Stimulated Recall as a Focused Approach to Action and Thought Processes of Teachers


  • Roland Messmer Pädagogische Hochschule fhnw, Basel



stimulated recall, SRA, thought processes, reconstructive social research, documentary method, teacher education, professionalization, physical education, thinking and acting


The link between human thinking and action has received little attention by researchers. While actions are observable, thinking processes are hidden to them. When researchers ask individuals to explain their thinking processes associated with a specific action, they tend to adapt their preceding thinking processes to match the action, whether those processes are accurate or not. However, any study dealing explicitly with thinking processes has to cope with this problem. In this article I argue that Stimulated Recall Analysis (SRA) can offer a solution to this thorny methodological issue.

First, the practice of SRA is illustrated as an investigative approach in the context of reconstructive social research, using a concrete example from a previous study about action and thought processes of teachers. The practice of applying SRA to this example serves as a kind of methodological guide for future studies. In the subsequent discussion, it is suggested that SRA proved to be a suitable empirical method to detect the internal thought processes of teachers. This research approach thus demonstrates ways for didactic research to base its theories and assumptions on a sound empirical foundation.



Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Roland Messmer, Pädagogische Hochschule fhnw, Basel

Dr. phil. habil. Roland MESSMER (Jahrgang 1965) ist Professor für Sportdidaktik an der Pädagogischen Hochschule fhnw in Basel. Promotion in Pädagogik zur Wirksamkeit der Lehrer/innenbildung an der Universität Bern, Habilitation in Sportwissenschaften über Denk- und Handlungsmodi von Sportlehrpersonen an der Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg.

Forschungsschwerpunkte: Unterrichtsforschung (Sportunterricht), kasuistische Forschung und Fallarbeit, methodologische Fragen der qualitativen und hermeneutischen Forschung, Professionskompetenzen von Lehrpersonen.



How to Cite

Messmer, R. (2014). Stimulated Recall as a Focused Approach to Action and Thought Processes of Teachers. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 16(1).



Single Contributions