This article draws upon the work of two researchers who facilitated practitioner research with school professionals in Liverpool. The researchers themselves had not been involved in practitioner research before. In this account, the researchers reflect critically upon their own experience. The discussion presents the learning curve that the researchers underwent as well as what they discovered about the relationship between practitioners and researchers when engaged in school‐based research. Crucially the issue of practitioners’ understandings of what constituted ‘good’ research emerged as a significant issue. In particular, positivist notions of research that drew from popular scientific understandings, as well as the culture of numerical targeting in the schools system, seemed to shape these practitioners’ sense of what was expected of them as practitioner‐researchers. The article finishes by reflecting upon the possible lessons that this work presents for education managers considering practitioner research approaches for continuing professional development (CPD).
- action research, practitioner research, positivism, researcher reflection, CPD