I launched PEPRN in April 2010* through a post titled “Finding a starting point for teachers-as-researchers”. Since then, I’ve written hundreds of blogs over a twelve-year period and I’ve fluctuated in my productivity. I’ve recently gone through a lull – perhaps extended silence or hiatus would be better words – brought on by several things. Covid hasn’t helped but the sheer demands of writing a weekly blog simply took its toll and I stopped.
To be frank, the break was much needed, and it’s helped me focus on other things. It’s also allowed me to think though the next focus for the PEPRN.
The blog was launched under the title of The Physical Education Practitioner Research Network which was quickly abbreviated to PERPN (or PEP URN) for convenience. The idea, at the start, was to inspire the #physed community to engage with research and I think it did quite a good job over the years. It even featured on the curriculum, as required reading, on several physical education teacher education (or PETE) programmes. But it never really lived up to its billing as a network. It was me, writing for the community but it wasn’t a community space.
And that’s what I’d like to achieve.
To that end, I am proposing to relaunch PEPRN as a space where practitioner research can be published. There are, I know, hundreds (probably thousands) of undergraduate and masters research projects and dissertations, not to mention self-inquiring teachers doing practitioner research, that never reach the wider world. Some of this work is outstanding but, for very different reasons, it doesn’t get published. You think it should but there it simply isn’t possible. I’d like PEPRN to offer you that space.
I want to invite the #physed community to publish this outstanding work on PEPRN and I only have a few stipulations:
1. It must be practitioner-research (e.g., Action Research, Self-Study of Practice, Narrative Inquiry, Autoethnography).
2. The student or the teacher must be the first author.
3. If this is a student project, then the supervisor(s) must also be an author/authors and has/have responsible for peer review.
4. If this is a teacher piece, then the author(s) should obtain one response to their paper from another practicing teacher/academic. Preferably from another institution. This reflective piece should be no longer than 250 words and should consider the impact of this work on wider practice.
5. The blog can be no longer that 2000 words in total (this includes the reflection in point 4) including references (of which there can be no more than 10).
6. The blog must be written in a sympathetic way for the audience (use simple language where possible).
7. I will have final say over whether a blog gets published or not (but revisions will be request where possible). I really am seeking to publish only the very best work.
8. You need to provide me with the image (please send a link from the iStock photo essentials collection and I will download [I have an account]) and title for the blog (no longer than 10 words).
If this is of interest, then please contact me on A.J.B.Casey@lboro.ac.uk or DM me on Twitter @DrAshCasey. If you have any suggestions on how this might be improved, then please also give me a shout. My initial plan will be to publish blogs every two weeks so I can manage content (this may change but I want this to be manageable in the first instance).
This - the new PEPRN - feels like a good idea to me, but I’ve had these before and they haven’t always gone to plan. So please shout out if you think this is a mistake or poorly considered – I am sure I will thank you in the long run.