The politics of facilitation in practitioner inquiry groups

Cassandra E. Drennon*, Ronald M. Cervero

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The purpose of the study was to understand the struggles that facilitators of practitioner inquiry groups in adult literacy education face when enacting democratic practices. The study employed a qualitative design using semi-structured interviews with 10 demographically diverse inquiry group facilitators. The unit of analysis was the critical incidents they recounted from practice situations, and the data were analyzed thematically. In their practice, facilitators encounter at least one of three fundamental issues of power compelling them to negotiate their own social and organizational identity, the identity of the group in terms of its definition and boundaries, or the public identity of practitioner inquiry. As facilitators negotiate within a web of power relationships to achieve their aims, they also act on power relationships in ways that either reproduce or transform them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-209
Number of pages17
JournalAdult Education Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2002
Externally publishedYes


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