Insider researchers in schools and universities: the case of the professional doctorate.

Drake, Pat and Heath, Linda (2008) Insider researchers in schools and universities: the case of the professional doctorate. In: Sikes, Patricia J and Potts, Anthony (eds.) Researching Education from the Inside: investigating institutions from within. Routledge, pp. 127-143. ISBN 978-0-415-43593-2

Full text not available from this repository.


Students on professional doctorates often engage with what is frequently termed insider research. It seems ironic that one of the most difficult boundaries in higher education is between practice and research. Yet it is this boundary that professional doctoral students are expected to navigate successfully. Students may be explicitly compromised by the insider nature of their research, and in managing their position as insiders, necessarily change position, sometimes frequently, along axes with respect to both their research and their professional practice. Tensions may arise from ethical issues, position in employing organisations, relationships with the other participants in the projects, any practitioner responsibilities that exist with respect to employing institutional aims and mission, and how these connect with the necessary criticality of position required for a successful thesis. Whilst access to research participants may be very privileged, it is also likely that institutional or professional circumstances may affect the inquiry and subsequent writing up. Professional doctoral students may also live in their workplace with the consequences of doing research/being a researcher. We draw upon a small study in two universities in which we explored through interview and discussion some of these issues with professional doctoral students and graduates of the degree. In this chapter we discuss three aspects of doing a professional doctorate/insider research: Managing the process of research and writing; Interpersonal relationships and research at work; Developing criticality in the context of workplace mission.

Item Type: Book Section
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Education
Depositing User: Pat Drake
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 19:10
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2012 12:38
📧 Request an update