n South African Journal of Higher Education - Inducting BEd Hons students into a research culture and the world of research : the case of a Research Methods course in the BEd Hons programme : part 2 : introductory article

Volume 27, Issue 5
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



It has become a policy imperative that the training of future researchers in Education should start at the Honours level. This training presents particular challenges as students entering the Bachelor of Education Honours (BEd Hons) programme have diverse professional backgrounds and personal motivations for pursuing the programme. Moreover, the majority of the students have fairly substantial experience in schools, one of the primary empirical sites for educational research. This diverse student profile yields several challenges in relation to the teaching of a Research Methods course. In this article, the authors reflect on their experiences of offering a BEd Hons course to induct students into research against the traditional, literature-renditioned components which comprise the practice of research in the Social Sciences. Working with the notions of critical aspects and encounters, the authors found that students experience a tension between their desire to solve their identified research problems in a common-sense way and a teaching interaction that moves them to an abstract/theoretical level. In light of this, the authors identify that students experience difficulty with shifting their strong beliefs about knowing the answers (in terms of their research), to notions of doubt. Each of these beliefs marks different academic cultures that respectively refer to, on the one hand, a teaching practice-supervisor and, on the other, a participant observer-inquirer. The depth and richness of their experiences in the former tends to constrain the transition from predetermined answers to a curiosity driven mode.

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