ERIC Number: EJ783384
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Reference Count: 16
Response to Comments: Practical Wisdom in the Service of Professional Practice
Shulman, Lee S.
Educational Researcher, v36 n9 p560-563 2007
In a response to comments by Rodney Evans on an earlier "Educational Researcher" (ER) article that the author cowrote with three colleagues at The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, the author shows that Evans' critique is based largely on a misreading or misrepresentation of their argument, its rationale, and associated proposals. The critique employs a familiar set of rhetorical devices. Evans argues that their emphasis on the "wisdom of practice" is an insufficient, overly narrow, conservative, and ultimately regressive basis for designing a doctoral program for educational leaders. Their work, he maintains, rests on a simplistic distinction between theory and practice. The author agrees with Evans that ideas of theory and practice are not truly separate, but he partly agrees that their integration or synthesis in the traditions of praxis constitutes a more solid basis for imagining new approaches to the doctorate in education. The author disagrees that taking seriously their emphasis on the wisdom of practice would lead to a perpetuation of robotic, conservative, and uncritical local and national education policies. The author states that there is an important distinction to be made between "existing practice," that is, what practitioners already do, and "wisdom of practice," which refers to the full range of practical arguments engaged by practitioners as they reason about and ultimately make judgments and decisions about situations they confront and actions they must take.
Descriptors: Theory Practice Relationship, Doctoral Programs, Educational Change, Teaching Experience, Educational Research, Teaching Methods, Rhetorical Criticism, Reader Response, Misconceptions, Cognitive Style
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A