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Interrogating (Hi)stories

Establishing the Educational Relevance of Spiritual Development Through Critical Historiography

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Audrey Lingley

In Interrogating (Hi)stories, Audrey Lingley uses a critical constructivist perspective to problematize the absence of the spiritual dimension of human growth from pedagogical models that emphasize responsiveness to developmental psychology. The book investigates this conspicuous absence through critical historiographical research; it is a critical interrogation of the tacit understandings that guide education in general and middle grades reform in particular. The author offers practical, classroom-based implications and culturally respectful language for educators who believe spirituality is a legitimate aspect of human growth and learning in a public school setting.
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Chapter Four: A Research Design for Interrogating the (Hi)stories

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Chapter Four

A Research Design for Interrogating the (Hi)stories

History…cannot simply be an act of recognition, of fitting events into fixed patterns, of just seeing the light. It must begin, rather, by apprehending the sources of light and the present objects they shed or illuminate, and follow with an active, incessant engagement in the process of naming and renaming, covering and uncovering, consuming and producing new relations, investigating hierarchies of power and effect: distilling light into sun, moon and fire. (Alcalay, 1993, p. 2)

CRITICAL historiography is an interdisciplinary conceptual research approach that offers investigators data collection and analysis methods used to identify, interpret, and synthesize complex intersections of power and knowledge. In my inquiry area of spiritual development and middle grades education, many disciplinary fields overlapped and interpenetrated each other. In addition to the challenge of keeping track of these theoretical interactions, I was challenged to clearly articulate the social and historical contexts in which the ideas are situated and the ways in which those contexts influence or affect each other. An interdisciplinary research approach can be used to unpack these areas of intersection (and collision) as well as raise to the surface the underlying assumptions and paradigms (Kuhn, 1996) that guide the foundational literature.

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