The objectives of the paper are to support the conduct of action research by teachers-as-researchers and, thereby, contribute towards the development of (1) design educational practice and (2) the ‘ideas cultures’ inhabited by teachers. The emergence of conceptual distinctions relating to design education over the past 25-30 years is indicated. These are seen as signs of significant paradigmatic shift and of a nascent language of discourse. The Design field is distinguished; attention is drawn to the status of cognitive modelling; to an academic framework that might be helpful in developing a knowledge base in Design; and to differing approaches to research inquiry. The nature, and particular appropriateness to practitioners, of action research is explored. Some ‘big’ topics – not always seen as having immediate relevance to everyday pedagogy – are then introduced and considered. These, were they better appreciated, are seen as being potentially beneficial to the ‘ideas culture’ and the pedagogic quality of the design educational community.