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Bridging the gap between research and practice: How teachers use research-based knowledge

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This article describes how research-based knowledge was used in
practice in an action research project which examined student
dropout. The research was conducted as ‘research circles’ and
involved systematic and organised cooperation between researchers
and practitioners, in this case college teachers. Based on interviews
with the teachers, we found that research-based knowledge
was used in a variety of ways: as concepts for discussing real-world
experiences, as confirmation of the teachers’ practical experiences,
as a frame for understanding praxis, to inform action, to conduct
research activities, and as a way of legitimising the importance of
the practitioners’ performance in their daily work. The teachers
used knowledge from previous research as well as that developed
during the course of the project. However, findings indicated that
research-based knowledge appeared to be more useful for talking
about and understanding practice rather than guiding practical
action. In order to deepen its impact on practitioners’ actions,
researchers and practitioners should work together to translate
research-based knowledge and theoretical concepts into practice
and specify how practitioners can apply it when developing their
actions. Therefore, action researchers should allocate time to the
process of transforming research-based knowledge into practical
actions – in co-operation with practitioners – as an integral part of
their research project.This article describes how research-based knowledge was used in
practice in an action research project which examined student
dropout. The research was conducted as ‘research circles’ and
involved systematic and organised cooperation between researchers
and practitioners, in this case college teachers. Based on interviews
with the teachers, we found that research-based knowledge
was used in a variety of ways: as concepts for discussing real-world
experiences, as confirmation of the teachers’ practical experiences,
as a frame for understanding praxis, to inform action, to conduct
research activities, and as a way of legitimising the importance of
the practitioners’ performance in their daily work. The teachers
used knowledge from previous research as well as that developed
during the course of the project. However, findings indicated that
research-based knowledge appeared to be more useful for talking
about and understanding practice rather than guiding practical
action. In order to deepen its impact on practitioners’ actions,
researchers and practitioners should work together to translate
research-based knowledge and theoretical concepts into practice
and specify how practitioners can apply it when developing their
actions. Therefore, action researchers should allocate time to the
process of transforming research-based knowledge into practical
actions – in co-operation with practitioners – as an integral part of
their research project.
Translated title of the contributionAt danne bro mellem forskning og praksis: Hvordan lærere anvender forskningsbaseret viden
Original languageEnglish
JournalEducational Action Research
Volume29
Issue1
Pages (from-to)118-132
Number of pages15
ISSN0965-0792
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

    Research areas

  • research-based knowledge, research circles, research-informed action, translating theories, dropout

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