The one and the many:
Moving beyond the hypothetico-deductive logic and genre
Prof Bal Chandra Luitel,
Kathmandu University School of Education
My research and practice have been informed by a host of progressively developed paradigmatic turns, which exemplify the need to embrace multiplicities whilst catering to varying needs of postgraduate researchers who aspire to morph themselves as compassionate change agents in their educational institutions. Whereas education research has been superficially conceived as an act of ‘collecting data’ and converting those data into ‘findings’ wrapped in propositional statements, my work aims at challenging this narrowness with a view to expanding the transformative potential of educational research. In this process, the paradigm of positivism (and postpositivism) has a very limited scope to offer as its assumptions hardly allow researchers to be critically reflective, visionary and creative thinkers. Non-positivist paradigms, such as interpretivism, criticalism, postmodernism and integralism, offer expanded possibilities about thinking (i.e., logics) and representation (i.e., genres) in researching professional practices. Over the period of seven years, my PhD and Master students have demonstrated the use of metaphorical, poetic, dialectical and narrative logics and genres in the context of their research project. Specifically, through the use of metaphor, the researchers have unpacked layered meanings of superficially explored constructs of education (e.g., curriculum, pedagogy, classroom). Likewise, poetic logics and genres have been useful for the researchers to unearth ineffability enshrined in their experiences of an educational phenomenon (e.g. teaching). Rhetorically, dialectical logic enables researchers to articulate subtleties associated with co-dependently arising concepts (e.g., teacher-centred versus student-centred, behaviourism versus cognitivism, idealism versus realism). Moreover, the use of dialectics empowers researchers to develop politically astute, ethically justifiable, and intellectually pragmatic visions for practice. Above all, the narrative logics and genres enable researchers to communicate their research process and product in a diachronic and engaging storytelling approach.