This chapter discusses the different types of researcher/participant relationship described in the case study chapters, alongside the extent to which the projects were (and could be) pre-defined in terms of structure and expected outcomes. The case studies ranged from secondary data analysis methods with no researcher/participant contact, those with structured one-off interviews, those with more ongoing, but still researcher-led, relationships between researcher and participant, to more ethnographic and participatory research where relationships were negotiated between researcher and participant and, in some cases, led by the participants. This chapter highlights that researcher/participant relationships lie in parallel to the structure of the project, and the extent to which the outcomes are pre-defined. Despite the range of types of relationship, however, all the case studies highlighted the value of trust in those relationships, for participants to feel happy to share the details of their personal lives beyond that which is usually visible in the formal education setting of school. Edwards’ (2017a) concepts of relational agency, relational expertise and common knowledge are used to help explain why these relationships matter in research on out-of-school learning – to understand activities that we do not know about, that take places in spaces that we are unfamiliar with.
|Title of host publication||Repositioning Out-of-School Learning: Methodological challenges and possibilities for researching learning beyond school|
|Editors||Jo Rose, Tim Jay, Janet Goodall, Laura Mazzoli Smith, Liz Todd|
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 2021|
|Name||Emerald Studies in Out-of-School Learning|
Edited by Rose, J., Jay, T., Goodall, J., Mazzoli Smith, L. and Todd, L.
- researcher relationships
- Participant-led research
- research structure
- research outcomes
- relational agency