University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Exploratory Practice Module - Articles

Article 1

MLJAllwright, D. (2005). Developing principles for practitioner research: The case of exploratory practice. Modern Language Journal, 89(3), 353-66.

Exploratory Practice is “an approach to practitioner research that is devoted to understanding the quality of language classroom life” (p. 353). Read what Dick Allwright, founder of the Exploratory Practice framework, has to say about the importance of understanding critical issues in the language classroom rather than solving problems. Of particular interest are his descriptions of the seven guiding principles of Exploratory Practice (pp. 357 – 362). 

Article 2

Book Cover"Crane, C., Sadler, M., Ha, J. A., & Ojiambo, P. (2013). Beyond the methods course: Using exploratory practice for graduate student teacher development. In: H. W. Allen & H. Maxin (Eds.), Educating the future foreign language professoriate for the 21st century (pp. 107-27). Boston: Heinle.

Learning to teach is a complex, nonlinear process that involves a continuous exploration of individual beliefs and practices set against generalized knowledge, including theoretical understandings. Reflective practice, as much as it may be a slogan term in teacher education, is now considered an essential component for teacher professional development" (p. 108). In the Findings section of this chapter, the authors describe Exploratory Practice puzzles investigated by two college level foreign language instructors in detail. These EP puzzles were identified and examined as part of a research study involving a FL teacher support group. One significant finding of the study was the importance of community in reflective practice. "Collaboration and collegiality are essential ingredients for deeper awareness of classroom life" (p. 120). 

Article 3

MLJCrane, C. (2015). Exploratory practice in the FL teaching methods course: A case study of three graduate student instructors’ experiences. l2 Journal, 7(2), 1-23.

"Of the many reflective teaching models available, Exploratory Practice (EP) has gained in popularity among experienced teachers who seek to understand more fully their instructional practice and students' learning in a sustainable way...EP encourages both teachers and learners to develop understanding about classroom life through the act of puzzling (i.e., asking questions for the sake of learning), rather than through solving problems in the classroom" (p. 2). This article explains again the global principles of EP and provides three detailed examples of EP projects conducted at the classroom level. Pay particular attention to the various resources the teacher-researchers used to explore their puzzles, including student interviews, peer observations, surveys, and formal research articles. 

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Instructional Resource(s): 

  • Student

TELL Domain(s): 

  • Environment
  • Planning
  • Learning Tools