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Routledge Education Author of the Month February 2013: Jean McNiff

Jean McNiff is Professor of Educational Research at York St John University, UK, and also holds Visiting Professorships at the University of Tromsø, Norway; the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa; and Beijing Normal University and Ningxia Teachers University, People’s Republic of China. Prior to her work in higher education she was a teacher and deputy head teacher in a large secondary school in the south of England. She took early retirement, went into business for herself (running a seaside gift shop), and then moved by invitation into higher education because of the interest in her writing and ideas.

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Jean writes books and articles about action research and professional education across the professions, with sole and collaborative authorship. Her most recent book is a third edition of Action Research: Principles and Practice (2013). Abiding commitments include the idea of how studying their practices can help people explain how they hold themselves accountable for their thinking and their work, in the interests of others and of a co-operative and productive world order.

Writing the third edition of Action Research: Principles and Practice has been important for me. The first edition, written in 1988, began to draw on ideas that were developing in my doctoral studies, about immanence and emergence and connectedness, and the transformational relationships between people, their thinking and their experiences of the world; these ideas have matured over the years, and now incorporate ideas about dialog and spiritual relationship. I like the idea, drawing on the work of Howard Zinn, of a people’s history of action research, so the book contains lots of small case studies from people I meet and work with all over the world and from different contexts. It is a real privilege to be able to work with them, and a lot of fun. It is also nice to be able to use your writing to critique your own thinking, and each new edition of a book, including this one, represents a critical step forward in the thinking. Life never stands still.

You can read more of my writings and ideas at, and see some of the work undertaken around the world. You can also contact me at I look forward to hearing from you.

Related Products

  1. Action Research

    Principles and practice, 3rd Edition

    By Jean McNiff

    Since its first publication, Action Research: Principles and Practice has become a key text in its field. This new updated edition clearly describes and explains the practices of action research and its underlying values, and introduces important new ideas, including: all professionals should be...

    Published February 21st 2013 by Routledge

  2. You and Your Action Research Project

    3rd Edition

    By Jean McNiff, Jack Whitehead

    What are the most effective ways of planning and doing action research projects? You and Your Action Research Project gives practical guidance on doing an action research project. Written for practitioners across professions who are studying on award-bearing courses, this book is packed full of...

    Published July 21st 2009 by Routledge

  3. Action Research for Teachers

    A Practical Guide

    By Jean McNiff

    Assuming no prior knowledge of research methods and techniques, this book is the perfect companion for teachers at all levels undergoing professional development who need to enhance their formal reflection skills. Providing a detailed explanation of what action research is and its importance in...

    Published June 29th 2005 by David Fulton Publishers

  4. Action Research in Organisations

    By Jean McNiff, Jack Whitehead

    Series: Routledge Studies in Human Resource Development

    The current orthodoxy is that 'knowledge' is the most powerful resource for organisational success. So how can managers develop the appropriate knowledge base to make their organisations grow? The answer lies in action research. Action research is increasingly perceived and used as a powerful...

    Published December 7th 2000 by Routledge

  5. Rethinking Pastoral Care

    Edited by Úna M. Collins, Jean McNiff

    The issue of pastoral care and how a teacher effectively provides it is currently a topic of great debate in the media. With teachers increasingly bearing the brunt of their pupils' difficult personal lives, they feel under pressure to do the 'right thing' and to do it in an informed and...

    Published February 25th 1999 by Routledge