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Using relational cultural theory in education research design

Anne Swenson Ticknor (Literacy Studies, English Education, and History Education, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA)
Paige Averett (School of Social Work, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA)

Qualitative Research Journal

ISSN: 1443-9883

Article publication date: 13 November 2017

435

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Research limitations/implications

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.

Practical implications

Several affordances are offered to researchers interested in engaging in similar work.

Originality/value

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.

Keywords

Citation

Ticknor, A.S. and Averett, P. (2017), "Using relational cultural theory in education research design", Qualitative Research Journal, Vol. 17 No. 4, pp. 373-384. https://doi.org/10.1108/QRJ-03-2017-0011

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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