This book explores the complexities of investigating minorities, majorities, boundaries and borders, and the experiences of researchers who choose to work in these spaces. It engages with issues of ethics, disclosure and representation, and contends with and seeks to contribute to emerging debates around power and the positioning of researchers and participants. Chapters examine epistemologies that shape researchers’ beliefs about the forms of research that are valued in educational research and theory, and consider the importance of research that genuinely seeks to explore voice, culture, story, authenticity and identity.

Resisting the backdrop of standardisation, performativity and accountability agendas pervading governments and organisations, the book attends to the stories of real people, to understand regional and rural landscapes, to examine culture and the human condition and to give voice to those at the fringes of society who remain largely neglected and unheard. Drawing largely on studies from Australia, the book provides an overview of the many types of research being engaged in, revealing the value of different kinds of research, and gaining insight into how meaning and findings are disseminated in research and educational sectors and back into the contexts where research takes place.

Mainstreams, Margins and the Spaces In-between will be of key interest to early career researchers and academics internationally, as well as postgraduate students completing research methods courses in the field of education, and the wider social sciences.

chapter 1|12 pages

Researching in-betweens

Blurring the boundaries of mainstream and marginal education research

chapter 2|23 pages

Building a tapestry of knowledge in the spaces in-between

Weaving personal and collective meaning through arts-based research

chapter 4|16 pages

Mainstreaming margins

Analysing the knowledge of an Australian university research team

chapter 5|15 pages

Where the wild things are

Sustaining practice in the loneliest place

chapter 6|13 pages

Neither of the air, nor of the earth but a creature somewhere between

The researcher as traveller between worlds

chapter 7|18 pages

Insider/outsider research on Steiner education in Australia

One researcher's struggles with positioning

chapter 8|13 pages

Too cool for homeschool?

Accessing underground unschoolers with Web 2.0

chapter 9|25 pages

Reducing the marginalisation of children

Relational knowledge production and the power of collaboration

chapter 10|18 pages

‘Schools are for us'

The importance of distribution, recognition and representation to creating socially just schools

chapter 11|13 pages

Speaking back to the mainstream from the margins

Lessons from one boutique senior secondary school

chapter 14|14 pages

On the fringe of research

The case of community policing

chapter 15|16 pages

Margins for error

A discussion of barriers preventing the connection of mainstream and margins when conducting in-school research

chapter 16|14 pages

A journey in-between

Using Talanoa in research reporting