What is Co-operative Inquiry?

What is Co-operative inquiry

Co-operative inquiry is a participatory and inclusive method, pioneered by Reason and Heron (e.g., Reason, 1994; Reason & Heron, 1995) which supports in-dept conversations about a focus area. Co-operative inquiry comprises of four phases which are cycled through iteratively (Please see Figure 1 below).

Figure 1.
A co-designed graphic representation of the four phases of co-operative inquiry (Reason, 1994; Reason & Heron, 1995; Short & Healy, 2017; Pascoe et al., 2023)

Training: Co-operative inquiry workshop handout

Some further reading and resources

Reason, P., & Heron, J. (nd). A short guide to co-operative inquirywww.human-inquiry.com/cishortg.htm *This website provides a simple and succinct overview of the co-operative inquiry methodology.

Reason, P. (1994). Co-operative Inquiry, Participatory Action Research & Action Inquiry: three approaches to participative inquiry, in N. K Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Ed.), Handbook of Qualitative Research. Sage. *This chapter describes co-operative inquiry in the context of other participative research methods.

Reason, P. & Heron, J. (1995). Co-operative Inquiry. In Harre, R., Smith, J. & Van Langenhove, L. (Ed., pp. 122-142). Rethinking Methods in Psychology. Sage.

Short, M. (2018). The co-operative inquiry research method: A lived experience. In M. Pawar, W. Bowles, & K. Bell (Eds.). Social Work: Innovations and insights (pp. 232-244). Australian Scholarly Publishing.

Short, M., & Healy, J. (2017). Writing ‘with’ not ‘about’: Examples in co-operative inquiry. In S. Gair & A.V. Luyun (Eds.). Sharing Qualitative Research: Showing lived experience and community narratives. (pp. 188-203). Routledge.

Publications utilising the co-operative methodology that inspired the formation of our community and its principles

Duncombe, R., Fay, J., Gould, G., Fay, C., Fay, M., Harrington, J., Mount, K., Neale, B., Ryan, J., Arnold, S. (2020) Developing inclusion in a small town food service. Chapter 7 in Crisp, B. and Taket, A. Sustaining social inclusion, Routledge

Kime, K., & Short, M. (2019). Engaging with Aboriginal peoples: Challenging inequality in the rural Australian Anglican Church from a sociological, social work and theological perspective. Australasian Pentecostal Studies Journal, 20(2019), 35-54. Retrieved from https://aps-journal.com/index.php/APS/article/view/9535

Short, M., Trembath, K. S., Duncombe, R., Whitaker, L., & Wiman, G. (2018). Contemporizing teaching case management: Mapping the tensions. Social Work Education: The International Journal, online(August), 1-15.

Short, M., Dempsey, K., Ackland, J., Rush, E., Heller, E., & Dwyer, H. (2018). What is a person? Deepening students’ and colleagues’ understanding of person-centeredness. Advances in Social Work & Welfare Education, 20(1), 139-156.

Short, M. (2018). The co-operative inquiry research method: A lived experience. In M. Pawar, W. Bowles, & K. Bell (Eds.), Social work: Innovations and insights. (pp. 232-244). North Melbourne, Vic: Australian Scholarly Publishing.

Short, M., Seiffert, M., Haynes, R., & Haynes, L. (2018). Church, Disability, and Rurality: The Lived Experience. Journal of Disability and Religion, 18(1), 1-26.

Short, M., Barton, H., Cooper, B., Woolven, M., Loos, M. & Devos, J. (2017). The power of the case study within practice, education and research. Advances in Social Work & Welfare Education. 19(1): p. 92-106

Short, M., & Healy, J. (2017). Writing ‘with’ not ‘about’: Examples in Co-operative Inquiry. In S. Gair & A. V. Luyun (Eds.), Sharing Qualitative Research: Showing Lived Experience and Community Narratives. (pp. 188-203). London, UK: Routledge.

Tillotson, N., Short, M., Ollerton, J., Hearn, C and Sawatzky, B. (2017). Faith matters: From a disability lens. Journal of Disability and Religion. 21(3): p. 319-337.​

Short, M., Broughton, G., Short, M., Ochala, Y., & Anscombe, B. (2017). Connecting to belonging: A cross-disciplinary inquiry into rural Australian Anglican Church engagements with people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Journal of Contemporary Religion. 32(1), 119-133.

Jones-Mutton, T., Short, M., Bidgood, T., & Jones, T. (2015). Field Education: Off-site social work supervision in rural, regional and remote Australia. Advances in Social Work & Welfare Education, 17(1), 83-97.

Healy, J., Tillotson, N., Short, M., & Hearn, C. (2015). Social work field education: Believing in supervisors who are living with disabilities. Disability and Society, 30(7), 1087-1102.

Hearn, C., Short, M., & Healy, J. (2014). Social Work Field Education: Believing in Students who are living with a Disability. Disability and Society, 29(9), 1343-1355.