chapter  12
Transgressing Boundaries: Everyday/Academic Discourses
WithMelanie Walker (South Africa)
Pages 11

Research, we suggest, is not a technical set of specialist skills but implicit in social action and close to the ways in which we act in everyday life, for we find increasingly that the worlds of academe and social life, theory and practice, work and family are not really so different but constantly interrupt one another, often in complex ways. (Schratz and Walker, 1995, p. 2)

Finding Myself in Research

For a long time now I have been bothered by the divide between theory and action, between educational research and practice, and by powerful academic gatekeepers who construct hierarchies to determine what counts as research, and control what counts as educational knowledge. Thus there is a thread running through my research and writing, reaching back to my first encounters over ten years ago with a university-based education faculty and the tensions it generated for me, as a former school teacher, to work there. Why was it that within universities academic discourse seemed to be privileged as the authoritative version/s of educational life? Why was it accepted that specialized discourses restricted access to ideas? Did communities outside the academy not also have cultural resources of value in addressing social inequities?