Practitioner Research

This Practitioner Research SIG focuses upon issues arising from not only carrying out and, supporting others in carrying out practitioner research, but also offers spaces to theorise about this form of research. Practice is very broadly defined as any form of professional work or community activity or individual endeavour in which action is informed by values, beliefs and experience. Research in this context is defined as any form of systematic enquiry whose design, methods, analysis and interpretation are open to peer review.

  • It will bring together those with a special interest in all those (closely related) methodologies in which research is an integral part of practice: e.g. action research, teacher research, evidence-based practice, research into personal and professional change, and research in the developmental / critical paradigm.
  • It will have a role in promoting the publication and dissemination of practitioner research studies and studies about methodological approaches to practitioner research.

SIG Aims 

  • To contribute to the generation of theory, knowledge and expertise about practitioner research and the exploration of different purposes and conceptualisations of ‘practitioner research’.
  • To provide ‘critical friendship’ to BERA members and others engaged in practitioner research with the intention, inter alia, of establishing broadly agreed ‘fitness for purpose’ quality criteria for such research.
  • To promote the principle of a spectrum of educational research that will enable stronger links to be established and sustained between small-scale practitioner research, larger-scale academic research and local and national decision-making.
  • To play a role in the development of national policies for practitioner research through active engagement with policy makers and agencies leading this work in teaching and other professions. [For example in the UK. the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) and the Universities Council for the Education of Teachers (UCET)].
  • To establish links with the Collaborative Action Research Network, the National Teacher Research Panel, the Royal College of Nursing Research Society and other regional, national and international bodies that have a leadership role in practitioner research.
  • To give prominence to practitioner research within BERA’s activities, through contributing articles etc to Research Intelligence and BERJ, and leading symposia at the annual conference.

Latest SIG Content

PhDs by published works

25 April 2018 | Blog

With increasing pressure on academics and other professionals to gain doctorates to assure career progression, doing a PhD by published work (PhDPW) makes eminent sense. This is particularly true for colleagues who might have entered higher... [...]

The untapped potential of university–school partnerships

18 April 2018 | Blog

This article is part of the BERA Blog special issue ‘Researching the Curriculum in schools and colleges: Practice, Professionalism and Innovation’ (read more).     ‘As a result of this partnership, our school is now part of... [...]

The teacher-as-researcher: Making the case for research in schools

26 February 2018 | Blog

I was once told that professionals reach their peak after seven years in their profession. Fine, I thought, if you are an accountant. Numbers don’t really change. It’s okay, if you are a lawyer. Laws are hard to shift. It can be manageable... [...]

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