In this paper I argue that there is currently an orthodoxy in RT-PE that is unable, through its present epistemologies and methods, to make a major impact on curriculum practice. Three particular issues are highlighted as problematic: strategies for change adopted within the orthodoxy, who has the power to define and legitimate the research agenda, and an apolitical view of change. In presenting an alternative view of how we might close the research/practice gap in RT-PE, I suggest that researchers must develop more democratic approaches to working with teachers, for example along the lines of the teacher-as-researcher movement rather than on them. I also argue that in order to do this, we must develop more appropriate research epistemologies and methodologies. Finally, these two developments must be framed within a more sophisticated and systematically developed understanding of the social change process, and of the political nature of our attempts as educators to bring about change.
Request reprints from David Kirk, School of Education, Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria 3217, Australia.
D. Kirk was formerly with the University of Queensland.