Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Publication Title

Enacting Self-Study as Methodology for Professional Inquiry




Four years after the first Castle Conference, Cole and Knowles (1998) wrote of teacher educator concerns in conducting self-study research: "Concerns about institutional responses to self-study mainly are rooted in issues associated with tenure and promotion ... " (p. 225). The publication of Studying Teacher Education and increased acceptance of self-study research in teacher education journals provide an avenue for self-study researchers to publish in respected, refereed journals. Questions of self-study's validity, rigor, and trustworthiness have a long history (e.g., Bullough & Pinnegar, 2001). However, questions remain around the acceptance of self-study research among tenure and promotion committees. Institutional context certainly plays a significant factor in whether or not self-study research is an accepted form of qualitative research. Conversations with fellow S-STEP members point to a wide range of support for self-study work. However, at my institution, self-study research has not fit within the norm of what is considered mainstream research. Historically, quantitative research has dominated the college of education. Qualitative research has only recently appeared in a significant manner, mostly conducted by junior faculty. This reality complicates the promotion and tenure process, as many of those faculty working toward tenure use what might be deemed as "emerging methods" while evaluated by senior faculty who predominately conduct quantitative research and whose epistemological stances are echoed in statements to doctoral students (through dissertation work) and junior faculty (through evaluations) as to what is valued as scholarship. It is within that context this chapter takes place. As a faculty member who went through pre-tenure review in 2013-2014, I sought to answer the following question: What are the experiences of a self-study researcher in the third-year, pre-tenure review process?


Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.


0000-0002-8794-5183 (Butler)

Original Publication Citation

Butler, B. (2016). Navigating the pre-tenure review process: Experiences of a self-study researcher. In D. Garbett & A. Ovens (Eds.), Enacting self-study as methodology for professional inquiry (pp. 241-247). Herstmonceux, UK.