Collaborative research

On the collaboration between researchers and teachers in didactical research

Download the pdf: On the collaboration between researchers and teachers in didactical research

There is an increasing interest in didactical research for studies of teaching and learning performed in collaboration between researchers and teachers. With this research strand, Network 27 wants to highlight the results produced in this line of research, as well as the challenges it leads to. The main topics will be the following: (1) empirical findings relating to the unfolding of dialogue between teachers and researchers (2) comparisons between different models for design-based didactical research, (3) epistemological and ethical views of knowledge, participation, recognition and symmetry and asymmetry between participants and (4) development of methodological and epistemological issues.

In the special issue on Didactics – learning and teaching, published in European Educational Research Journal in 2018, Ligozat & Almqvist (2018) identified that a central trend in didactical research is to use and develop didactic knowledge and concepts in cooperation with teachers (cf. Marton & Runesson, 2015). In this process, the researchers and teachers are engaged in a mutual process of recognition where they contribute with their respective competences and perspectives (Carr & Kemmis, 1986; Edwards-Groves, Olin & Karlberg-Granlund, 2016; Olin, Sensevy & Lenzen, 2018). The participants and their contributions are shaped in dialogue with each other and become something else than if they would have performed the work separately (cf. Hamza, Palm, Palmqvist, Piqueras & Wickman, 2018; Le Brun, Morellato, Sensevy, & Quilio, 2018; Sensevy, Forest, Quilio & Morales 2013).

In this way, the following topics may be thought of as a basis for various kind of communications in ECER.

Firstly, we welcome presentations on empirical findings relating to the unfolding of a specific dialogue between teachers and researchers building curriculum and teaching practices in various school subjects. It’s a major topic, in relation to the ongoing discussion about what direction European education, teaching and learning should take in the future.

Secondly, different models for design-based didactical research in a wide sense (as for example Cooperative Engineering, Didactic Modelling, Learning Studies and Lesson Studies) rely on different research traditions and we are interested in comparative analyses between them, especially with focus on the collaborative aspects of the model.

Thirdly, moving from a more traditional focus in didactics on a three-way relationship between teacher, students and knowledge taught in the classroom, to an extended one (where teachers collaborate with researchers), implies epistemological and ethical caution. For example, central issues about common knowledge production, participation, recognition and symmetry/asymmetry between teachers and researchers may be outlined here. 

Fourthly, we are interested in the development of methodological and epistemological issues. For example, what does it mean for the research practice to provide teachers and researchers with a theoretical framework as an analytical tool to collectively perform analyses of issues regarding transaction and the co-construction of knowledge? This kind of reflection may be of great importance in the work of evidence production. In addition and relation to statistical evidence (evidence-based practice), collaborative research may develop a deeper practical and theoretical understanding of practice-based evidence (e.g. Bryk, 2020)
Contacts: Jonas Almqvist jonas.almqvist(at); Benoît Lenzen Benoit.Lenzen(at); Anette Olin anette.olin(at); Sensevy Gerard gerard.sensevy(at)


  • Bryk, A. S. (2020). Improvement in action: Advancing Quality in America’s school. Cambridge: Harvard Education Press.
  • Carr, W. & Kemmis, S. (1986). Becoming Critical: Education, Knowledge and Action Research (3 uppl.). London: Falmer Press.
  • Edwards-Groves, C., Olin, A., & Karlberg-Granlund, G. (2016). Partnership and Recognition in Action Research: understanding the practices and practice architectures for participation and change. Educational Action Research, 24(3), 321-333.
  • Ligozat, F. & Almqvist, J. (2018). Conceptual frameworks in didactics – learning and teaching: Trends, evolutions and comparative challenges. European Educational Research Journal, 17(1), 3-16.
  • Hamza, K., Palm, O., Palmqvist, J., Piqueras, J. & Wickman, P.-O. (2018). Hybridization of practices in teacher-researcher collaboration. European Educational Research Journal, 17(1), 170-186.
  • Joffredo-Le Brun, S., Morellato, M., Sensevy, G. & Quilio, S. (2018). Cooperative engineering as a joint action. European Educational Research Journal. 17(1).187-208.
  • Marton, F. & Runesson, U. (2015). The idea and practice of learning study. In K Wood and S Sithamparam (Eds.), Realising learning. Teachers professional development through lesson and learning study (pp. 103-121). London: Routledge.
  • Olin, A., Sensevy, G. & Lenzen, B. (2018): Professional development and recognition. Paper presented at ECER 2018 in Bolzano.
  • Sensevy, G., Forest, D., Quilio, S. & Morales, G. (2013). Cooperative engineering as a specific design-based research. ZDM, The International Journal on Mathematics Education, 45(7), 1031-1043.

Research Teams engaged in collaborative and cooperative didactic research

Didactics for Teaching Collective (France)
This collective works in JATD (Joint Action Theory in Didactics) in different places. It aims at developing Cooperating Engineering as a practical and theoretical tool to better understand and improve teaching /learning processes. Cooperating Engineering is grounded on several principles (e.g teaching sequences symmetrically co-designed by teachers and researchers as a touchstone of the research process) and gives a prominent importance to representations of practice (hypermedia systems as the very matter of the research dialogue within the inquiry process)

Pedagogy, Education and Praxis – an international collaborative research network (Sweden)
This network aims to develop theoretical concepts and understandings of pedagogy, educational studies, and educational practice; practically contribute to transformation of educational praxis in relation to a variety of contemporary educational problems and issues; and strategically encouraging the dialogue between different traditions of theory, research and practice in education; fostering collaboration and the development of networks between scholars (researchers and teachers/principals across traditions)

Research Group in Comparative didactics (Switzerland)
Research orientations in comparative didactics are operationalized through the observation of the ordinary classrooms, but also through didactic engineering in cooperative research, involving researchers and teachers in the construction and analysis of teaching devices, and the dissemination of pedagogical resources (Réseau Maison des Petits, ECSE Project). The comparison of teaching practices in different educational systems makes it possible to study the forms of the didactic action highlighted by the diversity of the modes of transposition/selection of knowledge in the curricula.

Didactics and Epistemology of Physical Education (Switzerland)
This research group is engaged in different types of collaborative research with various types of educational professionals (e.g., participatory action research involving researchers and cooperating teachers; didactic engineering for development and training involving researchers, teacher trainers and teachers). Collaboration is both a means of developing new approaches and design of content in physical education and an object of investigation. To that end, several theoretical frameworks are combined: e.g., comparative didactics approach; philosophical approach of recognition; epistemology of physical education.

Studies of Comparative Didactics (Sweden)
In the group research Studies of Compartive Didactics (SCOD), the researchers study and compare teaching and learning within a number of different areas. Taking their starting point in approaches and results of studies within various fields of didactics, the undertakes comparisons and analyses aimed at creating knowledge about teaching, teaching content, learning and socialization. The group works closely together with teachers in preschool and schools and contributes both with empirical knowledge as well as the development of various theoretical and methodological approaches. The research is characterized by practice-oriented studies and contribute with knowledge about teaching, learning, the teacher profession, professional development and teacher education.

NW 27 runs a mailing list and invites researchers to join. To join the mailing list, send a blank message to nw27-subscribe(at)

NW 27, ECER 2016, Dublin

Research Gate Project

“Didactics – Learning and teaching in Europe”
<link https: project didactics-learning-and-teaching-eera-network-27 _blank>Link