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ERIC Number: EJ1134028
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Apr
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0311-6999
Valuing Epistemic Diversity in Educational Research: An Agenda for Improving Research Impact and Initial Teacher Education
Hayes, Debra; Doherty, Catherine
Australian Educational Researcher, v44 n2 p123-139 Apr 2017
Research in education draws upon a wide range of epistemological traditions due in part to the wide range of problems that are investigated. While this diversity might be considered a strength of the field, it also makes researchers who work within it vulnerable to being divided into those worth listening to and those who should be ignored by "end-users". These people and groups who are interested in the outcomes of educational research, such as policy makers and system providers, increasingly expect research findings to be accessible, and to inform questions of the "what works" variety. Under this imperative, research processes that elaborate the complexity of educational problems, and the provisional, partial and contingent nature of solutions, tend to be dismissed as unnecessarily complex and inaccessible. Epistemological diversity in educational research also presents challenges for inducting teacher education students into the profession. We outline some of these challenges in a discussion of epistemological diversity in research in education. We also describe differences in how research traditions construct educational problems. We argue that crossing epistemic boundaries is a necessary condition of the educational practices of teachers and of those preparing to join their ranks. We compare and contrast knowledge-producing processes in education and identify the repertoires of capabilities and habits of mind associated with different epistemologies or "angles". We suggest that the impact of educational research, including its contribution to teacher education programs, policy and public debate about issues in education, might be enhanced through a heuristic suite of four angles that are each understood to be necessary but not sufficient on their own. We provide a brief worked example of how such a heuristic might be applied to make sense of the diverse bodies of research regarding student engagement in school.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A