Niall’s virtual diary archives – Tuesday 5th June 2012

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Tuesday 5th June 2012: 2.56pm. So, after much head hurt last few days in trying my best to write and learn off the "correct" #regurgitation of #research methods in educational research according to the IoE's ivory tower, I'm onto trying to think of the "correct" answer for the mandatory question discussing #positivism vs. #interpretivism in educational research discourse according to the #IoE. This, at least, is challenging, because last year I wrote the truth which (paraphrased for brevity here) is that it is an artificial storm in a teacup generated by the numerate and non-numerate Bourdieuian cultural fields competing for scarce government research funding resources, so basically positivist research tends to be well funded by government and all the people ignorant or incapable of university level maths feel a need to justify why they too are right to parasite off the state despite that their research rarely is useful for government to declare its policy as "empirically supported by research", so they bang on about intrepretivism being better and declare positivism as evil to children and teachers by dehumanising them. This illusion of activity makes academics look like they're doing something useful rather than being on an expensive form of welfare. Everyone benefits, except the children in the forced labour camps that are the classrooms.

As they failed me on that answer last year, this time I must tell a pack a lies or I lose £3,220. But what pack of lies? Obviously I must conclude interpretivism is superior, and oh how we lament the plight of poor educational researchers who do so suffer when none of anything is their fault. However, the supplied course notes are thin, there is very little of use on the web or in their supplied books, and I'm not at all sure what they want me to answer. At least writing this regurgitated answer is a bit of a challenge!

In the past in situations like these, I have found it works best to drip with sarcasm. Amazingly they, in my experience, read this as you being incredibly insightful when in fact you're taking the piss out of them and their ignorance. I sometimes wonder how much lauded research is actually people just taking the piss :). Normally, I ethically don't do this because I think it's wrong to treat even your enemies with such disregard, but for £3,220 being at stake because they failed me last time I'm putting aside my morals on this occasion. On Thursday and the following Monday I will lie and manipulate and deceive and fill my exam paper with the #lies they want to hear. And maybe, this time I'll pass. Wish me luck!

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