How Can A Clinical Research Approach Contribute to Knowledge-Building for the Teaching Profession?

February, 2017

Source: Educational Action Research, Vol. 25, No. 1, 119–127, 2017
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

This paper explains what clinical research is and why it is necessary.
The author argues that the term ‘clinical’ refers to an academic way of solving practical problems.

Clinical Research and Teaching Profession
The author argues that the teaching profession also requires knowledge that can only be acquired via action, since good teaching involves continuous learning and knowledge construction on the spot, both about how to teach students and about oneself. Hence, skills and connoisseurship can be developed by being responsibly engaged in classrooms.
The author describes how student teachers learn to become professionals.
She outlines how at the beginning of their education, pre-service teachers are often not able to direct their attention to relevant characteristics of what goes on in the class. The pre-service teachers are unsure which aspects to attend to in order to help students learn. She argues that during their first years of work, many teachers have difficulties dealing with the complexity of the classroom. The author contends that involvement in reflective action is necessary to construct the knowledge to become good teachers. She suggests beginning teachers to use representations of practice to make the situation less challenging.

The author wonders whether clinical research contribute to knowledge for the teaching profession. She argues that researchers have no schools in which to obtain practical experience. On the other hand, schools are not geared towards the construction and the sharing of knowledge.
She suggests that the (tacit) knowledge acquired in classrooms enables researchers to perceive more relevant factors in practice and enables them to understand the problems of teaching better.

She concludes that clinical research is a type of action research in the sense that it acknowledges the epistemic function of doing, thus emphasizing the need for integrating scholarship and craftsmanship.

Updated: Aug. 15, 2018