Practitioner Enquiry: exploring the method for understanding teacher learning

Kate Wall, Elaine Hall

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter will engage with the epistemological tradition and associated method of practitioner enquiry as a teacher research approach embedded in pedagogic praxis (Hall and Wall, 2019; Hall and Sylvester, 2018). It will locate this research approach within social science and professional learning (Schön, 1987; Eraut, 1994; Sachs, 2001), particularly tackling the overlap with action research, the ethical imperatives and the embedded nature of researcher positioning it claims (Cochrane Smith and Lytle, 2009; Cordingley 2015). Highlighting key characteristics and terminology, both regarding method(s) and practice(s), our discussion will draw out some of the tensions and dilemmas that are inherent in this kind of professional learning. We will focus on the mirror effect between teacher and student learning (Wall and Hall, 2016) which underpins the connection between research and professionalism, creating productively dissonant, tight feedback loops of metacognition, voice, enquiry and learning community. To reflect on this complexity, issues of quality are of paramount importance, not just in terms of justifying the position of practitioner enquiry in the repertoire of education research, but also to clarify intent and impact in professional learning. Therefore, the second half of the chapter will look at the application of markers of quality (Heikkinen et al, 2012) that might support the practitioner engaging in and with this type of activity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInnovation in Teacher Professional Learning in Europe
Subtitle of host publicationResearch, Policy and Practice
EditorsKen Jones, Giorgio Ostinelli, Alberto Crescentini
Place of PublicationLondon
ISBN (Electronic)9781003322610
ISBN (Print)9781032334493
Publication statusPublished - 11 Oct 2023

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