Our research activities
Crossfields Institute’s strategy regarding research is to promote and encourage a research based approach within the organisation and the organisations we serve and work in collaboration with. Research is viewed as one of the primary areas where we can work collaboratively with peer organisations to learn, share practice and develop strategic links.
The promotion of research within the organisation relates particularly to the development of our own practice. An example of this is an action research project called ‘Crossfields 100’ that is currently in its second iteration. This research aims to explore the impact on staff productivity and wellbeing of short but regular periods of reflective personal time during the working day. All staff (not just academics) are invited to take part as both participants and co-researchers.
Crossfields Institute International also holds regular research related events that take place at a more public and inter-organisational level. We organise these events collaboratively with universities and other relevant institutions.
The Advanced Research Forum
This is a regular day-long meeting organized jointly by Crossfields Institute and Alanus University for individuals who are carrying out research at Masters, Doctoral or post-doc levels. Participants in the Forum are drawn mainly from Crossfields Institute and Alanus University’s staff but also from affiliated organisations. However, this is an open forum to anyone interested in the themes we cover. The Forum consists of reading and discussion on a chosen theme, presentations and peer feedback on current research. The Research Forum takes place at least once every two months.
Our approach to these key strands of environment, transdiciplinarity and workademia in our thinking is to work extensively with action research methodologies. Taking Peter Reason and Hilary Bradbury’s definition, we agree that:
“[A]ction research is a participatory, democratic process concerned with developing knowing in the pursuit of worthwhile human purposes, grounded in a participatory worldview which we believe is emerging at this historical moment. It seeks to bring together action and reflection, theory and practice, in participation with others, in the pursuit of practical solutions to issues of pressing concern to people, and more generally the flourishing of individual persons and their communities.”
(Reason and Bradbury 2006:1)
Our staff are experienced with using a range of participatory approaches that fall within this broad definition of action research, such as: systemic inquiry; organic enquiry; appreciative inquiry; and intuitive inquiry.
All the educational processes that Crossfields Institute design and provide for are rooted in dialogic action research, which takes its starting point in vision building and includes internal and external stakeholders.