Advancing an Epistemology of Practice for Research in Self-Study of Teacher Education Practices

Living reference work entry
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE)


Our goal in this chapter is to advance the claim that our understanding of teacher educators’ learning from the experience of practice (self-study) can be enriched considerably by adding a second epistemology, an epistemology of practice, that complements the traditional epistemology of the university. Self-study research will benefit considerably from a methodology for verification of knowledge that is learned from experience and for connecting such knowledge to the propositional knowledge embraced by the university. As teacher educators who study our own practices, we believe that the theory-practice tension cannot and will not be resolved until teacher educators recognize the potential of an epistemology of practice and act accordingly. Then self-study reports can consider and explore not only the espoused background and conceptual analysis of their teaching but also the unique nature of their theories-in-use and their learning from experience. If a preservice teacher education program has not identified, addressed, and nurtured the unique features of learning from experience, particularly in the practicum, then most new teachers and teacher educators are unlikely to develop on their own the skills of verifying what is being learned from experience and then linking it to theory. As teacher educators study their own practices, we urge them to incorporate the insights to be gained from an epistemology of practice.


Epistemology Craft knowledge Reflective practice Learning from experience Authority of experience Voice Metacognition Complexity 



Research funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada helped us to generate elements of this argument.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EducationQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada

Section editors and affiliations

  • Julian Kitchen
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of EducationBrock UniversityOntarioCanada

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