3.6 Reading 4: Oliver et al (2007)

Namur autumn - L'automne de Namur  2/5

epistomology – the theory of knowledge, especially the critical study of its validity, methods, and scope. Study of the origin, nature, and limits of human knowledge.


Action Research – ‘…Practitioners researching their own educational situations and practices, as a means of improving these.’

  • Technical action research – ‘instrumentalist view of educational provision and professional competence’. Theories and models may give guidance/expertise to a situation.
  • Practical action research – ‘professionals must take responsability for developing their own understanding and practice’. Theories and models provide guidance but practitioners must develop own understanding and practice.
  • Emancipatory action research – Establishing ‘ more egalitarioan, democratic forms of educational practice’.

’emancipatory’ – critical theory – educators recognise constraints- some relation to socio-cultural perspective – establish more egalitarian practices – wider application

‘Action research methodology involves interaction between the researcher and his or her subject, as well as his or her data. Action research is more qualitative in nature and is outcome based in that it aims to improve the methods used in educational, social science, community, and other settings.’

Behaviourist – Operant conditioning (e.g. behaviour rewards & punishments) can guide instructional materials and can compare cohorts over time

Activity theory – Learning is a social activity. Individual’s activities occur in a community and involve the use of tools to achieve an objective. This theory allows the researchers to ‘analyse systems and to focus on particular problems within them.’

Socio-cultural How is power being manifested and understood in several dimensions of this situations. Thus identifying the ‘implications of different courses of action in this complex socio-cultural situation.’



Authors suggest that studies such as praction action research would involve exploring students’ experiences. Techniques allowing this would include observations, focus-groups and interviews. Personal reflection on own practice by the practitioner would also be helpful.

In the behaviourist perspective, the authors suggest that a quantitative study, ‘comparing the performance of cohorts over time’ may be fruitful.


epistomology http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/EPISTEMI.html

Related articles

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.