From Practitioner to Researcher and Back Again (2009)

An Ethnographic Case Study of a Research-In-Practice Project

This thesis was prepared to fulfil the requirements for a doctor of philosophy degree in educational studies at the University of British Columbia.

It documents a Research in Practice (RIP) project conducted by five adult-literacy instructors that lead to a report entitled Hardwired for Hope: Effective ABE/Literacy Instructors. (Battell, Gesser, Rose, Sawyer, & Twiss, 2004). As the five practitioner-researchers were nearing retirement, they set out to conduct a research project that would put the experience of long-term instructors on record, describing the background, beliefs and strategies they had brought to their work.

The author of this thesis was one of three graduate students who participated in the research for Hardwired for Hope. The experience gained as participant-observer is one source of data, along with document analysis (minutes, emails, reports and the study itself) and interviews with project participants and two other informants.

The author points to five themes that emerged: collaboration; knowledge creation; recognizing and valuing practitioners as researchers; supporting practitioner research; and promoting a research-in-practice culture.

The author also provides recommendations for practitioner-researchers and university-based researchers who want to contribute to the RIP movement.

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APA citation
Betsy Alkenbrack. From Practitioner to Researcher and Back Again 2009. Web. 5 Oct. 2022 <>
Betsy Alkenbrack (2009). From Practitioner to Researcher and Back Again. Retrieved October 5, 2022, from
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