Troubling criticality #MyEdDModule

2014-07-20 15.27.25


Teaching #MyEdDModule – is making me think about research, teaching and writing in a slightly different way – I want to write a few posts about research activity that I might involve myself with over the next few months / years.

I like the idea of writing and publishing something that focusses on methodology, perhaps in an attempt to clarify my own stance which is not particularly well defined. Deliberately so. I have not signed up to a specific tradition. I do not need, want or intend to. But, it seems a good idea to at least clarify that apparent unwillingness to anchor myself in a tradition – other than what is bradly defined as qualitative or interpretative.  I am happy to make use of quantitative data given that this is in part is how people make sense of their world.

So – reading Martyn Hammersley – is proving to be interesting and entertaining. He’s a good writer. It’s not unlike sitting down to have a cup of coffee with someone and chatting. He’s troubling – unsettling a few of the securities about methodology I had not confronted before now, but he’s also opened up an area of interest that I might enjoy.

I like the idea of a paper around the theme of ‘Troubling Criticality’. Something that would allow me to explore, define and critique the complex meanings and practices embedded in the concept – a purview that will include the Frankfurt School as well as the more contemporary variations on this tradition. I am struck by Hammersley’s rejection of partisan scholarship. In most writers I would be inclined to gloss over this. But he is engaging to read and the thrust of his argument implies that it is possible to establish a more robust basis for qualitative research. I defend partisan interested scholarship as both desirable and inevitable. 

This connects to the #MyEdDModule not only because of my intention to focus on ‘Critical’ in the meaning intended by Frankfurt and those that came after but also because I want to work through the variations in meaning as a thematic thread that defines the module while encouraging participants to assume a number of different standpoints in an attempt to inhabit the epistemic frame of other research traditions. In this I have a notion of critique as to bring into crisis – with a specific interest in the research, policy and practice nexus.

Other possible titles that I might consider – as long as I can tie them into my overall career defining research themes: post-16 education, professionalism and quality.

The programme starts in September 2014, but #MyEdDModule is not until semester two in year two – ages away. But the team will work together throughout and so – in part I am thinking about how to cultivate a particular stance as a member of the team. A lot can change between now and then.


Hammersley, M. (2008). Questioning qualitative inquiry: Critical essays. London: Sage.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s