Self-Study as an Emergent Methodology in Career and Technical Education, Adult Education and Technology: An Invitation to Inquiry

Self-Study as an Emergent Methodology in Career and Technical Education, Adult Education and Technology: An Invitation to Inquiry

Todd S. Hawley (Kent State University, Kent, OH, USA) and Andrew L. Hostetler (Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/IJAVET.2017040107
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In this manuscript, the authors explore self-study as an emerging research methodology with the potential to open up spaces of inquiry for researchers, graduate students, and teachers in a broad array of fields. They argue that the fields of career and technical education (CTE), adult education and technology can leverage self-study methodology in similar ways. They argue that self-study has a great deal to offer both theoretically and practically to those interested in improving their practices as researchers, and for those involved in shaping adult vocational educational experiences. After reviewing the history of self-study as a research methodology, they provide examples of self-study research that have direct implications for those in CTE and adult education and technology. They conclude the manuscript by providing practical guidance to those researching and/or working in schools, community centers and workplaces.
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What Is Self-Study? History Of Self-Study Methodology

The birth of the self-study in teacher education movement around 1990 has been probably the single most significant development ever in the field of teacher education research. (Zeichner, 1999, p. 8)

Ken Zeichner, a prominent scholar in the field of Teacher Education, boldly declared the significance of self-study just nine years after its emergence. At the time, self-study was a methodology of teacher education practices and specifically for teacher educators. Its emergence coincided with a growing number of scholars interested in practitioner inquiry, of which there are several forms or methodologies today (Cochran-Smith & Donell, 2006). Vanassche and Kelchtermans (2015), in what might be the most comprehensive history of self-study methodology, described the emergence of self-study as a field and its growth over nearly 30 years. Their report highlighted notable benchmarks in the field, including the 1993 establishment of the Self-Study of Teacher Education Practices Special Interest Group (S-STEP SIG) of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). This foundational organization has since served as the keystone of the field, bringing colleagues together annually. In addition, the field has organized an international meeting called Castle in East Sussex, UK held in the summer of every even numbered year. Literature in the field has proliferated with the International Handbook of Self-Study of Teacher Education and Teacher Education Practices (2004), twelve edited volumes published by Springer, the Taylor and Francis journal Studying Teacher Education and an array of publications in journals like Teaching and Teacher Education and Journal of Curriculum Studies speak to the influence of self-study scholarship as it grows.

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