I’ve been mulling over an idea: reconciliation as research paradigm.
Something about the process of reconciliation has stuck with me. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been reading various combinations of “reconciliation theology” “PAR and reconciliation” “research methodology and reconciliation” and “art education and reconciliation”. In the articles about reconciliation in research so far, most of what I’ve read has had to do with doing research in a different way. Especially interesting have been researchers in the quantitative paradigm working with indigenous communities, dealing with the fact that our history as researchers is entrenched in an institution shaped by colonization, racism, and a general attitude of dominance over ways of thinking, being and doing different than white, western, scientific thought. As indigenous researchers develop methodologies and bodies of research rooted in their own epistemologies and as non-indigenous researchers learn to come alongside in ways that value and respect them, how do we move forward together? In many of these articles, reconciliation is a principle, a part of a new approach to this sort of research.
But, what if we centralize reconciliation? What does that make space for? What possibilities does it open? What questions does it raise for researchers – who we are, what we do, and how we do it? How does it change the aims of our research? How does it alter our practices, our questions, our methods, our publications?
Ruth M. Smith
Community arts educator and researcher. Drinking coffee. Home educating. Making art. Listening intentionally.