Margaret Gearty

B.A.I, MSc, MSc, PhD

Margaret is a research fellow of ACAR and co-director of the Action Research Skills programme which launched in 2012. An experienced action researcher, Margaret has worked on the design and delivery of several large-scale action research projects that take a systemic view of issues such as food, energy and sustainability. She combines these macro interests with an on-going exploration of action research as a craft and the micro-practices and skills involved in practicing it.

Margaret’s particular interests lie in how stories, in different forms, can interweave with participative action research to support change and learning between and across organisations and communities. Margaret completed her PhD in 2009 at the University of Bath as part of the Lowcarbonworks action research program. In it she focussed on how the action research approach of learning history might be developed to track and stimulate low carbon innovation across local government organisations in the UK. She has gone on to work on a range of related action research and evaluation projects with communities, third sector organisations and local authorities that include the Carnegie Trust, NESTA, Swindon borough council and Pepsico. Most recently she co-led on a three-year cross-community action research program for DEFRA’s pro-environmental behaviour change unit and co-authored the final report. She combines her research practice with occasional academic writing and teaching for institutions including Cambridge University, the University of Bath and Ashridge.

Margaret Gearty

Publications

The Practice of Learning History

Bradbury, H., Roth, G., and Gearty, M. (in press) 'The Practice of Learning History' In Brabdury, H. (ed.) (2015) The Handbook of Action Research. London, Thousand Oaks, Sage Publications.

Between you and me: stories for collective action and learning? Perspectives from an action research project.

Gearty, M. (in press) 'Between you and me: stories for collective action and learning? Perspective from an action research project' Action Learning: Research and Practice

Learning History

Gearty, M. (2014) 'Learning History' in: Brydon-Miller, M. Coghlan, D. and Gaya, P. (eds), Encyclopedia of Action Research Vol 2. Sage Publications

Learning history in an open system: creating histories for sustainable futures

Gearty, M., Huang-Bradbury, H., Reason, P. (2015) 'Learning history in an open system: creating histories for sustainable futures'. Management Learning 46 (1): pp44-46

Evaluation and real time learning

Coleman, G., Gearty, M. and Shah, R. (2014) 'Evaluation and real time learning' 360 - The Ashridge Journal

Piloting digital storytelling and action research as an approach to stimulate pro-environmental advocacy and behaviour change

Gearty, M. Williams, M. Pivcevic, P. and Reason P. (2013) 'Piloting digital storytelling and action research as an approach to stimulate pro-environmental advocacy and behaviour change'. A report to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. University of Bath / DEFRA

Making Space for Difference: The CARPP approach to Action Research

Coleman, G. & Gearty, M. (2007) Making Space for Difference: The CARPP approach to Action Research, International Journal of Action Research, Vol. 3 (1+2): pp190-214