Locating theory in research: opening a conversation

John Quay, Jennifer Bleazby, Steven A. Stolz, Maurizio Toscano, R. Scott Webster

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    This introductory chapter is specifically intended to support those newer to research, such as graduate researchers, by offering a propaedeutic - a teaching orientated introduction - to help scaffold a way into the multifaceted conversation about theory and research that unfolds in the chapters to come. For this reason, we have designed the first chapter around a series of analogies between researching and catering. It may appear incongruous to bring researching - which most would consider to be a highbrow and specialized enterprise - together with the seemingly commonplace, everyday task of catering a shared meal. However, this everydayness is valuable because it supports the notion of “‘carrying over’ - metapherein” (Arendt, 1978, p. 103) from something familiar to something seemingly more complex. The resulting juxtaposition assists in making visible what is commonly taken for granted. Positioning both researching and catering as inquiries, and drawing correspondences between them on this basis, supports improved comprehension of the nature of researching and specifically the place of theory in education research.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationTheory and Philosophy in Education Research
    Subtitle of host publicationMethodological Dialogues
    EditorsJohn Quay, Jennifer Bleazby, Steven A. Stolz, Maurizio Toscano, R. Scott Webster
    Place of PublicationLondon UK
    Number of pages22
    ISBN (Electronic)9781351176118
    ISBN (Print)9780815386018, 9780815386025
    Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2018


    • Philosophy of education
    • Educational theory
    • Education research methods

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