Teachers’ and school leaders’ understandings of their mission to integrate practice-based research in school

challenges and opportunities.

Document identifier: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-77150
Keyword: Social Sciences, Educational Sciences, Pedagogy, Samhällsvetenskap, Utbildningsvetenskap, Pedagogik, Education
Publication year: 2018
Relevant Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
SDG 4 Quality educationSDG 16 Peace, justice and strong institutionsSDG 11 Sustainable cities and communities
The SDG label(s) above have been assigned by OSDG.ai


Research topic/aim

Over time, states undertake various education policies reforms to govern the development of education. The issue of practice-based research in teacher and school practice in Sweden may be seen as such an example. The Swedish Education Act states, “Education should be based on research and proven experience”. The change to a research-based way of working imposes great challenges on both teachers, school leaders and on non-academic organisations like municipalities to handle.


The aim of this study is to create an understanding of teachers’ and school leaders’ understandings of the mission of integrating practice-based research into the school, their concrete work with the question, perceived challenges and opportunities as well as the support they need in order to fulfill their mission.


Theoretical framework

The theoretical framework is based on policy enactment and policy implementation, relating it to a school development perspective.


Methodological design

The study is performed at a municipality in Sweden, who enacted initiatives to promote the integration of practice-based research into schools. Participants of the study were teachers and school leaders from pre-school, compulsory and non-compulsory school. Surveys were used to grasp the participants’ understandings and work with the mission of integrating practice-based research into the school.


Expected conclusions/findings

The preliminary findings are that the participants experienced the mission to integrate practice-based research as a somewhat complex and ambiguous task that is difficult to master and enact in their practice. However, they also perceived that there are opportunities connected to the mission, which relate to school development. The participants also highlighted the importance of support in carrying out the mission. The support related to, for example, their need for developing their knowledge about practice-based research and also receiving supervision in their practical work as teachers or school leaders working with practice-based research.


Relevance to Nordic educational research

In the Nordic countries, there is an increasing interest for practice-based research in schools, which aims for developing schools through implementing research results and also producing practice-based research. Therefore, our study in Sweden represents an interesting example on different dilemmas and opportunities, based on teachers’ and school leaders’ experiences of integrating research in schools, that can inform other research and developent projects in Nordic countries and internationally.


Ulrika Bergmark

Luleå tekniska universitet; Pedagogik, språk och Ämnesdidaktik
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Kristina Hansson

Head of Research and Deveopment, Piteå Municipality
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