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Douglas Macbeth

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Faculty Emeritus, Department of Educational Studies

Program Area: Philosophy and History of Education

Personal Website


Douglas Macbeth is an associate professor in the Department of Educational Studies. He teaches qualitative research and classroom discourse studies through the analysis of natural conversation, and studies structures interaction, discourse and instruction in classrooms and other venues. His work takes special interest in instruction and novitiate instruction, as natural language tasks of teaching those who genuinely do not know their curriculum. His work appears in educational and interdisciplinary conferences and journals.


  • PhD, Education, University of California, 1987
  • MA, Education, University of California, 1977
  • BA, Political Science, UCLA, 1970

Research Interests

Selected Publications

  1. Studies of work, instructed action, and the promise of granularity: A commentary. (2014) Discourse Studies. Special Issue on the Body in Medical Work and Medical Training.  16:2.  295–308. [Editor 
  2. Some notes on the sociology of sequential analysis.  Plenary. Presented to the Language and Social Interaction Working Group (LANSI). Teachers College, New York. (2013)
  3. Some notes on the praxeology of ‘Epistemics’. Presented to the Language and Social Interaction Working Group (LANSI). Teachers College, New York. (2014)
  4. Understanding Understanding as an Instructional Matter. (2010). Journal of Pragmatics. Special issue on "Understanding Understanding". 43. 438-451
  5. The relevance of repair for classroom correction. (2004) Language in Society. 33:5. 703-736
  6. Learning Lessons reconsidered:  On the differences between the naturalistic and critical analysis of classroom discourse. (2003) American Educational Research Journal. 40:1. 239-280.
  7. On "reflexivity" in qualitative research: Two readings, and a third. (2001). Qualitative Inquiry. 7:1. 35-68.
  8. On an actual apparatus for conceptual change. (2000) Science Education. 84. 228-264.
  9. The discovery of situated worlds: Analytic commitments, or moral orders? (1996) Human Studies. 19:3. 267-287.
  10. Classroom encounters with the unspeakable: “Do you see Danelle?”  (1994) Discourse Processes. 17:2. 311-335.
  11. Teacher authority as practical action. (1991) Linguistics and Education. 3:4. 281-313.