Local and international: richly contested concepts in practitioner research (a patchwork paper)

M James Underwood, S Faroque, N Sriwichian, T Burn, D Bowyer, G Praxedis, C Botwright, J Prisutova, K Russell, H Nguyen, D Moodley, Y Cheng

Research output: Contribution to ConferencePaper


This paper is a co-written paper by masters' students at a university in the Midlands region of England. In it the authors, all practicing teachers, explore via a series of interlinked research stories how they conceptualise: 'international’ and ‘local’ in their research. This paper by focusing, sharply on this aspect of their research positioning, reveals that this was in complex, nuanced and idiographic ways. The Midlands is one of the most multi-cultural and multi-ethnic regions of Britain and is therefore one where embracing and interpreting intersectionality is at the heart of navigating personal and professional life. One interpretation of these terms that emerged therefore interwove ‘the local’ and ‘the international’ and emphasised using research that focuses on the localised detail of classroom practice to find paths towards building inclusive classrooms within a multicultural context. However, another perspective that emerged drew conceptual boundaries between these terms, seeing internationally conducted research as a distinct but illuminating route into understanding local issues; while a third took as its starting point ‘the local’ and from this built an aspirational goal that good practice grounded in locally conducted research could inform international debates. These are just three illustrative examples of different ways that these teacher researchers interpreted the dichotomy of the global and the local. As is common and appropriate with patchwork presentations there is no attempt to impose a single methodological framework on the multiple authors and the research vignettes are rich and varied. This paper reveals that to practitioner researchers the concepts of international and local are richly contested and are utilized in varied ways. It will contribute to building an understanding of how practitioner research, too often perceived as localised and distinct from international research, can define its place in the international research community.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jun 2017
EventKaleidoscope - Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge
Duration: 1 Jan 2008 → …


Period1/01/08 → …
Internet address


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