ABSTRACT

It was in the year 2005 when I first heard a children’s story on Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young (1991) in connection to a talk given by Dr. Ralph Cordova at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The story retells in verse the Indian fable of the blind men discovering different parts of an elephant and arguing about its appearance. This metaphorical story created an important rich point for me academically to further my personal learning journey in searching, developing and making sense of different ways of researching and understanding discourse, knowledge and social practice in educational settings, and the possibilities and limitations each strand of research entails for informing educational theory and practice (see also Green, Camilli & Elmore, 2006). Most importantly, this story inspired me to explore research approaches in education whose logic-of-inquiry would allow researchers to move beyond a narrow and one-sided focus of analysis, towards acknowledging part–whole relationships and micro–macro level dynamics of educational processes and the opportunities such an approach can afford for unpacking engagement, learning and identity building among the participants.