Practitioner Research

What is practitioner research & why is it important to my future work & professional growth?

Practitioner inquiry refers to academic research and/or workplace research such as evaluation performed by individuals who also work in a professional field as opposed to being full-time academic researchers. ... source:

The pages provides a few different perspectives and types of practitioner inquiry, also commonly referred to as practitioner research, action research, participatory action research. 

California State University describes practitioner research as being conducted by an individual or group that assumes a dual role, both as a practitioner or provider of services and as a researcher. It is typically carried out for the purpose of advancing practice...and offers a reflective and systematic approach to university research and outreach that places a study setting and participants at the heart of the study. (see:

For the practitioner and scholar, this provides a an opportunity to identify authentic issues, address problems of practice, or research one's own work using an evidence-based approach in taking positive action towards addressing them.

"Inquiry as stance is neither a top-down nor a bottom-up theory of action, but an organic and democratic one that positions practitioners’ knowledge, practitioners, and their interactions with students and other stakeholders at the center of educational transformation" (Leavitt, 2010, p. 123). 
source: Leavitt, Della R.. (2010). Inquiry As Stance: Practitioner Research for the Next Generation.. i.e.:Inquiry in education: Vol. 1: Iss. 2, Article 7.
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General Teacher Council describes practitioner enquiry as "a systematic, evidence-rich approach to critically informed thinking and practice". See:

The Center for Practitioner Inquiry states, "Practitioner research enables practitioners in educational settings to study and reflect on their practice in a systematic way for the purpose of improving education and learning." For examples of related articles see Inquiry in Education, an online journal at

Action Research: A 'practitioner-based' form of research; done by teachers in their own classrooms with the goal of improving pedagogy and student learning. 

In promoting action research in educational practice, Phillips & Carr (2010) highlight the following common themes related to this approach:
  • Involves a systematic or organized approach to problem-solving 
  • Required active engagement and interaction between groups of people 
  • Insists upon reflection, critical analysis, and revolving assessment 
  • Analyses systems of power 
  • Deconstructs taken-for-granted assumptions 
  • Results in action as a practical outcome 
  • Results in transformation, in a rediscovered or new sense of self and other, in empowered teaching and learning 
  • Relies upon democratic and ethical principles that value and respect all participants 
  • Focuses on a single place of inquiry 
source: Kalmbach Phillips, D. & Carr, K. (2010) Becoming A Teacher Through Action Research: Process, Contexts, & Self Study. New York: Routledge