Professor Peter Grootenboer

Professor Peter Grootenboer (Photo credit: University of Gothenburg)

Professor Peter Grootenboer, a leading scholar in practice theory and action research and Acting Director of the Griffith Institute for Educational Research, has been awarded an honorary doctorate from the Faculty of Education at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

The University of Gothenburg awarded Professor Grootenboer because of his ‘innovative work using the theory of practice architectures in research projects to improve teaching in schools’ and for his close links with the university that has included project with other research scholars and doctoral candidates at the Faculty of Education.

Professor Grootenboer describes his work with Professor Karin Rönnerman and her colleagues as being focused on the ‘happingness’ of education as it unfolds over time and across space.

This requires an ontological approach that centres on the practices of education, and gives primacy to the site of learning where students meet the curriculum. This sees teachers as the key educational professionals, because it is largely their practices that enable and constrain the learning of students. Therefore, action research is used to facilitate and support the continuous development of learning and teaching in response to the local conditions, arrangements and needs.

A critical aspect of his research involves collaborations between researchers and teachers

Involving teachers as integral participants in research and development projects is critical. This ameliorates the often cited ‘theory-practice gap’. In essence, education is site-based and so there is no ‘best practice’ that is universally successful. Teaching practice needs to be understood and developed locally, and this can be achieved through collaborative action research.

Professor Grootenboer expressed what a privilege and honour it was to be awarded this honorary doctorate from the University of Gothenburg. He hopes to continue his joint research with colleagues from the Faculty of Education.

Congratulations Professor Grootenboer.

Read full story at the University of Gothenburg, Faculty of Education news page.