The purpose of this paper is to provide an emic view of how one researcher negotiated complex relationships in teacher education research and learned to employ the principles of the relational cultural theory (RCT) to create a research design aimed at building and sustaining relationships with participants.
The authors offer illustrative qualitative data examples from teacher education research to highlight complexities in research relationships, essential elements of the RCT, and the affordances RCT can offer qualitative researchers invested in similar work.
By engaging pre-service teachers and ourselves as mutually engaged in this process, the authors put into practice a sense of community and relationship building the authors hope pre-service teachers will practice with their future students.
This paper provides a qualitative research design employing tenets of the RCT which centers relationships as critical to the research process. The authors offer affordances and limitations to using the RCT in research.
Several affordances are offered to researchers interested in engaging in similar work.
This paper offers an original perspective of how one researcher in teacher education negotiated complex relationships and learned to employ the principles of the RCT within these to build a research design aimed at widening research and practice in teacher education through productive and lasting relationships.
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