Monday, July 12, 2010

PL 44/10: Reconceptualist research

Filed under: research — plinius @ 11:35 am

A week ago I wrote about a new digital journal from Oslo University College.

Reconceptualizing Educational Research Methodology – or RERM – wants to challenge researchers that just collects information, performs analysis and presents findings.

  • By questioning such practices and acknowledging theorized complexity, a reconceptualized methodology makes room for other kinds of writing, and other ways of getting or constructing ‘data’ and research materials.
  • It also devises new ways of working with these as self-critical processes of analyzing, interpreting, critiquing or deconstructing.

A rather similar journal has just just been launched in Australia.

Post-colonial studies

International Research in Early Childhood Education – or IRECE:

argues against theoretical reductionism and seeks to foreground the tapestry of concepts which together create a cultural-historical theory of learning and development.

Like RERM, this journal also wants to make visible those methodologies and research agendas which have traditionally been silenced.

The new journal seems inspired by post-colonial studies, since it seeks

  • to foreground research methodologies and research contexts that sit outside of rich minority countries.
  • For too long, research interests, contexts and genres have been dominated by what researchers from rich minority countries have valued.

The first issue

  • begins with the valued work of scholars from Australia and concludes with research from Norway.

The editors believe that

  • new ways of thinking not yet imagined within the field of early childhood education will emerge …
  • through the insights gained through a broader representation of the global research community.

Yelling at the middle

Both journals seek to challenge established research by starting their own – rather separate – theoretical and conceptual discussions. I suspect Amos Hatch (2000) is right when he says:

  • We have our own meetings, put chapters in each other’s books, and generally celebrate being excluded from the mainstream.
  • Reconceptualists seem to be applying a change model that relies on standing on the fringe and yelling at the middle.
  • Ordinary early childhood teachers and mainstream early childhood researchers pay little or no attention to the critique.

Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood. Volume 1 Number 2 2000


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