‘Field’ Trips with Bourdieu: Making Sense as Research Methodology in Teacher Education
Dr. Kathleen Nolan, Dr. Jennifer Tupper
How do researchers select and work with/in theoretical frameworks in their qualitative research studies? What processes are involved in coming to understand a theory and its connections to educational practices? In this paper, two teacher educators and researchers describe how they lived out these questions through a collaborative approach to reading and understanding Bourdieu's social field theory. Through regular meetings (or, field trips) the two researchers worked through a myriad of overlapping and intersecting issues, taking them on a methodological journey of discussions on the accessibility of theoretical language, the multiple readings and interpretations of Bourdieu's key concepts, and, ultimately, how meaning is made through the specific practices of social studies and mathematics teacher education. In proposing a methodology of making sense, this paper provides insight into the complex relationships between theoretical perspectives, qualitative research methodologies, and teacher education research.
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