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Doing Critical Educational Research

A Conversation with the Research of John Smyth

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John Smyth, Barry Down, Peter McInerney and Robert Hattam

John Smyth’s remarkable body of writing, research and scholarship has spanned four decades, and the urgency of our times makes it imperative to look in some depth at the breadth of his research and its trajectory, in order to see how we can connect, extend, build and enrich our understandings from it. Possibly the single most unique aspect to Smyth’s version of critical research is his passion for living and ‘doing’ what it means to be a critical pedagogue. For him, ‘doing’ is a verb that gives expression to what he believes it means to be a critical scholar. This necessitates actively listening to lives; taking on an advocacy position with informant groups; displaying a commitment to praxis; and being activist in celebrating ‘local responses’ to global issues. Smyth’s research is pursued with vigour through the lives he researches, as he interrupts and punctures ‘bad’ theory, supplanting it with more democratic alternatives, which, by his own admission, makes his research (and all research), political.
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Smyth, John. Doing critical educational research: a conversation with the research of John Smyth / John Smyth, Barry Down, Peter McInerney, Robert Hattam. pages cm. — (Teaching contemporary scholars; vol. 7) Includes bibliographical references and index. 1. Critical pedagogy. 2. Smyth, John. 3. Education—Research—Philosophy. 4. Education—Research—Social aspects. I. Down, Barry. II. McInerney, Peter. III. Hattam, Robert. IV. Title. LC196.S625 370.11’5—dc23 2014005968 ISBN 978-1-4331-2318-4 (hardcover) ISBN 978-1-4331-2317-7 (paperback) ISBN 978-1-4539-1324-6 (e-book) ISSN 1533-4082 Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at http://dnb.d-nb.de/. © 2014 Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., New York 29 Broadway, 18th floor, New York, NY 10006 www.peterlang.comAll rights reserved. Reprint or reproduction, even partially, in all forms such as microfilm, xerography, microfiche, microcard, and offset strictly prohibited.

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