University of Twente Student Theses


Interactie tussen onderzoek en praktijk in het onderwijs: processen, participanten en sleutelfactoren

Riswijk, Carolien van (2013) Interactie tussen onderzoek en praktijk in het onderwijs: processen, participanten en sleutelfactoren.

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Abstract:What is a better learning environment for children, a mixed age class or a class with children of the same age? Is the best place to train employees the workplace, or somewhere else? Are virtual experiments as instructive as physical experiments? In practice, as well as in research, new perceptions arise every day. At the same time both researchers and practitioners regularly express their dissatisfaction about the way these perceptions feed educational innovation. This research is motivated by the question how the valuable insights that teachers and researchers collect can be used to improve education and make all learners benefit. Research and practice are both important components of education, but to a large extent they function, physically as well as operationally, apart. For a long time the process of educational improvement was considered to be a unidirectional procedure in which research provided new knowledge that was, with or without intervention of intermediaries, to be deployed by practitioners to enhance their educational occupation. Now the awareness has grown that improvement needs reciprocity and educational research could be of greater use with input from practice. But as it is long known that new knowledge does not automatically end up in practice, at the same time, practice does not naturally feed research with its questions and experiences. Literature on the relation between research and practice in education has revealed the importance of interaction. It also demonstrates both spheres do not benefit from and attribute to each other to an optimum level which hampers educational progress and improvement. Looking for factors that influence these processes has shown that beliefs, cooperation, transparency, time and the rewarding of research play a crucial role in the rapprochement of educational research and practice. Positively applied and stimulated these key factors improve research practice interaction, neglected and ignored they are causes to the often experienced gap. In this study interaction refers to a situation in which research and practice benefit from and attribute to each other. In interaction researchers and practitioners share and exchange knowledge and use each other’s expertise and skills. To gain insight into how such interaction can occur and in what way the key factors or other factors stimulate or hinder interaction a multiple case study is conducted. Three research projects are selected in which different participants, with their own specific knowledge and skills, work together and attribute to a common or combined goal. Researchers and teachers are interviewed about their involvement in the production, dissemination and use of knowledge in or as a consequence of the project. The case study has offered a diverse image of interaction in research. Though the projects were not selected for their variety, they showed many differences, next to several similarities. They illustrated that long term cooperation between researchers and teachers is possible and rewarding, but limited duration can suffice to involve practice in research and development too. At least as interesting is the case where interaction merges two lines of research, a university based and a school based research project, resulting in a win-win situation where both parties benefit from and attribute to each other’s research. The results of this study demonstrate the use of an interaction/key factor framework as a tool to fathom, and possibly encourage, the cross-fertilization between educational research and practice. An interaction model positions interactive research and research interaction next to fundamental and practitioner research and shows the different dimensions of knowledge use and the four aspects of interaction. With the model this study reflects on the potential of interaction to both make use of and improve educational practice and use and expand the educational knowledge base.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:81 education, teaching
Programme:Educational Science and Technology MSc (60023)
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