Practitioner Research Evidence or Critique

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					Practitioner Research
   Evidence or Critique?

         Ian Shaw
Health and Social Care RSU,
     Cardiff University
              three questions
1.   The relationship between practitioner research
     and mainstream academic social work research.
2.   An assessment of the scope for practitioner
     research to contribute to evidence based practice.
3.   Whether research by practitioners has potential
     for critique of practice and of social science.
           Practitioner research
   ‘research carried out          Characteristics
    by practitioners for       Direct data collection
    the purpose of              and management
    advancing their own        Professionals set its
    practice’ (John             aims and outcomes
    McLeod, 1999)              intended practical
                                benefits
                               ‘insider’ research
                               Focus: own practice
        Practitioner research (2)
   small scale and short term
   self-contained
   typically a lone activity
   ‘own account research’
   focus is not restricted. While it will commonly
    be evaluative, it may be descriptive,
    developmental or analytical
               Limitations of PR
   treats ‘evidence’ too            Neglects how styles of
    straightforwardly                 inquiry may perform as
   No cross-professional             practice models
    dialogue                         deductive assumption
   ‘client-donor’ relationship       about the theory/practice
    to social science.                relationship
   client-donor relationship        silence of the service user.
    to human service agencies        A too conventional
                                      writing ‘voice’.
‘Practitioner Research in Social
     Care’ Cardiff 2002-3

   Screening audit of PR in social care

   Categories of PR in social care

   Theoretical sample of case studies
               Empirical issues
   Motives                   Usefulness
   Consent and Ethics        Generalization
   Fieldwork style           Practice/university
   Relation to research       relations in PR
    priorities                ethics and practitioner
   Career and identity        involvement in PR
                Categories of PR
                        Practitioner          Agency Owned
                        Owned
                        formal     formal     formal     formal
                        approval   approval   approval   approval
Higher    Single data   8          8          0          0
education
link      Multiple      2          1          2          0
          data
No        Single data   0          1          0          6
higher
education Multiple
link
                        0          0          4          2
          data
             PR Dimension 1
               Ownership
        Individual                Multiple
Practitioner owned +      Agency owned         +
Practitioner use    +     Planned/actual uses +
No formal approval +      Formal approval      +
Data on practitioner      Agency wide or multiple
  researcher’s practice     agencies           +
                          Service use stakeholders
            PR Dimension 2
            Research activity
         Simple                   Complex
Single data type     +    Multiple data types +
Single researcher +       Research team         +
Data on practitioner      Actual utilization of
  researcher’s practice     results             +
                          External ethical
(possibly + absence of      approval
  any formal approval)
         Inquiry and Practice
Cf McIvor on PR skills and practice skills

 Is social work akin to research?
Inductive practice theory building (Lang)
 Dilute qualitative research in s/w and the
  ‘Translation’ of qualitative methods (Shaw)
            Capacity building
    R&D                  Networking


1.   PR specialists    Eg Knud Ramain
                         national project in
2.   Government and      Denmark
     funder strategy
     priorities
                       R&D and networking
                        facilitate possibility of
                        critique >
    ‘Practical’ PR and Critique
 PR and the sociology of practical
  knowledge
 ‘Insiders’ and ‘outsiders’
 The complexities of practical judgement, eg
  Schwab and Schwandt
           PR and social justice
    PR, individualism and the silent service
     user
    Exemplars
a)   Carr and Kemmis – an action research template for PR
b)   Janet Miller and collaborative teachers
c)   Fahl and Markand and critical psychology
    Critique-led PR and evidence-based
     practice
          The Cardiff PR Project
                            Contacts

 Ian Shaw Shawif@Cardiff.ac.uk
 Alex Faulkner FaulknerAC@Cardiff.ac.uk
 Simon Keane KeaneS1@Cardiff.ac.uk

           The project is due to complete February 2003.
    We hope to do further comparative work on practitioner inquiry

				
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