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Characterising Research in Education: Troubling Characteristics and Caricature

Abstract

This chapter introduces the contributions to the Companion that focus on how research in education might be characterised and caricatured. It illustrates conversations, debates and alternatives about, for example, ‘the science of educational research’, why these might travel with us, and how they unfold and evolve both within and outside the education research community. If the experience of working with a Companion has more than rhetorical resonance with the notion of ‘breaking bread with another’, then a certain intimacy, symbolic sensitivity and explicitness with key themes must be exemplified in its pages. While to extend our core metaphor for the volume, perhaps we can liken this Part as prompting reflection on the notion of ‘companion planting’: of ideas, qualities and themes that might enhance opportunities for growth, cross pollination, and protection of the other from ‘pests’ or disease. Throughout, contributions engage, what is the character and characteristics of our practice and discourse, and does it matter if particular ‘characters’ come to dominate our thinking, or retire from view? Put otherwise, how might a polyculture rather than monoculture of thinking about researching education be maintained and developed, and is that to be preferred and exemplified in our discourse, or must it take on, even stick with, a characteristic form?

Keywords

  • The character of educational research
  • Caricature
  • Scientific educational research
  • Epistemic community
  • Metaphor and imagination in research

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Correspondence to Alan D. Reid .

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© 2014 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht

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Reid, A.D. (2014). Characterising Research in Education: Troubling Characteristics and Caricature. In: Reid, A., Hart, E., Peters, M. (eds) A Companion to Research in Education. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6809-3_15

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