Though I have not discussed here the relative importance of the values and processes noted above, it is nevertheless possible to see how, overall, this infrastucturing of research within practice over time produced identifiable and powerful outcomes (Herrington, 2007):
Two comments are needed here: first, I do not want to suggest that ‘infrastructuring’ in this way was a smooth, onward and upward process. On the contrary, I found myself in some uncomfortable positions. For example, I was highly critical of existing narratives about dyslexia (both the deficit paradigm and the refusal to consider it at all) and wanted to construct one which was congruent with my experience of dyslexic learners. This was not particularly welcomed by my peers.
Second, this is not the only way of constructing a longitudinal profile - other lives will produce other trajectories. Only when many practitioners see the significance of bringing these living theories together will a general theory of longitudinality emerge. However this one example both invites other practitioners to re-construct their own approach and also to plan their own infrastructuring in an ex ante fashion - constructing the future. This is clearly a rich area for future research.
The challenge to articulate the experience of RIP and to build the intellectual and policy case for it, is still a serious one. There is a remaining danger from the continuing separation of research and practice and the low valuation of practitioner generated knowledge. One obvious solution is a radical change in how practitioners' roles are conceptualised. If RIP (both individual and collegial) is built into all practitioner roles, we can move beyond the practice of avoiding research, or of focusing simply on one-off pieces or collections of work. We can instead explicitly recognise that making knowledge as an ongoing part of the everyday. Such a re-conceptualisation suggests a coherent mechanism for long term professional development at a time when such is still not well conceptualised in the field. It also carries clear implications for the teacher education curricula and for ongoing staff development. It offers a serious opportunity for practitioners to be sufficiently confident to challenge inappropriate models of literacy and to check the flaws in both new and existing policy.
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