Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (TeLEd) research group
TeLEd Monthly Research Series

The Ontological Turn in Teacher Research

This exciting instance of the TeLEd Monthly Event Series will feature Jerry Rosiek, from the University of Oregon

Picture of Jerry Lee Rosiek
Jerry Lee Rosiek

Teachers conducting research on their own practice has developed over the last five decades from a curious interest of a few instructors to an international movement and an institutional norm in many higher education institutions, as well as primary and secondary schools.

One organizing purpose of this work has been an intent to elevate respect for teaching as a professional practice that requires specialization, continued improvement, and communities of publication and critique.

Ironically, it is the same focus on epistemology that has also underwritten the increasing policy emphasis on standardized assessments that narrow the range of teaching practice and threatens to deprofessionalize the work of teaching. Recent history suggests that further epistemic arguments will not resolve this tension.

This talk explores a recent ontological turn in research on teaching—a shift to a conception of teaching as producing not just knowledgeable students, but also and more importantly producing ontological relations in the world. Based in contemporary developments in the philosophy of science, this conception of teacher inquiry changes the purpose, practice, and politics of teacher research in promising ways.