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Abstract

It is generally acknowledged that novice researchers may not be adequately prepared to engage in/with research and that an increasingly widening divide exists between researchers and teachers, and therefore between research and practice. To explore this gap, this paper addresses ten of the most popular misconceptions novice researchers hold in engaging in research about their practice, and offers advice to these researchers towards teacher research engagement. Amongst the issues I describe are the various forms of research, the relationship between research and reflective or exploratory practice, issues pertaining to sampling, methods of data collection, research site access and the juxtaposition between the methodological and ethical issues in research designs. I first chart the top ten misconceptions in four areas: theoretical, methodological, ethical and practical. I illustrate those with numerous examples and situations of teachers as researchers’ genuine attempts to research their practice. Throughout, I also offer strategies which could help novice researchers to recognize and overcome those challenges. Because of its treatment of core issues pertaining to research originating from the grassroots and the author’s experience as opposed to a literature study/review, the paper should be of primary interest and relevance to young researchers who engage in/with research, and to educators who are tasked with preparing the young teachers of the future.

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