Pete

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An initial focus question to start my contribution to the EJOLTS 10th anniversary Community Discussion

I wrote the editorial foreword for the June 2017 edition of EJOLTS [1]. At its core was my concern that the educational impetus contained in each of the edition's papers, as absorbed via our readings, should have the effect of improving our own personal practices. On each of my reader's behalves, I asked the question: "What effect is this paper having on my actions in the world as I attempt to contribute to its transformation into becoming a better place?" I continued:

"... my intention, as I engage with the four main papers in this edition of EJOLTS, is to go beyond "hope for the future" and to ask what I and other readers are actually being led to do at the point of reading. What is going to happen to the behaviour-in-the-world of each of us, as our individual lives touch and interact with the lives of others? A given paper might make me, as its reader, think; it might offer me hope for the flourishing of humanity; but what am I actually going to do as the result of my reading? It is one thing to hold certain values and to have those values confirmed or challenged by the writings of others – but it is a further step for those writings to make me behave in my life in a better way. It is not enough to exchange affirming thoughts amongst ourselves within the living theory community – each of us has to 'get out there' and do something. For me, being conscious of needing to take this further step responds to the nagging question that always attends my contemplation of the EJOLTS project: What use has all this effort been?"

I am using the word use here as 'utility' in terms of it leading to 'practical action'.

So the short form of my question is:

What use has all this effort been?

A longer version might be:

A living theory paper is an account of educational enquiry leading towards improvement: how can I translate the improvement described and explained in the paper into improvement in my life and educational practice?

Continue to the review of Pete's Question.

There is also a link to some personal history([2])