Mary Mooney, in conversation with Paul Gardiner, Director of Research (2016)
Associate Professor Mary Mooney is Deputy Dean – School of Education at Western Sydney University.
She was the recipient of the Drama Australia President’s Award in 2015.
Why is research so important to teacher practice?
Reflexive practice helps to grow a practitioner’s response to their own teaching so that it is always evolving and doesn’t stagnate. So we can all inquire into our own work using a research framework and research questions. Often when someone starts out on a research degree, I ask, ‘What questions do you want to think about your practice?’ ‘What interests you?’ There is a tendency for us to begin by asking questions that require a ‘yes/no’ answer regarding what we want to explore and critique. In pre-service teacher education we begin this reflexive approach by asking, ‘How are you going to evaluate your lesson?’ ‘What are some of the reflexive practices to do this?’. This can be the start of a reflexive journey of making complex observations of learning interactions and analysing them. And to do this a dialogic approach is best, either in a teaching context or a research context. This is the practice of a reflective practitioner adopting an inquiry approach to teaching.
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