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Bulleted definition of co-operative inquiry

John Heron

Adapted from Chapter 3 of  Co-operative Inquiry, London, Sage, 1996.

Definition of co-operative inquiry

Co-operative inquiry involves two or more people researching a topic through their own experience of it, using a series of cycles in which they move between this experience and reflecting together on it. Each person is co-subject in the experience phases and co-researcher in the reflection phases. The defining features of co-operative inquiry are:

An outline of inquiry stages

Stage 1 The first reflection phase for the inquirers to choose:

Stage 2 The first action phase when the inquirers are:

Stage 3 Full immersion in the action phase with great openness to experience; the inquirers may:

Stage 4 The second reflection phase; the inquirers share data from the action phase and:

Subsequent stages will:

Outcomes of co-operative inquiry

Four main kinds of inquiry outcome, corresponding to the four forms of knowing, experiential, presentational, propositional and practical:

Topics of co-operative inquiry

The first half of the list relates to informative inquiries, which have propositional outcomes which describe and explain what is going on, or presentational outcomes which portray it.

The second half of the list covers items for transformative inquiries, which have practical or skills outcomes, including their effects.