Doing Qualitative Research as a Practitioner : Processes, Issues and Understandings
Doing qualitative research as a practitioner presents some interesting processes, issues and challenges that are the focus of this paper. The authors suggest that practitioners have something unique and different to offer qualitative research. They argue that practitioner researchers should be actively encouraged to engage in action research, thus making better use of their professional skills and abilities in the research process. The paper explores the nature of action research and how it fits within a qualitative research framework. It goes on to examine the different forms of practitioner research and situates action research as a particular type. Drawing on direct experience, the processes, issues and challenges for practitioner researchers engaged in action research are examined and an argument made for the use of “self-as-instrument” in this process. Whilst this concept is not new in qualitative research, it is suggested that practitioners use themselves in ways that are different from other qualitative researchers and, through this process, offer something unique and different to the process of research that should be nurtured and encouraged. This requires a different level of reflexivity and produces a different form of knowledge, potentially more useful for practice.