Research Diary: A Tool for Scaffolding

Marion Engin

Abstract


Diaries have long been seen as tools for reflection in learning languages, and learning about teaching. Despite this recognition of the importance of narratives in diary writing, little attention has been paid to the role of research diaries in the process of learning about research, and learning how to be a researcher. During the author’s own research into the construction of teaching knowledge by pre-service trainees, she became aware that her research diary was scaffolding her own construction of research knowledge. In this article the author discusses the role of a research diary based on a socio-cultural theory of learning. The diary acts as the expert other in the scaffolding of research knowledge by the novice researcher. The discussion of the nature of the scaffolding and the role of diary writing draws on examples from the author’s research diary written during her doctoral studies.

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