University of Oulu

Esteban-Guitart, M., Rajala, A., & Cole, M. . (2023). Expanding Cycles of Collaboration and Critical Inquiry in Utopian Methodology. The 360 Education Alliance Case. Qualitative Research in Education, 12(1), 25–51.

Expanding cycles of collaboration and critical inquiry in utopian methodology : the 360 Education Alliance case

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Author: Esteban-Guitart, Moises1; Rajala, Antti2,3; Cole, Michael4
Organizations: 1Institute of Educational Research. University of Girona. Spain
2Faculty of Education. University of Oulu
3School of Educational Sciences and Psychology. University of Eastern Finland. Finland
4Department of Psychology. University of California, San Diego. United States
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Hipatia Press, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-09-11


The article proposes and illustrates a methodological framework that aligns with the action-research models and utopian methodology in particular, although it represents a more substantial leap forward, especially regarding the distributed nature of decision making in the different processes of research/intervention, and its multiple and systematic nature (linking theory, practice and politics). It is developed through four main phases: i) collective identification of the needs and the object of the study, ii) expansive co-design of the action-research, iii) dynamic and multiagency implementation, and iv) critical and participatory reflexive evaluation. It is examined more specifically how the phases proposed here can be illustrated by an ongoing project called 360Education Alliance (“Aliança Educació 360”) conducted in the context of Catalonia, Spain. It consists of a partnership presented in January, 2018, that currently involves more than 300 entities for promoting a community vision of education based on improving equity and social justice. Some opportunities deriving from this methodology are mentioned in the conclusion, emphasizing the transversal role of self-criticism as permanent inquiry of multiple agents involved in the process, including the participants themselves.

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Series: Qualitative research in education
ISSN: 2014-6418
ISSN-E: 2014-6418
ISSN-L: 2014-6418
Volume: 12
Issue: 1
Pages: 25 - 51
DOI: 10.17583/qre.10296
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 516 Educational sciences
Funding: This article is inspired by ongoing discussions and collaborative activities amongst a diverse group of scholars communicating as part of the Re-generating CHAT research network, funded by the Spencer Foundation. Rajala thanks the Academy of Finland project no. 331413 for the financial support for preparing the article. Esteban-Guitart thanks the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (MCIN), the Spanish State Research Agency (AEI), and the European Regional Development Fund (European Union) [Grant number: PID2021-127143NB-I00] and the financial support from the 2021 ICREA-Academia Award of Catalan Government.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 331413
Detailed Information: 331413 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2023 Moises Esteban-Guitart, Antti Rajala, Michael Cole. The terms and conditions of use are related to the Open Journal System and to Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY).