Applying Theory to Educational Research: An Introductory Approach with Case Studies
October 2011, ©2011
Offers an innovative and accessible approach to educational research by providing practical examples of the application of theory
Gives 'hands-on' accounts for the researcher and practitioner
Explains and discusses complex ideas in the light of experience in using and applying them
Covers the application of major theorists such as Bourdieu, Foucault, Weber, Derrida, and Vygotsky
For beginning researchers, theory can be one of the most stimulating – yet intellectually daunting – aspects of academic work. Applying Theory to Educational Research provides new educational researchers with a uniquely accessible introduction to the process of selecting and applying theories in their own work. Written by a team of leading educationalists writing from the perspective of new researchers, clearly structured chapters introduce individual theorists and their ideas, present their applications and limitations, and provide extensive references and suggestion for further reading. Major theorists such as Pierre Bourdieu, Michel Foucault, Max Weber, Jacques Derrida, and Lev Vygotsky are included, along with many more recent educational theorists. Throughout the text, helpful hints and signposts are provided to alert readers to the potential pitfalls of applying theory.
Innovative and illuminating, Applying Theory to Educational Research offers a wealth of practical insights that will point the way for novice researchers struggling to navigate an often daunting intellectual obstacle course.
Jeff Adams, Matt Cochrane and Linda Dunne
Part I New Voices: Beginning Researchers Apply Theory 11
1 Learning and Maintaining Professional Expertise Within a
Multi-Professional Critical Care Team 15
2 The 'Q' Standards and Initial Teacher Training: The Discursive
Formation of Teachers and their Trainers 31
3 Power and Status Theories in Teachers' Professional
4 The Process of Technology Learning: Applying Bruner's Theory
on Play, Discovery and Cultural Learning to the Acquisition of ICT
Part II Emergent Voices: Accounts by Researchers Becoming Familiar with the Use of Theory 75
5 Teachers' Professional Identity: Theoretical Perspectives on
Workplace Learning in the Teaching Context 81
6 Children's University Aspirations and the Effects of Cultural
and Social Capital 95
7 Finding Theory Through Collaborative Research 109
8 How Applying a Discourse-Based Approach to Investigate
Inclusion Changed a Research Project and a Way of Thinking
Part III Voices of Experience: Accounts by Researchers Versed in the Use of Theory 139
9 Should I be Singing This, and if So, How High?: Theoretical
Approaches to Boyhood and Masculinity 145
10 Theorizing from Bricolage: Researching Collaboration in Art
and Design Education 157
11 Constructivism and the Pedagogy of Teacher Education:
Reflections on Practice 175
12 Developing Professional Practice through Action Research:
Theory-Generative Approaches in Practitioner Research 189
13 Art Practice as Education Research 203
Jeff Adams, Matt Cochrane and Linda Dunne
Matt Cochrane is Senior Lecturer in Education at Edge Hill University. He is a co-author of Teaching Science (2009).
Linda Dunne is Senior Lecturer and Research Fellow at Edge Hill University. She is a member of the British Educational Research Council.
—Pat Sikes, Professor in Qualitative Inquiry, University of Sheffield, UK
Applying Theory to Educational Research offers a
theoretically informed and thoroughly readable text for beginner
researchers in the field of education. The book is grounded in the
authors’ own research interests through which concepts and
ideas of some of the key theorists in education are explored. A key
strength of the text is the way in which it makes difficult and
potentially daunting theoretical ideas and frameworks accessible.
This innovative and student-friendly text will be an invaluable
resource for all those new, and not so new, to the research process
in the field of education.
—Rosalyn George, Professor of Education and Equality, Goldsmiths University of London, UK
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