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Publisher: UK Council for Graduate Education
Languages: English
Types: Unknown
Subjects: media_dig_tech_and_creative_econ, other, built_and_human_env, health_and_wellbeing, mem_text_and_place, energy
The methodological approaches used by professional doctorate students often mirror those used by full-time academics within their fields of study. Costley & Armsby (2007) found that these are often dominated by a narrow range of social science approaches and argue that alternative techniques could usefully be developed for use specifically in a practitioner research context.\ud \ud This paper argues that different styles of practitioner research have different objectives, and that not all are adequately served by research approaches drawn from the social sciences. Indeed, the dominance of social science approaches within the professional doctorate academic community may betray a restricted view of what can potentially constitute valid research, and a lack of awareness of other possibilities.\ud \ud Using a synthesis of the two models articulated separately by Frayling (1993) and Archer (1995) in an art and design context the paper explores the distinction between three styles of practitioner research, namely that which is undertaken into practice, for practice, and through practice. It equates the former approach with research in the sciences, including the social sciences, but suggests that the two alternative approaches – research for and through practice - are likely to be more appropriate for insider practitioner researchers undertaking professional doctorates.\ud \ud Both of these alternative approaches are seen to free the researcher of the retrospective, description-driven analysis of what Simon (1969) refers to as the explanatory sciences. Instead, in drawing on Simon’s alternative notion of the design sciences, they encourage the researcher to look to the future, and to design and develop solutions to real world problems that are capable of implementation in practice. The paper goes on to distinguish research for and through practice and to identify the nature of the respective methodological approaches that are appropriate for each.
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    • March,  S.  T.  &  Smith,  G.  F.  (1995)  'Design  and  natural  science  research  on  information technology', Decision Support Systems, Vol. 15, pp. 251 - 266. 
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