10 SES 14 B, Self-Study Methodology: An inspiring and ambitious approach for practitioner research in Europe
Introduction Last year we, the four authors of this paper, facilitated a group of Dutch teacher educators who wanted to carry-out a self-study on their own practices. We used Loughran’s article ‘Professionally Developing as a Teacher Educator’ (2014) to kick of the trajectory. Loughran offers landmarks to highlight “what needs to be navigated without limiting the journey to one single “true” or correct path. It is a path that carries signposts of what might be encountered through the professional development journey that shapes what it means to become a teacher education scholar”. This article inspired us to use the journey metaphor as a leading concept during the year that followed (Geursen, Berry, Hagebeuk, Peters, & Lunenberg, 2016). In this self-study on facilitating self-study research we focus on our roles as tour guides for this journey. Theoretical framework We built on the studies of two former Dutch self-study groups (Lunenberg, Korthagen, Zwart, 2010) and on other publications about facilitating self-study. Over the past decade, research into facilitating self-study communities of inquiry has been accumulating. These studies offer, among others, guidelines (Lunenberg & Samaras, 2011), suggestions for strengthening the collaboration among participants of a self-study group (Davey et al, 2011), and emphasize important foci for facilitators (Berry, Geursen, & Lunenberg, 2015). Methods Analysis of data collected among the participants of our self-study group showed on which issues our role as facilitators was most significant for the participants’ learning. Focusing on these critical issues, we have (a) reconstructed our thinking and exchanges about these issues and (b) analyzed how, and to what extent, the four of us succeeded (or not) in meeting the needs of the participants. To do so, we used two datasets: (a) reflections each of us wrote after each meeting and (b) materials related to the meetings, such as programme outlines, power points, etc. To guard the trustworthiness of the analysis we combined individual analysis with collaborative analysis of the reflections and materials. This way we captured “evidence of the voice of the self [and of] …the other … [and of] the practice being explored” (Pinnegar & Hamilton, 2009, p.111). Results Our self-study shows that as facilitators we recognized the critical issues for the participants’ learning, but also that we continuously searched for and discussed how to facilitate these. At the conference we will elaborate on these discussions and on the way we gave shape to our ideas in practice.
Berry, B., Geursen, J., & Lunenberg, M. (2015). A dialogue on supporting self-study research in the context of Dutch teacher education. In Samaras, A., & Pithouse-Morgan, K. (Eds.), Polyvocal Professional Learning through Self-Study Research, pp. 39-56. Rotterdam, Boston, Tapei: Sense Publishers. Davey, R., Ham, V., Haines, G., McGrath, A., Morrow, D., & Robinson, R. (2011). Privatization, illumination, and validation in identity-making within a teacher educator research collective. Studying Teacher Education, 7(2), 187–199. Geursen, J., Berry, A., Hagebeuk, E., Peters, C., & Lunenberg, M. (2016). Learning together as teachers and researchers: Growing shared expertise in a self-study community of inquiry. In Garbett, D., & Ovens, A. (Eds.). Enacting self-study as methodology, pp.59-62. Auckland University Press. Loughran, J. (2014). Professionally Developing as a Teacher Educator. Journal of Teacher Education, 65 (4), 271-283. Lunenberg, M.L., Korthagen, F. & Zwart, R.C. (2010). Critical issues in supporting self-study. Teaching and Teacher Education, 26(6), 1280-1289. Lunenberg, M.L., & Samaras, A. (2011). Developing a Pedagogy for Teaching Self-Study Research: Lessons Learned Across the Atlantic. Teaching and Teacher Education, 27(5), 841-850. Pinnegar, S., & Hamilton, M.L. (2009). Self-Study of Practice as a Genre of Qualitative Research: Theory, Methodology, Practice. Dordrecht: Springer.
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