Professional Praxis Community in a Dialogical Perspective: Towards the Application of Bakhtinian Categories in the Documentary Method

Sławomir Krzychała


In studies of professional praxis and learning communities, the dominant focus has been placed on the analysis of cooperative interactions and the establishment of common goals. I propose adopting the broader BAKHTINIAN perspective of dialogue as a category of analysis for sociocultural practices in professional communities, considering the multilevel (polyphonic) references of such practices to individual and collective experiences. In this methodological inquiry, I obtained examples from research conducted with teachers engaged in a school tutoring program aimed at developing new forms of individualized education (Wrocław/Poland, 2008-2016).

I discuss the applicability of BAKHTINIAN categories—such as dialogue, the polyphony of voices, and double-voiced discourse—within the documentary method and the methodological adequacy of documentary interpretation for reproducing the epistemological structure of the dialogic object of the study. As a result, I identify three levels of the reconstruction of dialogical meaning in the documentary method: 1. the direct reflection of polyphonic voices, 2. the reflection of reflections of meanings, including meanings reconstructed theoretically by the researchers, and 3. the overlapping of meanings (double voices). This interpretative structure does not reduce the dialogic meaning to situationally limited interactions and reveals the totality of polyphonic understanding within the activity (experience sense).


professional praxis community; teachers, pragmatic knowledge; experience sense; dialogic meaning; polyphony of voices; sociogenesis, documentary method

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