The emergence of open-logic sense-making: A practitioner-researcher’s experience of openness and criticality.
KeywordsLB2300 Higher Education
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AbstractThis chapter began as a paper presented at the 2014 Value and Virtue in Practice-Based Research conference, whose theme was ‘Openness and Criticality: Evaluating and Publishing Our Research’. Turning the paper into a chapter has made me reflect on my own experience of openness and criticality as a practitioner-researcher, and how these have become core values for me. This exploration into my values became especially significant during my doctoral (EdD) research (Rand, 2011) where I explored the nature of the then-dominant epistemological traditions of initial teacher education within the English post-compulsory education and training sector. It helped me develop my interest in the discourses of what had emerged, in my view, as an unhelpful opposition, or polarity, between knowledge and skills in the sector. Because my research was practice-based – that is, understandings developed both from practice and for practice – I chose an action-oriented approach. I also wanted to find out how those who were new to teaching in the sector thought about knowledge and knowing. I therefore needed a reflexive methodology that would help me theorise my practice: as a teacher in the sector, a teacher-educator in the sector and a practitioner-researcher. I put constructivist grounded theory and action learning together, and found them to be powerfully overlapping fields of practice (see Rand, 2013). In this chapter, therefore, I reflect on my research experience and propose that a mutually reciprocal theory-practice research methodology can create a space for a form of sense-making that Soja (1996: 60) calls ‘open logic’ – that is, a way of thinking that recognises multiple truths; a ‘both/and also’ alternative to the closed logic of ‘either/or’. In my view, this type of theory-practice methodological choice can provide a means through which openness and criticality can become a core aspect of the practitioner-researcher’s practice.
Rand, Jane (2016) The emergence of open-logic sense-making: A practitioner-researcher’s experience of openness and criticality. In: McNiff, Jean, (ed.) Values and Virtues in Higher Education Research. Critical Perspectives. 1st ed. London, Routledge