Conceptualising the research–practice–professional development nexus: mobilising schools as ‘research-engaged’ professional learning communities

Dimmock, C. (2016) Conceptualising the research–practice–professional development nexus: mobilising schools as ‘research-engaged’ professional learning communities. Professional Development in Education, 42(1), pp. 36-53. (doi:10.1080/19415257.2014.963884)

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This paper argues the need for coherent, holistic frameworks offering insightful understandings as well as viable, connected and synergistic solutions to schools in addressing pressing problems arising from the acknowledged gaps between research, practice and professional development. There is a need to conceptualise a comprehensive conceptual framework that rationalises, constructs and connects salient professional development concepts and practices fit for purpose in twenty-first-century schools. Specifically, three themes conceptualise existing problems faced by schools and their possible solutions: first, bridging the research–policy–practice gap by mobilising knowledge more effectively through knowledge producers and consumers working collaboratively; second, valuing and integrating both tacit knowledge and academic coded knowledge; and third, raising the professionalism and reflectivity of teachers and leaders. However, a new organisational and human infrastructure is needed to enable these solutions to be realised in school practice. Arguably, three responses are critical to this challenge of knowledge mobilisation; all are achievable through the powerful unifying concept of the ‘research-engaged school’. The three responses are: research engagement on the part of all teachers and leaders; creating schools and school networks as professional learning communities; and adopting a workable methodology (namely, research–design–development) for teachers and leaders to put research into practice and tailor innovations to specific school contexts.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Dimmock, Professor Clive
Authors: Dimmock, C.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Journal Name:Professional Development in Education
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):1941-5265
Published Online:24 October 2014
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 International Professional Development Association (IPDA)
First Published:First published in Professional Development in Education 42(1): 36-53
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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