We are in desperate need of new concepts…in this new educational environment that privileges a single positivist research model with its transcendent rationality and objectivity and accompanying concepts such as randomisation, replicability, generalizability, bias, and so forth – one that has marginalised subjugated knowledges and done harm at all levels of education, and one that many educators have resisted with some success for the last fifty years (St. Pierre, 2004, p. 286). In education research the troubling binary of the mainstream-marginal divergence has created new possibilities for undertaking careful and considered research within various contexts. It has opened up research opportunities that are neither mainstream, nor marginal, but something else altogether – the in-between spaces. It is here that we find some of the most exciting potential for difference to be explored and affirmed in education research. The central motive of bringing together the contributions for this book was to interrogate why there is a need to investigate the mainstream and its margins, but also to map what is occurring in between. Education research, and social science research more broadly, is suffering from a mainstreamed scientism, ruled by a belief in a metanarrative of unified epistemology and methodology (St. Pierre & Roulston, 2006) that cripples thinking, doing and being otherwise. We feel that there is a need to trouble the dominant binary of mainstream and marginal thinking in education research, by bringing forth the multiple and varied ‘in-betweens’ of contemporary research.
Mainstreams, Margins and the Spaces In-Between: new possibilities for education research / Trimmer, K, Black, A L, Riddle, S (eds): pp.1-12