Lab Coats or Trench Coats? Detective Sleuthing as an Alternative to Scientifically Based Research in Indigenous Educational Communities
Amidst late 19th-century efforts to emphasize modern medicine’s transition to a more scientific approach, physicians seeking to represent themselves as scientists began wearing white laboratory coats. Today educational researchers are likewise urged to don metaphorical white coats as scientifically based research is held up as the cure-all for our “failing” schools. However, given science’s vital role in justifying and extending Western imperialism, for members of many indigenous communities, brown bodies and white coats are an uneasy fit. In answer to Linda Smith’s call for decolonizing research methodologies to remedy the distrust between indigenous peoples and scientific research, this article considers how educational research in indigenous and historically oppressed communities could be transformed by replacing the metaphor of the lab-coat-wearing scientific researcher with the trench-coat-clad detective or private eye.
Kaomea, J. L. (2013). Lab Coats or Trench Coats? Detective Sleuthing as an Alternative to Scientifically Based Research in Indigenous Educational Communities. Qualitative Inquiry, online first, online first.