Complex journeys and methodological responses to engaging in self-study in a rural comprehensive university

SOURCE: Perspectives in Education
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2014
TITLE AUTHOR(S): T.Meyiwa, T.Chisanga, P.Mokhele, N.Sotshangane, S.Makhanya
KEYWORDS: RURAL COMMUNITIES, SELF-STUDY, TRANSFORMATION, UNIVERSITY STUDENTS
DEPARTMENT: Inclusive Economic Development (IED)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 8262

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Abstract

The context in which self-study research is conducted is sometimes complex, affecting the manner in which related data is gathered and interpreted. This article comprises collaboration between three students and two supervisors. It shares methodological choices made by graduate students and supervisors of a rural university at which, self-study research was introduced in 2010. As individuals, and as a collective, we reflect on the reasons and decisions for adopting certain research approaches towards self-study: the ways in which such decisions are negotiated in conceptualising, conducting, transcribing, and supervising graduate research. While self-reflexive data-collection approaches (mainly journal writing and storytelling) guide our research, the manner in which data is analysed and presented to the wider university community is influenced by expectations and by the context of the university. We, therefore, use innovative approaches differing from self-study research, speaking more to the challenges and expectations of a rural context. We further reflect on the implications such choices have for our research and the work produced where knowledge shifts are executed, methodologies are re-defined and social change is desired.