In our book, On Being a Scholar-Practitioner: Wisdom in Action, we propose six qualities comprising a stance of scholarly practice: pedagogical wisdom, theoretical understanding, contextual literacy, ethical stewardship, metacognitive reflection, and aesthetic imagination. In addition, we suggest that Scholar-Practitioners engage in communities of practice to further their own capacity for scholarly practice; to share the wisdom they have gained through thoughtful study of their practice; and to advocate for quality education. The resources provided in the S-P Library relate to one or more of these ideas. They are not the result of exhaustive reviews. Rather they are materials that have informed our thinking, inspired light bulb moments, or provide portals to other relevant resources.

Full-Length Articles

Bryk–Accelerating Improvement

Educational policy makers, philanthropic foundations, and school reformers have struggled for years with the difficulty of improving the quality of public education, especially among the most economically distressed districts. In this article, Anthony Bryk argues for a new approach to school reform in which Networked Improvement Communities carefully study education as it occurs in a diverse array of contexts. The hope is to gain insights into effective teaching and schooling that can be shared across districts.
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Duke & Beck–Dissertation Formats

This article offers a useful perspective on the historical roots of the dissertation and argues that it is a specific and, in many ways, a unique genre of writing. The authors offer several suggestions for alternatives to the traditional 5-chapter, scientific-like dissertation. It is particularly helpful to practitioner-focused doctoral programs that are looking for ways to make the dissertation process and its results more useful to practitioners. It can be helpful to both faculty and doctoral students are pondering what constitutes a legitimate form of practice-embedded inquiry.
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Connelly-Clandinin. Stories of Experience & Narrative Inquiry

  Connelly and Clandinin were among the first educational researchers to advocate for the legitimacy of narrative inquiry. This article is still relevant for those who are just beginning to explore the possibility of engaging in a narrative inquiry. It offers an historical perspective against which newer references can be compared.
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Garman, Noreen B., The Closed and Open Contract: Two Irreconcilable Structures in the Curriculum

Noreen B. Garman wrote “The Closed and Open Contract: Two Irreconcilable Structures in the Curriculum,” for the 1989 Triennial Conference of the World Council for Curriculum and Instruction (WCCI). Since its publication in the WCCI Journal, this article has been helpful to many students who are struggling to understand curriculum experiences in which learning objectives are stated clearly and precisely. Often the initial response is to say “the curriculum in unstructured.” Garman wrote this piece to articulate an alternative structure by using a “contract” metaphor. She argues that the nature of the learning contract is fundamentally different in a closed and open curriculum structure. Recognizing this difference can help learners let go of taken-for-granted preconceptions of what a curriculum should be. Understanding the difference can help educators shape different forms of curricula in their own work.

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Dissertation Fable

A great deal of folklore circulates among doctoral students who are looking for information on how to successful negotiate the dissertation process. One bit of common wisdom focuses on the role of the advior. This fable captures a belief that it is the advisor's position of power within the academy that makes a difference. We think it is important to both acknowledge and challenge this bit of folk lore. The advisor should play a key role, but not as a power player, but as a wise guide who can challenge doctoral candidates to complete a meritorious study and support them through the learning that this entails.
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Grubs, Robin E. & Piantanida, M. Grounded Theory in Genetic Counseling Research: An Interpretive Perspective

Grounded theory was and continues to be a popular form of qualitative research. In part, the appeal of grounded theory is that it has fairly explicit and rigorous procedures for data analysis. One of the difficulties, however, is the movement from discrete bits of data to a coherent theory. A great deal of researcher judgment is involved in constructing the relationship among concepts that emerge from the data. For this reason, grounded theory can be seen as an interpretive mode of inquiry. This article lays out a rationale for this interpretivist perspective. Even though the context is genetic counseling the rationale can be adapted for grounded theory inquiries in other fields.
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Heshusius–Freeing Ourselves from Objectivity

When the word "research" is mentioned, the importance of objectivity often comes immediately to mind. In fact, for centuries "objectivity" has been assumed to be a hallmark of legitimate research and it was taken as a given that all legitimate research had to be scientific. In the 1980s, educators began to challenge this prevailing assumption and began to argue for the legitimacy of inquiries embedded in the knowledge traditions of the arts and humanities. Still the criteria of "objectivity" exerted a powerful influence in the thinking of many educational researchers, including doctoral students trying to conceptualize a dissertation study. This article offers a helpful rationale for undersatnding why a stance of objectivity is not tenable in practice-embedded inquiry.
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Oldfather, Penny & West, Jane Qualitative Research as Jazz

Practice embedded research most often takes the form of interpretive inquiry.  It is not unusual for new comers to this paradigm to struggle with how it differs from traditional scientific research. This was particularly true when the idea of interpretive research was just entering the educational discourses. This article was among the early efforts to distinguish between two fundamentally different modes of inquiry. It is still helpful in providing a general sense of this difference.
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Smith, John K. & Heshusius, Lous. Closing Down the Conversation: The End of the Quantitative-Qualitative Debate among Educational Inquirers.

In spite of this article’s title, the conversation about the nature of educational inquiry continues. However, when educators first began to engage in qualitative research, there was a great deal of confusion about what constituted legitimate method. This article was among the first to make a distinction between a “how to do it” way of thinking about method, and a “logic-of-justification” way of thinking. The article remains a useful resource to those who are in the early stages of learning about different modes of inquiry.
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Short Reads on Inquiry

What is a think piece?

This Short Read briefly introduces the idea of think pieces as a type of writing that can be useful as one begins to develop ideas. A think piece serves as a vehicle for engaging others in conversation about one’s ideas as a way of clarifying and extending one’s thinking.
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Method as Genre

If Scholar-Practitioners have little or no experience in inquiry methods, they often are not sure where to start. They may think in terms of using a questionnaire or doing interviews, but these are really data gathering techniques, not modes of inquiry. This Short Read introduces the idea that there are many modes of inquiry, each of which has its own set of conventions.
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Short Reads on Teacher Evaluation

Metrics Mania by Helen Hazi

Educators are experiencing metrics mania, the overvalued use of numbers to gauge and measure complex social phenomena that results in oversimplified understandings and unintended consequences. This short read provides a brief overview of metrics mania as it relates to teacher evaluation.
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Short Reads On Teaching and Learning

Active Learning

Educators generally agree that active learning is more desirable than passive learning. This Short Read provides a framework within which to consider various forms of active learning.
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Short Reads on Writing

Writing as Understanding

A great deal of advice on writing focuses on technical writing in which authors know what they want to say and must organize it clearly (and often concisely) to communicate effectively. This Short Read focuses on a different form of writing in which authors write as a way to clarify their thinking. The organization of the final writing often emerges as authors come to see more clearly what they want to communicate.
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Short Reads--Education in the COVID Era

Lion and the Mouse–Teaching and Learning in the Age of Covid-19 by Leticia Harshman

Leticia Harshman holds a Master's of Arts in Teaching and teaches secondary English. She responded to the Nexus S-P Conversations blog post calling for teachers to share their experience of teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this short read, she shares her struggles as a teacher and the parent of children engaged in on-line learning.
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Teaching Art Virtually by Wendy M. Milne, Ed.D.

Wendy Milnes, an elementary art teacher, responded the S-P Conversation blog calling for teachers to share their experiences of teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to sharing her thoughts in the attached PDF, she also sketched the challenges of responding to the ups and downs during this time of distance, on-line learning.
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Professional Development within a Pandemic: Let Us Listen to the Voices of Experience by Dr. Megan Reister et al.

In this think piece, Dr. Megan Reister explores connections between the concept of scholar-practitioner and a self-initiated learning community. During the COVID-19 pandemic, professors at six institutions collaborated to provide virtual guest speakers in pre-service and in-service education programs. Pre-pandemic, guest speakers had attended class sessions to help beginning teachers understand how theoretical information is relevant to practice. Social distancing made these valuable in-person presentations impossible, so the participants in this community developed virtual presentations
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