Reflecting on messy practice: action research on peer review of teaching

Agnes Bosanquet, Rod Lane

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In this chapter, we offer a glimpse behind the scenes of higher education scholarship in action. We reflect on the unanticipated complexities of a participatory action research project on the peer review of teaching in a university context. Our aim was to promote a culture of ongoing reflection that would lead to quality enhancements in learning, teaching, and curriculum practices. Instead, this was one of the most fraught teaching development and research projects in which we been involved, in over thirty years combined working, researching, and teaching in higher education. Documenting our reflective practice offers a way of working through the complex and messy ethical, theoretical, practical, and affective challenges of this research and teaching development project. We share our learning about the risks and complexities of ‘insider research’ or researching within our own institution. This chapter has provided an opportunity to reflect on our assumptions, values, integrity, and ethical positioning–in other words, to explore questions of researcher reflexivity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCritical reflection on research in teaching and learning
EditorsNancy E. Fenton, Whitney Ross
Place of PublicationLeiden ; Boston
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9789004436657
ISBN (Print)9789004436640, 9789004436633
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameCritical Issues in the Future of Learning and Teaching
ISSN (Electronic)2542-5721


  • peer review of teaching
  • participatory action research
  • reflection
  • researcher reflexivity


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