the sociology of education. I spent most of my career in what is now Anglia Ruskin University (previously Anglia Polytechnic University and before that Anglia Higher Education College) with campuses in Chelmsford and Cambridge. To begin with, I was based in the Education Faculty, where I began my life-long commitment to ‘action research’ as a form of professional education and development. I then transferred to the Social Work Faculty in order to lead a government funded project developing an innovative ‘competence-based’ Honours Degree, in which students could gain academic credit for the learning arising from their professional work. During this project I served for two years on government working groups on professional education and qualification.

In the early 1990s I was elected as one of the founding editors of the international journal Educational Action Research and then a little later another journal Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, both of which have become well established publications.

Throughout my educational work I combined my early interest in creative fiction with the political concerns I had developed through my study of sociology. All my research work has been concerned, one way or another, with problems of knowledge, and perhaps it was my sense of the inadequacies of the current state of mainstream Western philosophy that led to my increasing interest (beginning in about 1993) in combining my political concerns with the Buddhist tradition of thought and meditation practice.