Fully Inclusive Practitioner Research

< List of ReNs

Fully Inclusive Practitioner Research  



The rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has caught the educational world unprepared. With the sudden move to remote instruction for educators and students across the globe, conducting inclusive practitioner research has become all the more important for language teachers and learners to process their newsometimes disorientingexperiences surrounding teaching and learning remotely. Educators have been engaging world-wide in critical discussion of the pandemic, exploring such questions as: What does online learning (and online communication) look like? How do we create equitable learning environments for all? How have female researchers, in particular, been impacted?

Many aspects of practitioner research have been affected by COVID-19. Previously arranged face-to-face data collection is now taking place through platforms such as WhatsApp, WeChat, Teams, Skype, and Zoom. Teacher education programmes are additionally using remote data collection to support teacher candidates developing knowledge about online research practices. Many practitioner research communities have continued to meet over Zoom to discuss puzzles and questions about online learning. In our renewed Fully Inclusive Practitioner Research (FIPR) Research Network, we welcome members to consider how their own practitioner research has been affected (negatively or positively) by the current global pandemic.

The original aim of this Research Network was to bring together researchers, practitioner researchers, practitioners, and scholars around the world who are involved in forms of fully inclusive practitioner research in order to theorise praxis, challenge established orders, and build new opportunities for collaboration and research in applied linguistics, language education, and beyond. Representing a host of democratically-principled classroom inquiry practices, FIPR sees teachers and learners as working together as ‘co-practitioners’ to develop deeper understandings about the teaching-learning process. Because much practitioner research is conducted by teachers, teacher educators, and learners, in classrooms around the world—rather than by academics, fewer platforms exist for people to meet, or for knowledge exchange to happen between geographically disparate groups. A network can help with establishing a platform for creative dissemination of ideas and theory-building across cultures. It can also provide expertise and support for those who are new to inclusive practitioner research. In facilitating communications between our various groups over the past four years, engaged in multidisciplinary research spanning countries, continents, and cultures, we have been able to explore notions and practices of inclusive practitioner research in different educational contexts, making this an interdisciplinary as well as an intercultural enterprise.

We are particularly interested in working collaboratively to investigate the connections between different frameworks, such as Exploratory Practice, Lesson Study, Reflective Practice, and various iterations of Action Research (e.g., collaborative, exploratory, participatory). In particular, Exploratory Practice, which emphasises puzzling, understanding, and quality of life, and, crucially, positions learners and teachers as co-researchers, is explicitly included as a main plank of the network. This range of reflective practices encourages alternative ways of thinking about learners, teachers, and professional development. As a network, we wish to explore the opportunities for collaboration between learners, teachers, and researchers, challenging traditionally accepted roles and playfully questioning established identities. Our questions include:

  • What are the unique contributions that different FIPR models (e.g., Action Research, Exploratory Practice, Reflective Practice, etc.) bring to our developing understanding of inclusive practitioner research?
  • What is the impact of inclusive practitioner research in educational cultures locally, nationally, and internationally?
  • What are the possible contexts in which FIPR can be conducted?
  • Who does research? Who has the power, and who is disempowered in research? Whose voices count in building theory and theorising pedagogy? Why?
  • What does this say about current trends in applied linguistics, language education, and society more generally?

We take a critical perspective, highlighting the challenges of different contextual constraints, probing assumptions of voice, agency, and ownership when conducting inclusive practitioner research, and foregrounding issues of local and global knowledge in disseminating research via publishing or other means.

Our continued goals for the ReN include:

  • To identify the epistemological challenges that practitioner researchers face, as well as the innovations they offer, in applied linguistics
  • To track the impact that inclusive practitioner research is having in and across applied linguistics and educational cultures
  • To develop the potential for multidisciplinary, cross-cultural, and inclusive practitioner research
  • To continue theory development of inclusive practitioner research, especially but not exclusively, Exploratory Practice
  • To identify research projects already under way in the various member countries and to strengthen international links between groups working in similar topic areas
  • To seek out new opportunities for collaborative, relevant, and inclusive practitioner research in applied linguistics and language education
  • To share methodologies and ideas, and promote creative ways of disseminating inclusive practitioner research that supports teachers, teacher educators, and learners
  • To promote the good research and scholarship that has already been done and to develop new areas of interest

Our new aims are:

  • To highlight and enhance further the profile of practitioner research
  • To generate international reflection on how COVID-19 has impacted (positively or negatively) practitioner researcher work with students and peers
  • To verify whether existing practitioner researcher groups have found ways of sustaining their activities as a consequence of the pandemic and to identify new online practitioner researcher groups that have been created as a consequence of the pandemic
  • To involve practitioner researchers in the assessment of their own academic research production, in terms of publications and/or participation in national and international workshops and conferences to share their academic experiences with their colleagues
  • To investigate internationally what policies have been/can be negotiated with private or governmental institutions to offer future financial support to attend conferences
  • To intensify FIPR to work on equity issues (refugees, poverty, adoption, health and wellbeing, etc.) that have become more urgent during pandemic times around the globe.

We intend to achieve these aims by connecting researchers, teachers, learners, and teacher educators from different countries via face-to-face or Zoom meetings and on-line discussions and webinars. In this way, we intend to engage in critical explorations of ways in which learners, teachers, teacher educators and researchers are positioned, and to launch investigations into cultures (small and large) of education.