Epistemological Perspectives in an Approach to Teacher Research

Hilde Hiim,
Assistant Professor, Akershus University College,
Department of Vocational and Technical Teacher Education, Norway

Abstract

There is a necessary connection between the epistemological base in teacher research and how this kind of research is conducted. Different epistemological perspectives on educational action research or teacher research will imply different conceptions of purpose, research principles and methods, and documentation. This article presents methodological principles in a pragmatic, critical approach to teacher research, inspired by the philosophies of Wittgenstein, Heidegger and Habermas. A main purpose of teacher research has been seen as developing and documenting practical professional teacher knowledge. It has been argued that professional teacher knowledge must necessarily be documented through examples showing professional practice, and that this implies certain demands concerning the character of the examples. It has further been argued that the ability to lead democratic learning – and development processes, in close collaboration with pupils and colleagues, is a fundamental aspect of professional teacher knowledge, and that this has implications for how examples can be developed and documented. 

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