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Musing Yesterday and Knowledge Tomorrow: Beyond Reflexive Accounts of Research Encounters
In this chapter, I reflect on the relationship between the personal values of researchers and their research, assuming that personal values play a key role in what researchers produce. This assumption is partly in line with suggestions that intrinsic factors, such as subject interest (Ramsden, 1994) and emotional engagement with the study (Sinclair, Barnacle, & Cuthbert, 2013), suggest links to research productivity. In recent years, the higher education sector has cultivated an ethos characterised by high research productivity both in quantity and quality. Although gaining wide acceptance, an austere commitment to such an ethos overplays the proliferation of research products: intense funding bids, high research output, and so on (see Roberts & Peters, 2008). The limited focus could understate the personal values that underpin the research practices of individuals – the researchers themselves. Underscoring the role of researchers, therefore, calls for reconsideration on researchers’ personal values in producing research.
In drawing attention to researchers’ roles, using my ethnographic project as an example, this chapter reflects on how the personal values of researchers impact on the research process in complex ways. It seeks to add to conversations on how researchers’ personal outlooks contribute to a project’s materialisation. First, I recount my personal experiences that underpinned my PhD. Then, I preview the key concepts of the phenomena in my research, segueing into a discussion of my method choices. Last, I describe how my research may be perceived and valued by those involved in it. Through these accounts, I argue that researchers’ personal values are not only a reflexive device, but also a strong motivational force that inform research directions and sustain research efforts.
Publication titleWhat is Next in Educational Research?
EditorsS Fan, J Fielding-Wells
Department/SchoolFaculty of Education
Place of publicationThe Netherlands
Rights statementCopyright 2012 Sense Publishers