This chapter marks the beginning of Part III of this book. The title of the first Chapter in this Part (Chapter 7) is 'Getting started' and readers may well want to begin here, turning to the earlier chapters later on. Alternatively, they may want to turn first to the chapters dealing with empowerment, getting knowledge, or reflexivity. The book has been written to make it easy to read in the order which suits the individual reader. A book is bound by the publishers so that some chapters come before others, but it can be read in any order. The more theoretical part happens to come first, but it is only very rarely that theoretical issues need to be sorted and solved before research can get started. Nor is it desirable that either is treated as prior. I say more about the usual stages of research in Chapter 7.
There could be several reasons for readers wanting to read Part III before they read Part II. Perhaps they are beginners. Perhaps they think they find abstract theory too difficult, or boring - or simply have not yet seen its relevance. People doing research are very different in their attitudes to the abstractions found in books on research. For some of them it is precisely this that attracts them to research. Others just want to get on with doing their investigations and need to be convinced of the relevance of abstractions. Yet others have an interest, but they lack confidence in their ability to handle what seems, from the outside, to be off-puttingly difficult. Others love the brain-stretching involved, but need to be convinced that it is actually relevant to the job in hand.
The kind of language I use is somewhat different in Parts II and III. This is because the parts of the book focus on different spheres of activity in educational research. Some appear mundane (almost common sense) and some esoteric (difficult to explain to people not involved in research). Some are hands-on and busy, while others are reflective and considered. These spheres interlock: none of them survive by themselves very well. But each of them has a language - a characteristic vocabulary and a way of organizing discussions - which suits them. These different kinds of language of educational research