Τhe aim of this paper is to draw on evidence to identify distinctions within those forms of research which are to significant degrees practitioner-engaged. The research review on which this is based took place in the fields of health, social care and social work. We suggest there are different forms of practitioner research, and that using a blanket term for all instances of such inquiry may confuse rather than enlighten. Drawing from the data, we characterise these as ‘practitioner-led’ and ‘academic-partnership’ research. We set out a range of distinctions with regard to the occupational roles of researchers, research relationships, writing relationships, the focus of the research questions and problems, research methodology, the extent to which benefits and utilisation are addressed, and the writing ‘voice’ in published outputs. We conclude that the policy and practice implications ought not to be cast in stone through any regulatory framework, but should be seen as implying a flexible and enabling reference point. Practitioner research should not be petrified in ways that suit the dominant identity of this or that professional community.
© The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The British Association of Social Workers. All rights reserved.
The East Midlands Centre for Excellence in Teacher Training (emCETT) provides blended support for practitioner–led action research.
Currently emCETT are supporting 63 providers through the Education and Training Foundation’s Practitioner Research Programme. A complementary strand of the Foundation’s programme is being provided by SUNCETT, designed around their Research Development Advocate (RDA) and Research Development Fellowship (RDF) model.
emCETT’s programme is helping practitioners to design and undertake their own action research projects. Projects are supporting the practitioners’ organisational improvement strategies and the Foundation’s commitment to supporting professional development in our sector, and delivering better outcomes for learners. Read more about the current programme.
A summary of the outcomes and impact from the blended learning strand of the programme which ran in January – July 2014 has been produced to be shared with the sector. Visit emCETT’s WordPress report site which both summarises the work undertaken and showcases the action research reports produced by the participants.
If you find any links that do not work, please inform us using the Contact Us form.