Producing knowledge for improvement: the 3A procedure as a tool for research on teaching and learning


  • Jan Slavík Vydavatelství Pedagogické fakulty Univerzity Karlovy v Praze, Česká republika
  • Tomáš Janík
  • Petr Najvar


The paper argues for a specific approach in research on (the quality of) the processes of teaching and learning. While different research methodologies are used to analyse static phenomena, in this paper an approach is proposed that concentrates on the processes that take place within the classroom, especially on the ways in which students develop their understanding and their competences through those instructional activities that have them work with the content (the content-focused approach). Specifically, the paper aims to introduce a research approach that has been developed as a response to some identified challenges of prevailing methods in research on teaching and learning. The 3A procedure is introduced as a specific research methodology for analysing real-life teaching and learning situations in the classroom (captured on video).

We start by noting some challenges that current research on teaching and learning is facing and indicate how these challenges are met in the proposed research approach. In the second part we briefly mention some of the well-known methodologies that provided inspirations in the development of the proposed approach. Then the 3A procedure is presented and briefly discussed. It consists in three distinct steps of (1) annotating, (2) analysing and (3) altering a particular teaching and learning situation. To illustrate the approach, an example is provided of an analysis of a genuine teaching and learning situation. In the discussion, we argue that the use of the proposed methodology can bring systematic, empirically grounded and theoretically argued knowledge that will contribute to the understanding of instructional quality. Such analyses also help in developing a shared language for describing and interpreting teaching. This kind of knowledge (pedagogical knowledge for improvement) – represented in the form of case studies – should become the ground for the building of a knowledge base for teaching and could be used when striving to improve teaching practices.



instructional quality, knowledge, conceptual-structure, teaching and learning situations, pedagogical knowledge, knowledge for improvement


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