Mind the gap both ways: how teaching informs research decisions

M James Underwood, N Ryan, V Nhung Vuong, E Frempong, M Chikvaidze, K Reis, F Green

Research output: Contribution to ConferencePaper


This is a co-written paper. All the writers are currently engaged in research that involves using theory to inform our classroom practice. The gap between research and practice is usually understood to refer to the gap that prevents academic research from impacting upon the day to day practice of teachers but in this paper we flip this around and ask instead how the practices and conventions of teaching shape the way that we work as researchers, this includes among others: the design of research questions, the methodological choices that we make and our strategies for dissemination. Schools move at a much faster pace than the conventions of research accommodate. They are places where day to day decisions are made rapidly and continuously regardless of whether research is being conducted. This disconnect between the conventions of research and the working processes of schools gave rise to action research and teacher leadership methodologies as possible solutions to this issue, and within this paper are presented research stories from within the action research methodology. However, it is equally problematic to confine teacher researchers to being inevitably bound to conduct research within these methodological approaches. Teachers can also conduct research within a case study, ethnographic or auto-ethnographic (reflective) methodological frame and within others, indeed are perhaps uniquely positioned to produce rich and engaging auto-ethnographic research stories. Therefore we also discuss how these conventions are reshaped and re-imagined when research is conducted by teacher researchers. Finally, it is also possible that the ways that teacher researchers make methodological choices will be of interest and can inform the choices of academic researchers even those working outside the field of education. This paper was written in order to contribute to a rich discussion in this area.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2016
EventKaleidoscope - Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge
Duration: 1 Jan 2008 → …


Period1/01/08 → …
Internet address


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