Education researchers as bricoleurs in the creation of sustainable learning environments


  • Sechaba Mahlomaholo University of the Free State


Higher education has, to date, been unable to provide effective and lasting solutions to challenges of education, because large sections thereof continue to search for knowledge for its own sake. At best, they conduct responsive research, but on a small scale they reduce the complexity that is education to a neat unilinear process which can be studied by individual researchers in isolation. Hence, I propose the adoption of bricolage as the perspective that will better enable us to respond to the challenges mentioned above. I argue for a multi-layered and multi-perspectival research approach, conducted by teams of researchers in collaboration with participants who emerge from the research process as co-researchers. This research approach incorporates aspects of the eight moments in research, namely the traditional qualitative, modernity, blurred genres, crisis of representation, postmodernity, post-experimentalism, methodologically contested representation, and the current fractured futures. Using data from our research team, I show how we have operationalised bricolage. Based on the positive educational outcomes and findings of this project, I come to the conclusion that, as higher-education bricoleurs, we are better able to respond to the complexity of education in a coherent, logical, focused and original manner.


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How to Cite

Mahlomaholo, S. (2014). Education researchers as bricoleurs in the creation of sustainable learning environments. Perspectives in Education, 32(4), 171-183. Retrieved from



Research articles