EDEV_504 Week 9_6

As a resident in Japan, I can see a cultural resemblance between the perceived need to improve Chinese students’ abilities in critical thinking and what is often said In Japan. However, I’d like to ask you about another point you made. The first sentence of your last paragraph jumped out at me;

“A great number of literature reviews will underpin the research by providing stronger propositional knowledge to answer the inquiry” (Liu, 2016).

I’m interested in how you will use the information a literature review delivers (actually, I prefer the term ‘literature engagement’, but that’s another matter). Our doctoral journey will end with the creation of new knowledge. How does this new knowledge fit in with the four-part typology of knowledge given by Fox, Martin and Green (2007)? Are these four forms of professional knowledge necessary and sufficient, or do other types exist? To partially answer that question briefly, we need to note that Fox et al. (2007) present “practice-based questions” (p. 26) that imply that all knowledge is ultimately able to be expressed verbally, yet in Dreyfus and Dreyfus’ (2005) model of expertise, top-level experts do not think about what they do and have forgotten the minutiae of the rules they learnt previously. I’m extremely sceptical of the Dreyfus’s model, but the point remains that the literature does contain numerous models of knowledge. Another such model is from Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995) who describe how tacit and explicit knowledge is transformed into four categories of socialisation, externalisation, internalisation and combination.

A related question is to ask how Fox et al. (2007) derived these four types of knowledge: by purely theoretical means, or through observation, or by some kind of quasi-experimental model, or something else? Whichever method used, there will be implications about the nature of the evidence and of the knowledge created by that evidence. Moreover, a more productive question opens up; Is it more productive for knowledge creation to compile a list of all existing theories of knowledge or to take a scalpel to a few and really dissect the differences? Indeed, does this question have a different answer when the perspective is changed from an academic researcher to a practitioner researcher? What do you think?


Dreyfus, H. L., Dreyfus, S. E., & Dreyfus, S. E. (2005). Expertise in Real World Contexts. Organization Studies, 26(5), 779–792. http://doi.org/10.1177/0170840605053102

Fox, M., Martin, P., & Green, G. (2007). Doing Practitioner Research. http://doi.org/10.4135/9781849208994

Lui, L. (2016, March 6). RE: Pursing practitioner research [Online discussion post]. Retrieved from https://my.ohecampus.com/lens/home?locale=en_us#

Nonaka, I., & Takeuchi, H. (1995). The Knowledge-Creating Company: How Japanese Companies Create the Dynamics of Innovation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

About theCaledonian

Scot living in north Japan teaching at a national university.
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