Methodologies for Researching Cultural Diversity in Education

International Perspectives

Edited by Geri Smyth and Ninetta Santoro
November 2014
More details
  • Publisher
    Trentham Books
  • Published
    18th November 2014
  • ISBN 9781858565231
  • Language English
  • Pages 134 pp.
  • Size 6.125" x 9.5"
  • Images figures

As teachers, education policy makers and school managers seek to meet the needs of students from cultures and languages different from the dominant majority’s, research needs to reflect the perspectives of the students themselves and of their parents and teachers, while taking account of the broader socio-political context. This book brings together research conducted in Scotland, Australia, Canada, Norway, Italy, Ghana and Pakistan, which addresses the ethical conduct of education research in culturally and linguistically diverse contexts.

The relationship between researched and researcher is crucial, but it can be problematic when the researchers are from the dominant group and not the groups whose experiences they aspire to understand. These authors highlight the challenges of researching in culturally and ethnically diverse contexts, and describe innovative approaches such a mapping, shadowing and photography that give agency to the children who are being researched, rather than to the researchers.

The book is of interest to academics and to classroom teachers researching their own practice, and also to education students and social science researchers working in culturally diverse contexts.

"Woven through this unique and timely book is the proposition that research methodologies can no longer be seen as valid or appropriate in a vacuum. Instead, validity emerges from the complex process of negotiating relations of power, agency, and identity in specific contexts and with diverse actors. The original insights generated by the chapter authors in discussing their research attest to the important contribution this volume makes to our understanding of the nature of scientific inquiry."

Professor Emeritus Jim Cummins, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto

"This is a superb and timely book given the increasing ethnic and cultural diversity within society. It provides an excellent framework for researchers from the 'hegemonic mainstream' to examine and respond to the multiple dimensions of power evident when planning and conducting research involving participants from ethnic- and linguistic-minority backgrounds."

Professor Vini Lander, Faculty of Education, Edge Hill University, UK

"A fascinating collection of research about social justice in education. These chapters, based in a diversity of settings, show new ways of accessing and sharing the experiences of minority students and teachers that minimize distortion, are respectful, and actively empower."

Dr Terry Wrigley, Visiting Professor, Leeds Metropolitan University

1. Discursive shadowing as a methodological approach in a study of bilingual teachers by Joke Dewilde
2. Power and knowledge in research with immigrant teachers: Questioning the insider/outsider dichotomy by Clea Schmidt
3. Unsettling truths: Poststructural ethnography as a tool to trouble schooling by Kathryn Edgeworth
4 Being a socio-professional insider researcher in Pakistan: Possibilities and challenges for educational research by Saeeda Shah
5. Overcoming barriers in researching diversity by Geri Smyth
6. Researcher as cartographer: Mapping the experiences of culturally diverse research participants
7. Participatory action research in a high school drama club – a catalyst for change among English language learners in Canada by Antoinette Gagne and Stephanie Soto Gordon
8. Children’s agency in research – using photography by Giovanna Fassetta

Geri Smyth

Geri Smyth holds a Chair in Education at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland, where she is also Director of Research in the School of Education.

Ninetta Santoro

Ninetta Santoro has recently taken up a Chair in Education at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland, having previously been a Professor of Education and the Head of the School of Teacher Education at Charles Sturt University, Australia.