Annotated Bibliography of Resources for Educational Reform, Coherent Teaching Practice, and Improved Student Learning

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  • Wagner, J. (1997). The unavoidable intervention of educational research: A framework for reconsidering researcher-practitioner cooperation. Educational Researcher, 26 (7), 13-22.

Critiques of traditional educational research have led researchers into cooperative relationships with teachers in schools. Wagner describes three forms of direct researcher-practitioner cooperation: data-extraction agreements, clinical partnerships, and co-learning agreements. Data-extraction agreements are the most traditional form of cooperative research. The researcher is clearly the agent of inquiry, the person who reports the findings, and the person who constructs the knowledge to be reported. The teachers' work is described, analyzed, and reported, usually to other researchers. In clinical partnerships, practitioners and researchers work together to improve the knowledge about schooling, often through collaborative action research. Practitioners and researchers work to develop shared understandings of the issue, and both are engaged in inquiry. The purpose of the research is to stimulate change and improvement. The knowledge generated may be reported both to other researchers and to practitioners. Co-learning agreements are more interactive as both researchers and practitioners are regarded as agents of inquiry and as objects of the inquiry. Researchers and practitioners are both participants in processes of education, both are engaged in action and reflection, and both may learn something about his or her own world of education. Wagner provides tables to characterize these three styles of cooperation according to questions asked, research stance, inquiry roles, methodology, and so on. He considers research to be a social intervention, saying that all forms of cooperative research have the potential to alter the social life of individuals and institutions. He suggests that research should be designed to prepare for this intervention.

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