NW 07: Intercultural Professionalism as Critical Reflexivity in the Research Process

NW 07 Social Justice and Intercultural Education

Intercultural Professionalism as Critical Reflexivity in the Research Process

Intercultural professionalism is most often referred to those who are engaged in educational practice; however, in this special call, our main focus is on scholars conducting research in the field of Social Justice and Intercultural Education. In this regard, we envision intercultural professionalism as critical reflexivity about our personal and professional histories and experiences, and about how our social positioning shapes research processes (Grant, 1999). This special call welcomes submissions on all educational research methodologies and methods, that share insights from research processes which reflect the scholars’ own involvement in a critical way.

The Call
With this Special Call, we want to continue and expand the on-going conversations within and beyond Network 7 on intercultural professionalism as researchers in the field of Social Justice and Intercultural Education. We envision intercultural professionalism as critical reflexivity on our personal and professional stories and experiences, and on how they inform our ethical and methodological choices in the research process (Grant, 1999) aiming at educational and social transformation in the light of equity and social justice (Bhatti, Gaine, Gobbo, & Leeman, 2007). In other words, intercultural professionalism is shaped by ethical and political stances, it is relational and value-based.

Such a perspective is also taken up by empirical research. Following constructivist theories in qualitative research methodologies and methods "[N]o researcher is neutral" (Charmaz, 2014, p. 114), implying that no inquiry is free of bias or is separated from the researcher's perspectives, background, position, or conditioning circumstances (Given, 2008). This also applies to quantitative research, as David Gillborn, for example, notes from the perspective of critical race theory: “Numbers are no more obvious, neutral, and factual than any other form of data” (Gillborn, Warmington & Demack, 2018, p. 163).

Therefore, we would like to develop a critical dialogue on our involvement in the research process (Giorgis, Peano, Pescarmona, Sansoé & Setti, 2021; Leeman, Koeven & Schaafsma, 2018); on which are the choices we make and the values that drive them; on which are the problems, the limitations, or what we perceive as failures in the research environment, but also the insights, the serendipity, and the positive turning points that we encounter; on how all these factors reveal our positioning and transform our perspective. Within such a framework, intercultural professionalism is a constant process of learning and reflexivity based on and deduced from the research, a process that is not only about others, but also about ourselves.

This special call welcomes critical reflective contributions on intercultural professionalism of researchers involved in educational research focusing on Intercultural Education and Social Justice in an educational context (both qualitative/ quantitative, theoretically or empirically oriented). Contributions from different European countries and beyond, as well as those involving different minority groups are encouraged.

A typical contribution should address the following:

  • Reflections on how you position yourself as researcher, towards the aim, methodology, context and results of the research experience 
  • Reflections on your value-decisions made during the research process and the intercultural learning which took place
  • Reflections on the influences on the design, process and results of the research of a. the historically and socio-culturally situated self/selves of the researcher/s; b. the current educational policy context (e.g., funding opportunities); c. the working conditions of the researcher/s or research partners; d. possible implications or impact of these reflections on the researcher/s and participants.

In addition, we would welcome reflections on the issue of power relations within research practice; on the engagement with co-participants in the research process (researchers’ teams/ interprofessional teams); on the situations in which teachers themselves question their own teaching practice as researchers; on the sharing of the results in relation to a transformational movement for intercultural development and social justice.

Contact Person(s)

Lisa Rosen, University of Landau, Germany (rosen(at)uni-landau.de)
Isabella Pescarmona, University of Turin, Italy (isabella.pescarmona(at)unito.it)
Paola Giorgis, wom.an.ed, Italy (paola.giorgis(at)womaned.org)
Carola Mantel, University of Teacher Education, Zug, Switzerland (carola.mantel(at)phzg.ch)
Sandra Girbés-Peco, University of Barcelona, Spain (sandra.girbes(at)ub.edu)

Bhatti, G., Gaine, C., Gobbo, F. & Leeman, Y. (Eds.). (2007). Social Justice and Intercultural Education: an open-ended dialogue. Sterling: Trentham Books.

Charmaz, K. (2014). Constructing Grounded Theory. London: Sage.

Gillborn D., Warmington P. & Demack S. (2018). QuantCrit: education, policy, ‘Big Data’ and principles for a critical race theory of statistics. Race Ethnicity and Education 21(2): 158-179.

Giorgis P., Peano G., Pescarmona, I., Sansoé R. & Setti F. (2021). Within different perspectives. Critical Experiences in Education, Interculture and Ethnography. New York: Dio Press.

Given, L. M. (2008). Neutrality in Qualitative Research. In: The SAGE encyclopedia of qualitative research methods (Vols. 1-0). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications

Grant, C. A. (1999). Multicultural research: a reflective engagement with race, class, gender and sexual orientation. London: Falmer press.

Leeman, Y., Koeven, van E. & Schaafsma, F. (2018). Inter-professional collaboration in action research. Educational Action Research 26 (1): 9-24.