Examining student teachers' engagement with the theory-practice link in Action research – conceptual distinctions and confronting the theory–practice divide. To help bridge this gap, practice-based scientific mode-2 research design is . This dialectic and simultaneous relationship between being a. The paper examines the relationship between contemporary research on teaching and teaching practice, including the varied reasons educators give for the.
However the transfer is stronger the more the contexts are alike. According to Piagettransfer occurs only if a measurement comes to the fore to show that what was learned had a demonstrable effect on the cognitive structure knowing more and that this knowledge can be operationalised in new situations.
Piaget refers to this form of transfer as accomodating, by which he meant the capacity to adjust or transform familar strategies when a problem cannot or can no longer be resolved using the available tools and familiar methods. If this succeeds, previously acquired knowledge and insight is demonstrably transformed to a higher level. The theory of the transfer of knowledge to other contexts was further illuminated by Branson and Schwarz in their AERA award winning review of research into transfer.
It is about mechanical learning, assimilating, accommodating and transforming. Each learning type is activated in different contexts, aims for different learning outcomes and varies according to the amount of energy learning requires. His learning theory rests on three different dimensions and two inseparable processes. He differentiates the cognitive contentemotional motivation and social interaction dimension as well as the internal acquisition process in which new impulses are linked to earlier learning outcomes and the external interaction process that plays out between the learner, the teaching material and the social environment.
This happens only when the learner experiences a change in their own mental models with a perceivable impact on bringing about a change in attitude or behaviour. The individual then looks at the reality differently and also acts differently than previously see for example vignette 2.
In this context, Kessels and Kessels and Keursten call for a knowledge-productive learning environment in which no educational material is prescribed, and instead research and reflection are the prime tools used to stimulate and facilitate meaningful learning.
This is in line with the meta review by Taylor which indicates that accumulating personal learning experiences in a unique context about which there is critical reflection from various perspectives is one of the most powerful tools is promoting transformative learning. This is a process of communicative learning in which identifying and problematising ideas, convictions, values and feelings are critically analysed and given consideration.
It is a radical process of falling down and getting back up again. According to Bolhuis, the unlearning element receives too little attention in research into and the forming of theories about learning. In summary, this means that if mode-2 practice-based scientific educational research wants to contribute to the professionalisation of teachers, the research design must be based on ideas about learning theories with respect to the level of learning that is intended.
In research into the professional beliefs and behaviour of the educator, a research setting in which transformative learning by the practitioners is facilitated is one of the design principles. Looking back over our research, we can typify our design of the learning environment in which the researcher and educators design and research together as a learning environment in which various levels can be learned.
The accent in this was 1 having reflective dialogue which was dominated by: Because the practitioners researched with the researcher what interventions had an impact on their own development as well as how and when, they created new knowledge about professional development.
The teachers do their own research in their own context and the research itself as seen as an intervention Bolhuis et al. According to Bolhuis et. It refers to using relevant information to develop and improve products, processes and services. Paavola, Lipponen and Hakkarainen introduced the knowledge creation metaphor as a learning metaphor that concentrates on mediated processes of knowledge creation.
Social communicative knowledge creation. The aim is to improve practice from the perspective of collective responsibility, in which both group and individual learning are promoted. The positive impact of collaborative learning methods is convincingly present in research literature. Pai, Sears and Maeda found that the positive interdependence between the group members, interpersonal skills and carefully structured interaction contributed effectively to collaborative learning achievements.
There is also general agreement that the reflective dialogue plays a key role in the interaction in collaborative learning e. Personal commitment, as in the sense of learner engagement see for example vignette 5is indicated as another precondition to resolve complex practice-based problems and find acceptable solutions.
This is in line with other findings from research into factors that influence the transfer of good practice e. Developing a shared vision Vignette 5: Here, the practitioners use practice-focused as a professional learning strategy and not just as a tool to create knowledge. The aim of our research is very close to the central goal of the self-study methodology. The importance of well-guided collaborative knowledge creation in small-peer groups is thereby emphasised by the expert group.
Innovation in education As well as professional teaching, mode-2 research also aims for innovation in the professional context. Innovation in education programmes is a complex, broad concept and concerns multiple relations and dimensions within multiple programme components. To her, an innovation is a set of activities which together comprise a concept or an idea which if implemented improves practice.
Innovations at the organisation level always relate to relationship between individual and collective learning and successfully triggering collective learning is a first step towards innovating. The research by Peck, Gallucci, Sloan and Lippincott into teacher education practices shows that the problems related to individual practice raised by new policies are often the trigger for faculty collective learning. Even though collective learning still delivers such well designed interventions and knowledge, it is no guarantee of successful implementation at the level of the organisation Verdonschot, Based on her meta analysis of innovation practices, Verdonschot established that the skills and ambition of the individual implementing the intervention influence its success.
In addition, the new knowledge that is to be integrated must be well-timed, relevant and appropriate Eraut,; Peck et al. Supporting innovation in education In supporting professional learning that is focused on innovating, it is essential to facilitate the generation of new reality constructions Homan, Argyris ; differentiates between single-loop learning and double-loop learning. With single-loop learning, a lot is learned but nothing is learned about how to learn better.
It is generally about solutions that are more of the same. Single-loop learning will therefore not contribute to innovations because it concerns only correcting errors without altering underlying governing values. To resolve complex problems for which new solutions are needed, double-loop learning is needed. This means calling on the ability to fundamentally think the problem through and learn from this through critical reflection.
Argyris stated that to change organisational routines with success, organisational and individual double-loop learning processes should both be encouraged. In his opinion, it is impossible to change organisational routines without changing individual routines, and vice versa.
Senge, Cambron-McCabe, Lucas, Smith and Dutton talk in this context about fundamental changes in mental models, systems and interactions which are a prerequisite to redesigning and changing the current situation.
He highlights the importance of encouraging self-reflection and advocating personal principles, values, and beliefs in a way that invites inquiry into them. In addition, opportunities for working alongside others or in groups, where it is possible to learn from one another, are important. In summary, this means that if mode-2 practice-based scientific educational research wants to help in innovating educational context, more is needed than stimulating double-loop learning by practitioners during joint design and research.
Encouraging transfer between individual and collective learning and securing its implementation in the professional context requires a research design that is based on innovation theories that are leading in the monitoring of this complex form of learning. Looking back over our research, we have experienced that the transfer of personal learning into organisational learning and innovation is highly complex and time-consuming. In our opinion, a well-designed implementation plan that is guided by principles from theories on organisational learning and innovation is needed prior to the start of the research.
In the study we are reflecting on, the researcher had a management position in two of the four participating educational settings and was able to influence the organisational policy concerning educating teachers and the demands the educators have to meet.
In these two settings, our mode-2 research resulted in a successful transfer of scientific knowledge into our practice policy see for example vignette 7. Transfer of scientific knowledge into organisational policy In the other two settings, our research design was only successful from the perspectives of knowledge creation and professional development.
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Once the co- researcher had left, further implementation came to a halt. Our explanation is that having an implementation plan that is supported by the management e. Eraut,; Van Veen et al. Looking back on our innovation we can see that, like many other innovations, it was triggered by new policy Peck et al.
This policy concerns the ambition of the Dutch Educational Council to promote the development of an inquiry-based attitude on the part of teachers. Working hypothesis concerning design principles in mode-2 research This conceptual paper is a reflection of our previous two-year mode-2 research journey Meijer et al.
That research concerned a multiple case study as part of which we worked with five experienced educators to design, test and explore a professional development programme. Our reflection shows that the partnership in our research helped to create socially robust scientific knowledge and that this collaboration contributed to the transfer of the knowledge created into the practice in which the research was conducted.
These policy documents are definitive in ensuring curriculum innovation and thus the required educational behaviour in the setting in which the researcher works. Secondly our reflection resulted, from various theoretical perspectives of the partnership with practitioners, in concrete design principles, preconditions and recommendations for supporting and guiding practitioners during mode-2 research.
Understanding the Relationship between Research and Teaching - NCTE
We have set these out in the table below see Table 3 and these can be seen as a working hypothesis for designing and guiding this kind of research. Allocation to the categories used is not a distinction because some of the recommendations apply within multiple categories. Design principles of mode-2 research To summarise: Because learners have varying backgrounds, skills, and needs, an important purpose of English language arts research is to ensure that practice and policy decisions are appropriate for the full range of learners in a setting.
English language arts research seeks to illuminate both differences among various groups for instance, students learning English as a second language or students in rural schools and common principles that can guide decision-making across a range of settings. Research stimulates conversations among researchers and all involved in the teaching and learning of English language arts. Research can stimulate discussion, challenge assumptions, reaffirm convictions, and raise new questions.
It does so in part by revealing the complexity of English language arts teaching and learning. For example, research may explore the many factors that affect any one instructional decision; or it may describe the intricacies of personal history, culture, and psychology that reside within a single child.
In portraying such complexity, researchers often draw upon multiple disciplines related to language arts, literacy, and schooling. These include English studies, education, linguistics, psychology, anthropology, sociology, history, philosophy, and the arts.
The potential for research to stimulate conversations and portray complexity becomes especially important when various constituencies beyond schools such as legislators, business leaders, and parents ask what research can tell them about the teaching and learning of English language arts.
What are the characteristics of English language arts research that promise to benefit teaching and learning?
Research that promises to benefit teaching and learning addresses issues that teachers and others recognize as important. If English language arts research is to be used by teachers and useful in classrooms, it must focus on the complex issues teachers face on a daily basis. However, because education is a value-laden endeavor, different participants often hold divergent beliefs concerning the nature of teaching and learning and the relative importance of particular goals.
The English language arts research community must be in constant dialogue with teachers, administrators, parents, and the public about the challenges faced by various constituencies and about the role research can play in responding to those challenges.
It is especially important that those who traditionally have been given little opportunity to participate in decision-making, such as teachers and parents in poor communities, be invited to participate in determining the issues on which research should focus. Teachers are more than passive recipients of published research—that is, they actively determine implications for classroom practice, provide guidance to the research community, and conduct their own classroom-based inquiries.
Rather than looking to research to provide universal dictates, English language arts professionals approach research with an eye to enriching their understandings of their own students and classrooms as they develop strategies appropriate to their own students.
Research that promises to benefit teaching and learning is explicit in describing the assumptions and beliefs that guide the work. Researchers should offer clear, complete explanations of why they are taking up particular research questions and why they believe the questions should be studied in a particular way.
They should also explain how a given study contributes to our understanding of teaching and learning. When provided with explicit information about the assumptions and beliefs guiding the work, English language arts teachers can draw upon studies informed by a range of theoretical orientations and use multiple ways of seeing to enrich their understandings of their students and their practice.
For example, a teacher interested in rethinking writing instruction might draw upon research that focuses on writing as an individual cognitive process as well research that focuses on writing as a social act.
Together, these two perspectives as well as others would provide a rich, nuanced set of possibilities for teaching writing, as well as new lenses through which to observe students and their writing.
Research that promises to benefit teaching and learning is explicit in describing the methods by which the research questions are addressed.
Discussions of methods as well as discussions of findings and conclusions should acknowledge that any given study or approach is necessarily tentative and incomplete, and that one must read across empirical traditions in constructing implications for classroom practice. Under no circumstances should a single methodology or theoretical orientation be put forth as invariably the most valuable in guiding teaching and learning.
Research that promises to benefit teaching and learning is marked by an overall quality of plausibility and trustworthiness—traditionally known as validity. Like the questions asked and the methods used, the nature of validity is dependent upon the theoretical orientation underlying a given study.
For example, experimental studies—those that involve administering a treatment to experimental as well as control groups and then measuring any differences in outcomes—are viewed as trustworthy if they can explain what happens to most students most of the time, under carefully controlled conditions. However, qualitative studies such as case studies or ethnographies are viewed as trustworthy if they can explain what happens to a particular individual or group such as a class of students under particular circumstances.
For the former, generalizability takes precedence over the ability to account for individual differences and contextual complexity. For the latter, accounting for individual differences and contextual complexity takes precedence over the ability to generalize. An experimental study might explore whether smaller English language arts class in middle school tend to increase the amount of writing students do, while an ethnographic study might explore the many roles writing plays in one middle school classroom over time.
However, it is important to note that the extent to which a study may be judged to be trustworthy depends not on the theoretical orientation of the study but on the extent to which the methods used are appropriate to the questions asked and the extent to which the chosen methods are rigorously applied. Strategies for scrutinizing experimental studies are well known, typically focusing on issues such as the nature of the instruments employed, the rigor of analytic techniques, and the appropriateness of the conclusions ultimately drawn from the available evidence.
Broadly speaking, standards for judging the rigor of qualitative studies are similar in many ways. In assessing qualitative research, one considers, for instance, the adequacy of the evidence undergirding key claims and arguments. Typically consisting of interviews, field notes, and other artifacts, trustworthy qualitative data are generally gathered over extended periods of time, and vary in terms of data type as well as data source.
Rigorous qualitative research involves systematic, explicitly detailed data-analysis strategies, and balanced interpretations marked by careful consideration of alternative possibilities and of any contradictory information.
Research that promises to benefit teaching and learning is ethical. Many qualitative researchers take their ethical obligations one step further, arguing that given their close interactions with those they study, the ethical dimensions of their work cannot separated from the trustworthiness of findings and implications for classroom practice.
How do teachers and teacher educators use and engage in English language arts research? Teachers and teacher educators study research. Informed teaching requires the critical reading and discussion of studies conducted by a wide range of others university professors, classroom teachers, researchers working in centers, professional associations, etc. Teacher educators introduce pre-service and practicing teachers to this range of studies and to the conventions of the various schools of research.
In addition, teacher educators help pre-service and practicing teachers recognize how research studies can relate to their own particular questions and concerns about the teaching of English language arts.
Reading and discussion of this kind takes place in various settings, including undergraduate and graduate classes, teacher book clubs, or collaborative inquiry projects. Teachers and teacher educators critique research. Published research studies are presentations of the findings of particular inquiries conducted by particular researchers from particular perspectives.
Therefore, teacher educators ask pre-service and practicing teachers approach research in a critical fashion. And because learning to evaluate research involves asking questions of the studies, teacher educators model the process with questions such as these:The Relationship between Study and Practice