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MDL 4131: Methods of Teaching Language Arts Grades 4 to 6

Your CECH Library course guide to support MDL 4131.

What's a Practitioner Article?

There is a great deal of scholarship in the field of education and, as a result, a great deal of publications and writing to sift through. Knowing in advance the types of articles and writing you're looking for makes the research process simpler and more successful in the long run. Library search tools and Google Scholar contain both practitioner and research-based articles -- so what are they, and how do I tell them apart?

  • Practitioner articles appear in practitioner (trade) publications. Practitioner articles are written BY educators working in the field and sometimes by researchers, FOR educators working in the field. In general, practitioner articles:
    • Discuss and reflect on real classroom experiences
    • Share practical teaching tips and classroom ideas
    • Are written in conversational, professional tone and are short in length
  • Research-based articles only appear in scholarly, peer-reviewed journals. These articles can be qualitative (descriptive) or quantitative (based around numbers or data) and are written in a formulaic format and use scientific tone and terminology. Research-based articles are written BY scholar-researchers, FOR scholar-researchers.

Finding Practitioner Articles in a Database

The best way to search for practitioner journals in education when using article databases like the ones linked below is to limit your search on the initial search screen to trade publications.

trade publication limit in ebsco search interface

Search Within a Selected Practitioner Journal

The best ways to search for articles within a selected publication choose one (see below) and click search within this publication. Then add keywords (i.e. middle school AND language arts) to find articles related to your area of interest.

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