We cannot do this work without being who we are: Researching and experiencing academic selves

Publisher:
Palgrave Macmillan
Publication Type:
Chapter
Citation:
Constructing methodology for qualitative research: Researching education and social practices, 2016, pp. 105 - 122
Issue Date:
2016-09-01
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In this chapter we experiment with ways to speak our lives in the academy as we question what counts as research and what should and could be the work of researchers. As we do this we confirm the notion that we cannot do the work of research without being who we are. Our chapter emerges from a body of shared communication which seeps deeply into our lives — our work in education, our values, identities, histories, domesticities and professional and personal experiences. In assembling our chapter we use aesthetic methodologies of story and image to explore our thinking, feeling and manoeuvring through the expectations and requirements of academic life and the everyday happenings of being human. Researchers interested in the human experience have long been attracted to inquiry approaches that possess aesthetic qualities (Dewey, 1934; Eisner, 1997). Aesthetic representations and visual methodologies support inquiry and voice, and promote personal and professional connections to ways of knowing and to internal and tacit narratives. For us, these methodologies have opened doorways to deep experiences, thinking and reflection. Acknowledging and responding to our own and each other’s ways of knowing and living has created nurturing, reciprocal spaces of disclosure/exposure which we make public and invite others to share.
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