Why close to practice is not enough: neglecting practice in educational research

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This article draws on normative conceptualisations of practice to reconsider the relationship between educational research and educational practice, enabling a critical commentary on the recent British Educational Research Association statement on close‐to‐practice research. It is argued that the portrayal of practice in the research undertaken for the BERA statement is limiting, with a tendency to view educational practice as amounting to whatever activities current practitioners are involved in. Such a view can overlook practice purposes, accountabilities and dynamics, and elevate certain forms of knowledge production that ignore core educational concerns. Instead, it is suggested, educational research should reconsider its role within a normative conception of educational practice, with the aim of making educational research more educationally meaningful.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1451-1465
JournalBritish Educational Research Journal
Issue number6
Early online date6 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2021


  • theory-practice relation
  • educational practice
  • educational research


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