International Fellow Address - Paradigmatic pluralism and academic research education: Post-career reflections from a boundary-crossing Majority World scholar

Kofi Marfo, PhD, Speaker
Professor Emeritus & Foundation Director, Institute for Human Development, Aga Khan University—East Africa
Professor Emeritus, College of Education, University of South Florida, Tampa USA

[email protected]

About: Over two decades ago, in a paper appearing in the Review of Educational Research, my colleague Jim Paul and I made a case in favor of preparing educational researchers in the philosophical foundations of inquiry. That case is as important today as it was then, and its relevance transcends preparation of researchers in the field of education. Across the developmental and behavioral sciences, there is still room for continued advocacy for research education curricula explicitly embracing multiple epistemological and methodological traditions. In this invited presentation, I will revisit aspects of the central logic of our 2001 call for paradigmatic pluralism in advanced research education. In the main, however, the session will be a sharing of reflections on my own trajectory of development as an academic researcher who was not groomed within the kind of research education curriculum that my University of South Florida colleagues and I espoused and helped to design and implement collaboratively during my twenty-two years at USF’s College of Education. I will particularly underscore themes emerging from years of inner-self exploration in search of the forces that may have shaped my scholarly identity and spawned the intellectual values informing my approach to knowledge production and the preparation of future researchers. Hopefully autobiographical accounts of this nature can shed useful insights on the development of future generations of researchers.