(Re)imagining method in educational leadership and management research

Le Grange, Lesley (2007)

CITATION: Le Grange, L. 2007. (Re)imagining method in educational leadership and management research. South African Journal of Education, 27(3):421-429.

The original publication is available at http://www.sajournalofeducation.co.za/


Over the past thirty years we have witnessed a proliferation of educational methods/methodologies aimed at helping us to make sense of the world — to provide clarity about the meaning of social reality. However, although these methods/methodologies are useful frameworks, they do not capture fully the untidy realities of the real world. The discipline of Educational Leadership and Management is embedded in a broader social world and therefore resonates with in fields of complexity, fluidity, heterogeneity, multiplicity, unpredictability, messiness, and so on. I suggest that conventional methods do not adequately capture social/educational reality fully, and argue that research should be less concerned about seeking clarity, but should rather — in Law’s terms — be concerned with seeking a “[d ]isciplined lack of clarity ”. Put simply, methods cannot give coherence to a world that is itself incoherent. The argument presented has applicability to social science research generally, but also to the field of Educational Leadership and Management more specifically.

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