Constitution of Objects in DWR Activity

Constitution of Objects in DWR Activity

Inger Eriksson (Stockholm University, Sweden)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6603-0.ch018
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A shared research object between teachers and researchers in Developmental Work Research (DWR) aims at development of teaching practices and forming of subject-specific knowledge. Currently, design experiments, action research, and formative interventions are used in educational research. A multitude of approaches show an overarching interest in developing teaching and learning practices. Action research and formative interventions include and empower teachers. However, in many DWR projects, teachers and researchers have different objects. In a tradition where teachers are regarded as learners, a shared research object is of interest. This chapter problematizes the relationship between teachers and researchers with the help of three DWR projects. It is challenging to establish a DWR project in which teachers and researchers aim at realising the same object. However, when this is a case, such projects may contribute to new knowledge that enhances student learning and educational, clinical, and subject-matter research.
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This chapter is based upon a keynote speech at the Sixth Nordic Conference on Cultural and Activity Research, Nordic ISCAR 2013 (Knutagård, Krantz & Jedemark, 2013) discussing the significance of a shared research object between teachers and researchers in developmental work research (DWR) projects. The purpose is to develop teaching and learning practices as well as subject-specific knowledge (Carlgren, 2012). There is a considerable body of literature discussing the teachers’ role in educational research that focuses on development of teaching and/or teachers’ professional development (Carlgren, 2012; Carr & Kemmis, 1986; Chaiklin, 2010; Elliot, 1991; Somehk & Zeichner, 2009). There are also research approaches that address the means for developing teaching and learning, both in general terms and in relation to subject-specific research. Many of these contributions address issues of teacher participation. Action research may be regarded as an umbrella term for a variety of approaches, such as teacher research (Cochran-Smith & Lytle, 1999; Stenhouse, 1981) or lesson study (Lewis, 2002). Teachers possess the power of formulating a problem and research questions themselves, or in collaboration with researchers. In other approaches to development of teaching and learning e.g. design experiment, design-based research (Anderson & Shattuck, 2012; Brown, 1992; Cobb, Confrey, diSessa, Lehrer & Schauble, 2003), or developmental research (van der Acker, 1998) the research issue is commonly formulated as a theoretical basis and defined by the researchers.

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