Methodological development and innovation in educational research have attracted recent scholarly attention. The National Centre for Research Methods identified a number of methodological challenges for the twenty-first century and highlighted e-research, participatory and creative methods as sites of potential innovation (Crow, 2013). In 2015–17 the British Educational Research Association organized a series of Presidential Round Table Seminars to explore key methodological challenges facing the education research community. These events reflected the complexities of researching diverse and often ‘messy’ educational settings. While methodological ‘innovation’ is a debated term – not least because new approaches tend to be adaptions rather than wholly new approaches – there is widespread interest in genuine attempts to improve different aspects of the research process, which may help to inform the agenda for future research (Wiles et al., 2011).
In this context, this special thematic section includes articles that report on new developments in qualitative educational research. The editors were interested in articles that developed new methodologies, or adapted those that exist, in response to identified challenges, including those relating to: researching new contexts, settings and spaces of education; using new conceptual insights to inform education research; and researching educational practices or actors that have previously been seen as ‘difficult’ to research. They were also particularly interested in articles that sought to explain the authors’ methodological decision-making, so as to provide rich insights into the research challenges they faced, the considerations, dilemmas and events that led to their emergent research methodology and how this influenced their research findings.
Publication date: 1 November 2019
Charlotte Vidal-Hall – PhD candidate, UCL Institute of Education, UK
Nozomi Sakata – PhD candidate, UCL Institute of Education, UK
Rob Higham – UCL Institute of Education, UK
Editorial: Methodological innovations in qualitative educational research A special feature for the London Review of Education, Charlotte Vidal-Hall, Nozomi Sakata and Rob Higham (UCL Institute of Education, UK)
Global–local imbrications in education policy: Methodological reflections on researching the sociology of Teach for Bangladesh, Rino Wiseman Adhikary (University of Queensland, Australia) and Bob Lingard (Australian Catholic University, Australia)
The unspoken power of collage? Using an innovative arts-based research method to explore the experience of struggling as a teacher, Suzanne Culshaw (University of Hertfordshire, UK)
Psychodynamic incidents in teaching: Researching relational aspects of classroom practice, Ambrose Hogan (UCL Institute of Education, UK)
Participatory action research and co-researching as a tool for situating youth knowledge at the centre of research, Staci B. Martin (Portland State University, USA), Jessica H. Burbach, Lulis Lares Benitez and Irisa Ramiz (Portland YouthBuilders, USA)