Dr Victoria Perselli speaks at ‘Into the Light: Practitioner Inquiry’ conference at the University of Edinburgh.

Victoria Perselli EdinburghThe aim of the conference was to raise awareness, raise the profile and consider the impact of practitioner inquiry.

On Friday 29th August2014, Victoria Perselli gave an invited plenary and workshop at the ‘Into the Light: Practitioner Inquiry’ conference at the School of Education, Moray House, University of Edinburgh.

Victoria’s presentation reflected on key issues in the process of demonstrating and evaluating impact in the context of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) and beyond. She considered the politics of the REF in terms of the sophistication and plurality of the examining body, the strategy of the university and its underlying ethos, and the necessity for transparency in terms of rules of engagement. Victoria argued for courage on the part of practitioner researchers in their authorship of REF-worthy outputs, together with a ‘broad church’ approach on the part of commissioning editors, if this and subsequent assessment systems are to avoid reproduction of a limited range of research methodologies, since alternative knowledge can only be generated through out-of-the-box thinking. She illustrated how systems and structures are generally helpful to writers, but they can also be damaging and constraining if focused on narrow interpretations of what might constitute research.

Conference participants included teachers, policy makers and academics from a broad spectrum of education sectors in Scotland. The keynote speakers were Marilyn Cochran-Smith (Boston College, USA), Pat Thomson (Editor, Educational Action Research) and Tom Hamilton (Director of Education and Professional Learning, General Teaching Council for Scotland).

Read more about the conference here.

Victoria Perselli is an associate professor in the School of Education, where she teaches and supervises masters and doctoral research students. Victoria is interested in the development of methodologies that facilitate trans-disciplinary and intercultural learning. Her publications included work on Marx, Lather, Barthes, performance methods and practice-as-research. Her current research focus is on the role played by theory in the social sciences, in particular where theory comes from in educational research from the perspectives of professionals in practice.