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Educational Research for Social Change

versão On-line ISSN 2221-4070


DUPLESSIS, E.C.  e  VAN DER WESTHUIZEN, G.J.. Trends and patterns in the use of grounded theory in educational research in South Africa. Educ. res. soc. change [online]. 2018, vol.7, n.2, pp.1-21. ISSN 2221-4070.

The calls for the decolonisation of knowledge in South Africa is a challenge that educational researchers cannot ignore. The problem is, however, that research and knowledge development traditions in education have not contributed in significant ways to enhancing cognitive justice in society. The focus of this article is on grounded theory, a research methodology tradition that is assumed to be relevant and valuable to the possibilities of transformational changes in education because it allows, by design, for research that produces theories in ways that are inductive, data based, and bottom-up. The purpose is to review research in education in South Africa, since 1994, and to identify trends and patterns in order to understand how grounded theory methods contribute to the development of new education theories and to transformation. We have reviewed articles published during the period 1994-2016 and found that they cover different academic domains. We also found that the majority of studies utilised grounded theory methodology meticulously and with varied levels of sophistication, leading to around one third of the studies articulating theories in the comprehensive sense of the word. The findings are discussed with reference to the role of educational research in the changing times of decolonisation. Recommendations are made to improve educational research: to be more relevant and transformative.

Palavras-chave : cognitive justice; decolonisation of knowledge; grounded theory; educational research; transformative grounded theory.

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