Labaree, D. F. (2003). The Peculiar Problems of Preparing Educational Researchers, Educational Researchers 32(4), 13–22.
Labaree explores how the practice of teaching, and teaching skills translate, can be developed into skills for educational researchers and how there are similar characteristics, especially the academic skills, between teachers and educational researchers. He gives strategies for filling the gap between the two when doctoral students pursue their degree. He compares and contrasts the two, including the commonality of academic discipline, discussing the cultural divide between researchers and teachers, and specifically the need for researchers to expand greatly, their world view, whereas teachers alone are limited to the subject matter, modes of delivery, and level of students which they teach. The researcher is unbridled by these limitations. He also compares how researchers in areas of knowledge such the social sciences, medicine and engineering differ from how educational researchers have to approach their subject as they utilize their analytical, theoretical and intellectual skills.
Since researchers are responsible for constructing new knowledge, and teachers are focused on knowledge dissemination, we see the common threads and the overlap between the two, especially since many teachers, once having achieved their doctoral degrees, become researchers. Since the teachers are steeped in the business of education, they naturally can relate to the topic of educational research. Teachers, regardless of the level which they instruct, have to have intimate knowledge of the educational process, therefore they are researching every day that they teach. It almost becomes a instance of the chicken-or-the-egg problem, in which, teachers need to research their subject matter in order to effectively evolve, common knowledge and literacy of the student, and as a researcher, we must push the envelope of existing knowledge and break out new knowledge, of which will become that which is taught.
This article gives ammunition to the student of Educational Technology, in that it outlines various ways to transition from teacher to educational researcher. However, it may also help with forming a cyclical process of going from teacher to educational researcher to teacher, etc. It doesn’t matter what subject matter a doctoral student of educational technology will eventually be involved with, but the process of researching will be ingrained in the subject matter expert, such as Business, or Biology, or Computer Science. The information contained in this article will also help the student of learning science with strategies to both quantitatively and qualitatively analyze the field of education from within and without, in order to be a more effective instructor.