The focus of this unit is on conducting practitioner research to investigate professional practice and workplace issues that impact on that practice. This unit will investigate the history, traditions and philosophy of a range of theories of practice, especially as they apply in educational research and the development of professional practice. Content includes: theories of practice; history; traditions; philosophy; methodologies; research; application of a range of practitioner research theories and methodologies to professional practice and applied study. This unit will enable graduate researchers to explore and reflect on a range of theories of practice and related methodologies in order to determine the most appropriate paradigms and approaches within which to plan their thesis research. This will also contribute to the generation of new knowledge.

Unit details

Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Review and analyse the history, traditions and philosophy of relevant theories of practice;  
  2. Critically review, synthesise and evaluate relevant literature on theoretical frameworks and methodologies; and  
  3. Undertake systemic investigation and interrogation of key theories and methodologies employed by professionals to research their own practice.  


Assessment type Description Grade
ICT (Wiki, Web sites) Engage in critical reflection, analysis and evaluation of readings about theories of practice via online discussion forum; equivalent to 2500 words. 30%
Essay An authoritative rationale and plan for the theoretical framework and methodology selected for the conducting of the doctoral research; 5000 words. 70%

Required reading

Required text:

Practice theory, work and organisation: an introduction.
Nicolini, D. (2012).
Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Additional References: Kemmis, S.; McTaggart, R. & Nixon, R. (2014). The action research planner: doing critical participatory action research. Singapore: Springer. Gray, D.E., (2014) Doing Research in the Real World, 3rd Edition, London, SAGE Publications Ltd. Specific readings will be provided for each session, with the session presenters contributing selected readings. Presenters and graduate researchers in the unit of study are encouraged to share readings.

Where to next?

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