Researcher Subjectivities as a Conceptual Frame in Collaborative Research: How Exploring the Experiences of Adult Educators Led to Examining Researcher Lenses
AbstractThis article discusses how narrative research that began as an exploration of adult educator practice transitioned to incorporate an examination of researcher lenses, ultimately resulting in an increased understanding of the critical role that researcher subjectivity plays in the collaborative qualitative research process.
First, we discuss the aims and methodology of our original research study, which explored significant experiences in adult educators' practice. We examine how our focus shifted during the analytical stages of this research to explore our own presence in the research. We then discuss each of our own subjectivities
and how our individual researcher lenses influenced our collaborative research. Next, we detail our research findings, exploring how acknowledging our own subjectivities altered our approach to the data, helping us to reconceptualize the 14 initial themes in our interviews with adult educators to three overriding
ones: meaningfulness and ambiguities, power and critique, and reflection and authenticity. We then discuss emerging issues about collaborative inquiry and how our subjectivities as researchers construct lenses that continually inform our research processes, including the analysis and interpretation of data. We conclude
that researcher subjectivities, when overtly invited into the research process, can become powerful tools in collaborative qualitative research.
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