Writing as Practice Inquiry

Towards a scholarship of practice


Gail Whiteford, Clare Wilding and Michael Curtin

In this chapter we explore reflective writing as a method of practice scholarship. Writing can be an effective way for practitioners to respond to the complex requirements of their everyday work within diverse practice contexts and within different practice architectures. Writing as a method of practice scholarship represents a significant development in reducing the perceived divide between theory, research evidence, and knowing-in-practice. It may also serve to strengthen the relationship between educators, researchers, and those working “in the field”, contributing to enhanced levels of knowledge co-production within disciplines. Using data generated from the Australian cohort of an international study of occupational therapists, we present two examples of writing about practice. These examples demonstrate how writing can act as a powerful tool for enquiring into the philosophical and conceptual underpinnings of taken-for-granted practices. Through engaging in such writing, we suggest that it is possible for practitioners not only to gain deeper insights into their everyday work and what it signifies more broadly, but also to provide a platform for practice transformation over time.