Power and the theory-and-practice conundrum: the experience of doing research with a local authority

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Abstract:

This article reflects on power in contract research relationships. Distinguishing between the overt forms of control and the more subtle aspects of control associated with the 'enculturing' of the researcher, it considers the ways in which power affects their ability to relate to professional practice. The discussion draws on the experience of one researcher working within a local schools service. It concludes that the 'theory-and-practice conundrum' in research is often the result, not of 'ivory tower' limitations of the researcher, but rather of reluctance on the part of senior service managers to allow critical reflection among service professionals.

Keywords: EDUCATION RESEARCH; POWER; PRACTITIONER RESEARCH; RESEARCH RELATIONSHIPS

Document Type: Regular Paper

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/174426408X366676

Publication date: November 1, 2008

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