A critical theory perspective on research collaboration

Atweh, Bill & Bland, Derek C. (2007) A critical theory perspective on research collaboration. In Ritchie, Stephen (Ed.) Research collaboration : relationships and praxis. Sense Publishers, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, pp. 189-202.

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This chapter discusses collaboration from a critical theory perspective, in particular as developed by Habermas. The discussion is illustrated by learnings from a long term collaborative project among university academics, school teachers and high school students. A brief description of the project is presented in the first section of this chapter. However, we commence this discussion by anticipating some of the benefits of such a theoretical approach for reflecting on collaboration. A critical theory perspective of collaboration, allows us to establish a rationale for collaboration in research projects rather than presuppose its use on pragmatic or strategic grounds. We problematize the traditional separation of knowledge generation and knowledge application and challenges the traditional assumptions about who has the right to speak for and about whom. A further challenge lies in the marginalisation of youth, most often the subject of school-based research, from the debate. It has been noted that "while great advances have been made in theorizing researcher-practitioner partnerships, research collaborations with youth remain under-theorized and under-utilized" (Kirshner & O’Donoghue 2001 p. 4). The second section of the chapter demonstrates how this perspective allows us to establish a rationale for collaboration students on real world research projects that affect their life chances in and outside school. Critical theory focuses on the optimism for changing the world and arriving at a more socially just and egalitarian society through the realization of the human potential for reason. The third section of the chapter demonstrates how this approach to studying collaboration allows the identification of a variety of its goals and benefits as well as providing the tools for critiquing their achievement.

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ID Code: 13531
Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional Information: For more information about this book please refer to the publisher's website (see link) or contact the author.
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Critical theory, students as researchers
ISBN: 9789087901950
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 Sense Publishers
Deposited On: 09 May 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2011 05:36

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