GoodWork Conversations



Good Work

 

Good work is evident in its achievements, and in the way in which they are achieved.  It is good in both its ends and its means, and finds its source in the inner qualities of the performer. The Greek word for goodness is kalos, a way of being and doing that Michael Novak suggests can be thought of as “a kind of grace in action”.  There is reverence in every aspect of good work.

In the complexities of the modern world, good work doesn’t just happen. It demands skill and judgement born of experience – what we might call practical wisdom. Wisdom is the invisible heart of good practice.

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Action Research

 

Action Research best describes the approach we take to our work.  It helps us address the inner contradications and dilemmas of our practice.  In its most basic form it enables us to engage in critical inquiry in the context in which these issues arise and often in the moment in which they occur.  It breaks down the distinction between the knower and the known, and can empower others in the situation through collaboration in inquiry, sense making, and action. It also has transformative purpose. Action Research is not about knowing for its own sake, but knowing in the pursuit of worthwhile purposes. We do not simply seek to prove something, we seek to improve it.

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Work Based Learning

If Action Research describes our approach to inquiry, Work Based Learning (WBL) defines our field.  We are activists, practitioners, leaders and managers, focused on making a difference in our organisation, community or profession.  This is the context in which we generate our knowledge and develop our skill.  We all experiment with theories in practice and we create our own personal theories of what is going on in practice.  By focusing on work as a field of inquiry WBL opens up the possibility of a new relationship between theory and practice and provides a framework for the recognition and accreditation of the knowledge we generate and the skills we develop in and through our work.

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