Policy and Practice

On the teacher as researcher by Martyn Hammersley

This article sketches the development of the idea that educational research should be integrated with the work of teachers in schools, in the form of the teacher‐as‐researcher. The arguments advanced in support of this proposal are examined. These consist in part of criticisms of conventional educational research: on the grounds that it is less likely to be educationally relevant and valid than teacher research, and that it is undemocratic and exploitative of teachers. An equally important part of the case for teacher research, of course, is criticisms of ‘traditional’ teaching, both for the nature of the classroom learning it encourages and for its ‘unreflective’ character. The conclusion drawn from assessment of these arguments is that, while they have some force, they are not conclusive; and they do not add up to a convincing case for the superiority of teaching‐as‐research.

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