Spring 2024 - EDUC 904 G034

Fieldwork III (5)

Class Number: 5534

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Location: TBA




To continue to foster an understanding of how Imaginative Education (IE) informs their practice, this course provides an introduction to practitioner inquiry. Within the context of the historical development of qualitative research methodologies in education, students will conduct inquiry projects in/on their individual teaching contexts and conditions to further integrate their on-going learning about IE with their lived experiences as educators. Students will engage with practitioner inquiry to support the development and refinement of their (re)search gaze and footing as teachers-as-(re)searchers as well as their practitioner gaze and footing as teachers-as-humans. Students will explore and apply ethical dimensions of practitioner inquiry, strategies of inquiry, and dissemination of practitioner inquiry. Students will also explore why (new) knowledge and practices gained through (re)search may or may not lead to lasting and meaningful educational change.

Meeting Dates:
January 12/13, 26/27
February 9/10, 23/24
March 8/9 and 22/23

Meeting Times:
Fridays: 4:30 - 9:00 pm
Saturdays: 8:30 - 4:00 pm

Additional Details:

We will continue to foster a “knowledge-building community” (Scardamalia, 2002), established in EDUC 823 with Dr. Judson and sustained in EDUC 816, by demonstrating respect for and of learning time, ideas and concepts, and each other. We will continue to aim for written and oral contributions which consistently demonstrate the following three principles:

  1. Learning is always a process; all ideas are “improvable”. Learning involves continuously working to improve the quality, coherence, and utility of ideas. Reflection and revision are part of learning.
  2. Epistemological diversity is required for a healthy learning ecosystem. Understanding one idea means understanding all of the ideas that relate to it, including opposing ideas. Depth of knowledge comes from understanding how one’s ideas are situated within a larger epistemological context. Members of a knowledge-building community have agency; they continually seek to understand the relationships between their own ideas and those of others. As agents, they acknowledge that points of epistemological harmony and discordance are opportunities for growth and change.
  3. Collaborative knowledge creation is as important as individual knowledge formation. Members of a knowledge-building community are actively involved in working with others, building on others’ ideas, disseminating ideas, and revealing interrelationships in knowledge and understanding.

From: Scardamalia, M. (2002) Collective cognitive responsibility for the advancement of knowledge. In B. Smith (Ed.), Liberal education in a knowledge society (pp.67-98). Chicago: Open Court.


Students will be invited to:

  • develop and interrogate their own (re)search and practitioner gaze/footing;
  • identify a (re)search focus, design a proposal, engage in fieldwork;
  • conduct a literature review and connect readings to fieldwork;
  • develop a disposition of inquiry & critical reflection (i.e., Ironic Understanding) to examine research practices and educational change processes;
  • engage in a personal inquiry into the nature of educational change.


  • Fieldwork proposal 30%
  • Fieldwork/self-evaluation 30%
  • Reflection on educational change 20%
  • Participation in on-going course activities 20%


  • Fieldwork Proposal—Prepare a description of the “tug on your sleeve” (Fels, 2012); the philosophic paradigm(s)/interpretive framework(s) which undergirds the inquiry; the intended strategy(ies) of inquiry (Wilson, 2008); and the intended “interpretive practice of making sense of one’s findings” (Denzin & Lincoln, 2023, p. 24). In other words, describe what calls you to attend; how you situate yourself as teacher-as-(re)searcher and why; how you will attend; how and why you intend to share your understandings. To buttress your proposal, you will include references to pertinent scholarly work (literature review).

  • Fieldwork/Self-evaluation—Implement your fieldwork proposal. There will be surprise, serendipity, and unforeseeable challenges as you conduct your fieldwork. Your assessment is not determined on whether your practitioner inquiry was objectively “successful.” Rather, our attention should be on how you recognize and (re)cognize crystallization (Richardson, 1994, p. 522) of your process—seeing and knowing anew a “deepened, complex, and thoroughly partial understanding of the topic”—and not the product. A self-evaluation of your fieldwork will help to illuminate and communicate the crystallization of your process.

  • Reflection on Educational Change—Educational research can be a catalyst for introducing new programs, practices, or procedures in schools and districts. However, we struggle to achieve enduring and meaningful change. Why? Why have there been so many changes and yet so little change in education? Your practitioner inquiry, our course readings, and your experiences and understanding of IE will help you to consider the nature of educational change at the individual level. Be prepared to respond to Fullan’s assertion, “Education for the future must produce, within the same person, the independent thinker and the collective citizen…In short, the meaning of educational change has evolved from discovering meaning to creating meaningfulness” (Fullan, 2001, p. 264). Some guiding questions—What ideas are you thinking with when it comes to educational change? What have you experienced in your own context and conditions which informs your understanding of educational change? Has IE been a catalyst for enduring and meaningful change in your own praxis or not? We will determine how to share this reflection as a group.

    Note: your next course will explore educational change at organizational/school and district levels.

  • On-going course activities—to be announced but will evoke and sustain providing/receiving peer feedback and support of your practitioner inquiry.


Fels, L. (2012). Collecting data through performative inquiry: A tug on the sleeve. Youth Theatre Journal26(1), 50–60.

Fullan M. (2001).  The new meaning of educational change. New York:  Teacher’s College Press. (3rd Ed.)

Denzin, N. K., Lincoln, Y. S., Giardina, M., Cannella, G.S. (2024). Introduction: The Discipline and Practice of Qualitative Research. In N. K. Denzin, Y. S. Lincoln, Giardina, M., Cannella, G.S. (Eds.), The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research (Sixth ed., pp. 1-27). Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications, Inc.

Richardson, L. (1994). Writing a Method of Inquiry. In N. Denzin, & Y. Lincoln (Eds.), Handbook of Qualitative Research (First ed., pp. 516-529). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publishing.

Wilson, S. (2008). Research Is Ceremony Indigenous Research Methods. Black Point, Nova Scotia, Canada: Fernwood Publishing.



Dana, N.F. & Yendol-Hoppey, D. (2019). The Reflective Educator's guide to Classroom research Learning to Teach and teaching to Learn Through Practitioner Inquiry (Fourth ed.). Corwin.

ISBN: 9781544352183

Fullan M. (2016). The NEW meaning of educational change (Fifth edition). New York:  Teacher’s College Press.

*selected chapters only; this text is available online via SFU’s library

Egan, K. (1997). The Educated Mind: How Cognitive Tools Shape Our Understanding. Chicago: University of   

         Chicago Press
ISBN: 0-226-19039-0


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Graduate Studies Notes:

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Registrar Notes:


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