14 SES 13, Dialogue and Social Transformation, Part II: Methodological Issues, Session It I
Symposium, Part 2
This symposium is based on five contributions from diverse perspectives and covers five European countries (United Kingdom, Finland, Portugal, Spain and Malta). It is is also based on a dialogical theoretical framework. All the methodological questions presented in each paper are linked to this orientation (Beck 1992, Gómez et al. 2006, Giddens 1984/2007, Habermas 1984, Sen 1999). The theoretical background is based on the idea of the dialogic turn of societies and sciences (Aubert & Soler, 2007). To give an answer to this turn it’s necessary to encourage a research and methodology based on the increasing importance of the dialogue in many different spheres.
Current society is moving towards a more dialogic and communicative tendency, and when dialogue is claimed but power is imposed, violence emerges more strongly. This dialogic shift has also already reached the scientific field. Dialogism, which implies a focus on dialogue and communication in the explanation of society, social relations and personal development, is increasingly shaping the processes of knowledge creation within the social sciences, contributing to the de-monopolization of expert knowledge (Beck et al., 1994).
The belief that all social actors have cultural intelligence, common sense (Schütz, 1967), and critical consciousness (Freire, 2003), which they use to make sense of their reality and to transform it, needs research techniques that allow research participants to be involved in the interpretation of their reflections and actions on the same feet as researchers. This does not mean though that there is not a difference in the type of knowledge that each part contributes.
The first paper presents an evaluation of the use of a dialogical approach to accessing children’s personal epistemologies. They invite participants to discuss topics by themselves encouraging their direct participation. The second paper uses a mixed method approach, also longitudinal, taking into account the ability of children to re-negotiate the fit between themselves and various learning environments. The third paper presents the research work of ACOGE Group, based mainly on Action Research Approach. They introduce the project of Learning Communities as a way to overcome educational inequalities through an action research perspective. The fourth contribution is based on ethnographic experience in the field of education, more specifically it tries to analyse more in-depth the self-ethnography as a way to research and participate simultaneously. The last paper is focused in the communicative methodology, how through and egalitarian an intersubjective dialogue between researchers and researched we could reach a more realistic interpretation of reality.
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