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Transforming a practice-based problem into research questions

Marie Björk (Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden)

International Journal for Lesson and Learning Studies

ISSN: 2046-8253

Article publication date: 5 June 2019

Issue publication date: 25 June 2019




This paper describes and discusses aspects that affect research questions in a practice-based research study, where learning study is used as a framework. The purpose of this paper is to contribute to understanding of the process where teachers and a researcher collaborate in transforming practical teaching problems into research questions.


A case study is conducted. Data consist of field notes, logbooks, manuscripts and conference papers from two learning studies conducted in grade 4 by three teachers and one researcher, and notes from meetings in a subject-teacher group at the school. The analysis focuses on how the research questions emerge and change in relation to discussions among teachers and in the research group of teaching, previous research and learning theory.


Questions about students’ discernment of the structure in the base-ten system emerged in learning study 1 and in the subject-teacher group. Discussions of previous research and the didactical theory learning activity transformed the research questions in learning study 2, into focusing students’ theoretical knowledge, examining general structures in the base system, using learning models as tools. Conditions for identification of specific teaching problems and alternative theory in a learning study are discussed.


The explicit example where research questions are transformed can be used in further discussions and methodological questions regarding formulation of research questions in educational research. Discussions, specifically of transforming research questions, when learning study is used may be promoted.



The author would like to thank Åsa Nikula, Paul Stensland and Anna Stridfält for their valuable contributions in learning study 2 where the research questions were finally established.


Björk, M. (2019), "Transforming a practice-based problem into research questions", International Journal for Lesson and Learning Studies, Vol. 8 No. 3, pp. 244-255.



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