What Does Good Education Research Look Like? Situating a Field and Its Practices

By Lyn Yates | Go to book overview

10
Situating research practices

Assessing how particular research genres and contexts work is not the same task as deciding what research to do and how to go about it. Understanding how political decisions and policy interplays shape the arena does not make redundant the need for individual researchers or university departments or research organizations to work through what particular agendas they will pursue, what theories and purposes they will take up, and what will be adequate or appropriate methodology for a particular project or type of concern. The earlier chapters of this book attempt to draw attention to some of the likely effects and effectivity of pursuing research in particular ways in particular times and contexts. But researchers themselves contribute to the construction of who they are, and to the construction of 'what is good research?' by what they do, and by the way they take up the positionings available to them. In this final chapter, more final thoughts than a conclusion, I draw attention to some ways of using, locating, and thinking about what is missing in the type of discussion I have embarked on in the previous chapters.


Positioning research agendas and research careers

I am not a conventional academic, in a traditional sense. But I do suggest
that I am a contemporary academic, that is, an academic whose writing
is exemplary of the kind of work that is emerging within the current
conditions of the academy.

(Solomon 2000: 2)

Researchers in the field of education are diverse in their career paths. Some take a conventional disciplinary apprenticeship route. Indeed, they may continue to work in the discipline and department in which they began their apprenticeship (economics, for example, or psychol-

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