Quality criteria for lesson and learning studies as forms of action research

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The purpose of this paper is to articulate criteria for assessing the quality of lesson and learning studies as forms of practice-based educational action research, that are grounded in the practical experience of those engaged in such research.
The paper explores the implications of Stake and Schwandt’s distinction between quality as measured and quality as experienced for assessing lesson and learning studies in higher education contexts, where ‘standards templates’ are increasingly used to measure ‘quality’. Such templates it is claimed distance research from the action context of teachers’ work. Previous published work, in which the author distils criteria for good educational action research from his own narratives of experience, is then summarised as a basis for conceptualising lesson study as good action research. This poses the issue of whether the use of learning theories to inform lesson study distorts their quality by distancing them from action. The author argues that this does not apply to lesson studies that are informed by Marton and Booth’s theory of variation. In doing so he distils a set of experience-based quality criteria for assessing learning studies, and demonstrates a high degree of congruence between the pedagogical implications of variation theory and Stenhouse’s idea of ‘teachers as researchers’.
A set of experience–based quality criteria are distilled for assessing what counts as a high quality learning study report.
The paper creates an alternative view of the relationship between educational research and practice to that which currently dominates academic discourse.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-17
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal for Lesson and Learning Studies
Issue number1
Early online date25 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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