CTL1049H: Critical Practitioner Research in Education

Credit Value

This course explores inquiry as a methodological stance on practice, a framework for investigating and addressing critical issues in school, classroom, and community-based research. What Cochran-Smith and Lytle (2001; 2009) have theorized as an inquiry stance invites educators to regard educational projects as sites of knowledge generation, occurring within social, historical, cultural, and political contexts. With its emphasis on the intimate relationship between knowledge and practice, this concept foregrounds the role that practitioners can play—individually and collectively—in generating understandings, rich conceptualizations, in the service of enacting new educational possibilities. Taking an inquiry stance involves constructively problematizing conventional educational arrangements, interrogating how knowledge is constructed, evaluated and used in various settings, and re-imagining the roles practitioners might play in actualizing change in their work contexts.

Drawing on this notion of inquiry as stance, this course will explore what it means to be a practitioner researcher in educational institutions and community-based organizations. This course is intended for MA and PhD students interested in exploring the possibilities and the potential of developing new understandings and research within actual educational contexts that they shape daily. This may include a range of initiatives, from developing small-scale studies to inform ongoing practice to developing larger research projects, including practitioner inquiry dissertations. The course will pay particular attention to the conceptual and experiential frameworks that practitioners bring to site-based educational research. We will consider critical practitioner research in relation to other methodological approaches as well as educational conversations about the nature of research, with special consideration of how research might shape practice and inform policy and the potential contributions practitioners can make.

No prerequisite required. Introductory course on qualitative methodologies recommended.
Graduate Department
Curriculum, Teaching and Learning