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Researching Practices Across and Within Diverse Educational Sites: Onto-Epistemological Considerations (1st ed.)




2023


Susan Whatman, Jane Wilkinson, Mervi Kaukko, Gørill Warvik Vedeler, Levon Ellen Blue, and Kristin Elaine Reimer. Emerald Publishing Limited


Preface

This book explores what it is that we as educational researchers believe is our role in uncertain, risky times and, as a consequence, what promises we can keep to our students and communities. The book examines how what we do – our researching practices, their consequences, and how things ‘turn out’ in seemingly unpredictable ways (Kemmis & Grootenboer, 2008) – is related to how we set about to understand these practices. These are the onto-epistemological bases of action: doing by knowing and being.

The book achieves three critical tasks. Firstly, we examine how research approaches are enabled and/or constrained by what Kemmis et al. (2014) called ‘prefigured knowings’ from the theory of practice architectures, including how this leads to unquestioned researching practices. We suggest that an understanding of onto-epistemology assists in revealing these unquestioned practices by considering the connections between knowing, being, and doing research. Secondly, theoretical arguments and empirical examples of the site-based research practices from various cultural and intercultural contexts are provided in subsequent chapters, arising from action and reflection upon our research practices with particular groups of people. Lastly, a short, reflective chapter concludes the book, zooming in, as Nicolini (2012) would suggest, on the contributions to researching practices of an awareness or sensitivity to axio-onto-epistemology – ways of doing, being and knowing – and inviting the academy to respond. Taken together, the book seeks to trouble the taken-for-grantedness of research traditions by focussing on the practice architectures that enable and/or constrain the theory–method nexus of coming to know across culturally diverse and intercultural sites.

The chapters within this book present a dialectic between humans and practices, of humans in practices, and of humans and others in practices. It becomes dialectical when researchers return their interpretations of events to other key ‘knowers’ (participants or expert peers) for consensus or renegotiation. This dialectic between humans, others, and practices is required to transform cross-human and cultural misinterpretation into informed consciousness and future, socially just action (Lincoln & Guba, 2013).


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Researching Practices Across and Within Diverse Educational Sites
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