Profession based research through Action research. Framing knowledge production in an interdisciplinary perspective

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Vocational Research through Action Research. Framing Knowledge Production in an Interdisciplinary perspective. Ditte Tofteng, Mette Bladt, Mia Husted University College capital, Denmark Presenting Author: Tofteng, Ditte; Bladt, Mette In this paper we will reflect on vocational research as a research practice that holds a practical turn towards research and development. We are occupied with research conducted round professions or vocations within schools and preschools. These institutions demands new kinds of production of development-oriented knowledge in line with modern western needs for study and practical knowledge building (Gibbons et. al. 1994). This paper will discuss how we can meet these needs through joint research projects in which vocational workers, educators and researchers are participating in common production of knowledge. This way of thinking research is inspired by action research (Reason and Bradbury 2001; Toulmin and Gustavsen 1996; Svenson and Nielsen 2006). One of the grounding values of action research is that knowledge is created most productively and under the best ethical conditions when people expected to use the knowledge is participating in producing the knowledge. In an international setting this orientation or way of thinking is framed as a participatory worldview (Elliott, 1995; Reason & Bradbury 2001, Brydon-Miller et al 2003). This notion is about framing the research process as cooperation with the field. This way of performing research is a way to work on tendencies to privilege some types of knowledge above others when it comes to knowledge production and research processes. The participatory worldview mandates action researchers to consider participants as a collaborative resource and agents of cyclical transformation who bring to the table practical knowledge and experience about situations while the recurring pattern of reflection, analysis and action contributes to the constant evolution and redefinition of the original goal. Methodology, Methods, Research Instruments or Sources Used This paper is a theoretical reflection on actions research as a answer to the practical turn in vocational research. Our focus is on expanding research work to a joint research project where knowledge and experiences from the participants both, researchers and vocational workers, teacher and social educators, is brought in as partners of reflection over the values of the knowledge processes and the development og praxis. How can research be conducted and be an important partner in developing the welfare vocations which involves the people working within the professions as participant. Conclusions, Expected Outcomes or Findings Our findings will be an reflection on action research and participatory research processes as an asvwer to developing a vocational research practice that goes beyond quantitative an qualitative methodologies and into to research as an research and development process. References Bladt, M. (2012): Frirum og værksteder I Duus m.fl. (red); Aktionsforskning – en grundbog. Samfundslitteratur Brydon-Miller et al (2003): Why actions research? Action research, vol 1(1), p9-28, Sage Publications Elliott, J. (1995). Action research for educational change. Philadelphia, PA: Open University Press. Gibbons, Michael, Camille Limoges, Helga Nowotny, Simon Schwartzman, Peter Scott, Martin Trow (1994).The New Production of Knowledge: The Dynamics of Science and Research in Contemporary Societies. London. Sage Horton, Myles & P. Freire (1991): We make the road by walking. Conversations on education and social change: Temple University Husted, M. & Tofteng, D. (2013a): Kan medarbejdere stoppe stress? I Friis Andersen, M. & Brinkmann, S. (red): Nye perspektiver på Stress. Klim Marshall, J. (2001). Self-reflective inquiry practices. In P. Reason & H. Bradbury (Eds.),Handbook of action research (pp. 433–439). London: SAGE. Murray, H. & Trist, E. (1990/93): Social engagement of social science. Vol. I og II. Philadelphia: The university of Pennsylvania Press Nielsen, K. Aa. & Nielsen, B.S. (2005): Kritisk utopisk aktionsforskning, i Bechman Jensen, T. og Christensen G.(red.), Psykologiske og pædagogiske metoder, Roskilde Universitetsforlag Svensson, L., & Aagard Nielsen, K. (2006). A framework for the book. In K. Aagaard Nielsen & L. Svensson (Eds.), Action research and interactive research (pp. 13–45). Maastricht: Shaker Publishing. Park, P., M. Brydon-Miller, B. Hall & T. Jackson (Eds.) (1993), Voices of change: Participatory research in the United States and Canada. Westport, CT: Bergin and Garvey. Pasmore, W.(2001): Action Research in the Workplace: The socio-Technical perspective. I Reason,P. & Bradbury,H.(eds.)(2001): Handbook of Action Research. Sage Reason, P., & Bradbury, H. (eds.) (2001): Handbook of action research. London: SAGE. Toulmin, Stephen and Bjørn Gustavsen(ed.) (1996). Beyond Theory. London. John benjamins publishing. Wenger, E. (2006). Communities of practice, a brief introduction. Retrieved 5 April 2010, from hhtp://
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2014
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventPre-ECER 2014: Emerging Researchers' Conference - Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences (FPCEUP) Universidade do Porto , Porto, Portugal
Duration: 1 Sept 20142 Sept 2014


ConferencePre-ECER 2014
LocationFaculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences (FPCEUP) Universidade do Porto


  • action research
  • philosophy of science


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