Thursday, June 23, 2011

Research pedagogy

Provoked by some discussions on the return journey from Belgium, I've been reflecting on the hidden pedagogy of research. In disciplines like education that are driven by professional activity, the application or impact of research is often a topic of conversation. But at the same time a lot of research (mine included) addresses itself to the ongoing construction of knowledge and theory, and pays less attention to direct application. In fact, in the research community, something as simple as an effective solution to an everyday problem can seem to be too trivial. Nonetheless it seems that even the more abstract or theoretically-orientated research has a hidden pedagogy in that it privileges particular ways of finding out, particular ways of seeing social actors and social institutions and in doing so holds up particular actions or activity as worthy of interest. This suggests that it may be fruitful to look for the implicit assumptions about what is worthwhile in the design of applied research.

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