Educational Research and Reviews

  • Abbreviation: Educ. Res. Rev.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1990-3839
  • DOI: 10.5897/ERR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 1964

Full Length Research Paper

Crossing traditional boundaries: How do practitioners and university faculty describe their experience with educational research literature?

Abebayehu A. Tekleselassie
Department of Leadership, Technology and Human Development , Georgia Southern University
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 20 September 2006
  •  Published: 30 September 2006


For many years, university based educational research has been blamed for being dominated by positivistic research tradition at the near exclusion of field based ethnographic work. Several findings have also portrayed this domination among the major explanations for practitioners’ lack of interest in educational research literature.  With the recent popularity of qualitative work in the educational research parlance, the question however remains whether a paradigm shift from positivistic research tradition to ethnographic and field based approach brings the interest among practitioners to turn to research literature. On the basis of data from both practitioners and researchers, this study argues that while most ethnographic studies “approximate” the “narrative” experiences of public school teachers much better than quantitative works, the available ethnographic studies either suffer from the same norm that distances the university based positivistic researchers from practitioners or fall in the traps of institutional and organizational factors that have remained so resilient in bridging the gap between the world of research and practice in education.


Key words: Educational Research; Perceptions about Research; Research Utilization; Practitioner Knowledge; Narrative Experience