n South African Journal of Education - (Re)imagining method in educational leadership and management research

Volume 27, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0256-0100
  • E-ISSN: 2076-3433



Over the past thirty years we have witnessed a proliferation of educational methods / methodologies aimed at helping us to make sense of the world - to provide clarity about the meaning of social reality. However, although these methods / methodologies are useful frameworks, they do not capture fully the untidy realities of the real world. The discipline of Educational Leadership and Management is embedded in a broader social world and therefore resonates with in fields of complexity, fluidity, heterogeneity, multiplicity, unpredictability, messiness, and so on. I suggest that conventional methods do not adequately capture social / educational reality fully, and argue that research should be less concerned about seeking clarity, but should rather - in Law's terms - be concerned with seeking a ''[d ]isciplined lack of clarity''. Put simply, methods cannot give coherence to a world that is itself incoherent. The argument presented has applicability to social science research generally, but also to the field of Educational Leadership and Management more specifically.

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