Teaching and Learning Research Literacies in Graduate Adult Education: Appreciative Inquiry into Practitioners' Ways of Writing

  • Dorothy A. Lander Saint Francis Xavier University


Graduate students in Canadian universities who conduct research with human subjects as part of the requirements for their degree must submit a research proposal to the University Research Ethics Board and receive approval on the basis of compliance with the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (1998). This reflexive account of teaching and learning research literacies is based on a participatory research activity that the author has used during graduate students' introduction to a research-based, self-directed graduate program in adult education delivered at a distance. For the purposes of this paper, "research literacies" refers to any research practices that culminate in the writing of a research thesis, taking into account the procedures for compliance with the Tri-Council Policy. The focus of the reflexive account is an experiential classroom innovation with multiple cohorts of graduate students (8-12 students each) in which the faculty advisor as the principal investigator involves the graduate students as research participants in appreciative inquiry into practitioners' ways of writing. This participatory research into practitioner and researcher literacies offers some implications for teaching and learning the ethics of representation throughout the research process up to and including publication.