Joe Kincheloe's Critical Complex Epistemology/Pedagogy & Multidimensional Critical Complex Bricolage

The Research Questions

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Excerpt from “The Research Questions” of Chapter 1 of my dissertation:


As also noted, the bricolage begins broadly with multiple questions and narrows down as the research progresses and choices are made. While this study may have seemed overly ambitious and too broad relative to traditional forms of research, as Kincheloe (October 23, 2008) had assured me in response to this issue:

As you massage your understandings and think about what dimensions of the bricolage you will use, you can in your own personal way begin to narrow your topic and the scope of the dissertation. When scholars tell us that we can't do everything in our dissertations and we need to focus our attention, they are certainly correct. . . . the part of this often missed is how do we narrow and delimit. I don't think a dissertation writer narrows at the beginning but in the process of exploring the topic from diverse angles. As one is "shocked" by difference, informed by diverse perspectives on the topic of study, she can begin to determine what exactly she has to offer that is unique and innovative. Honestly, I don't think this can be accomplished at the beginning of the process.


In addition, keeping the project narrowed to that which most significantly and profoundly demonstrates the multidimensional critical complex bricolage was aided by referencing selection criteria Kincheloe had devised. As he details:

A particular interpretation is chosen because it: provides a richer insight into the text than did others; constructs an interconnected and cohesive portrait of the phenomenon; grants access to new possibilities of meaning; benefits marginalized groups in their struggle for empowerment; fits the phenomenon under study; accounts for many of the cultural and historical contexts in which the phenomenon is found; considers previous interpretations of the phenomenon in question; generates insight gained from the recognition of the dialectic of particularity and generalization, or wholes and parts; indicates an awareness of the forces that have constructed it; makes use of multiple perspectives of multiple individuals coming from diverse social locations; catalyzes just, intelligent, and worthwhile action. (Kincheloe, 2004e, pp. 101–102)


This is important on multiple fronts. Bricolage can be applied to improve every area of our lives. In relation to education, using the multidimensional critical complex bricolage can enhance instructional design, online education, teaching, learning, and educational research, taking them to “the next level,” as has been highlighted in the proposal for this research. Kincheloe (2005a) provides additional reasons:

As the bricolage provides us new insights into the chaos of the contemporary, researchers become better equipped to imagine where we might go and what path we might take to get there through the jungle of information surrounding us. The bricolage is no panacea, but it does allow us new vantage points to survey the epistemological wilderness and the possibilities hidden in its underbrush. (p.347)


In summary, it is also of essence to consider Kincheloe’s (2004a) assertion that bricoleurs “transcend regressive forms of reductionism. . . . [and] expand the envelope of social research, of what we can understand about the world. They are empowered to produce knowledge that can change the world” (p. 19). Time will tell whether the last book he wrote in 2008, Knowledge and Critical Pedagogy: An Introduction, which was most likely researched and written using his multidimensional critical complex bricolage, will change the world as he had predicted in the book. It has changed my world and I believe it will change the world for other people but then I believe wholly in Joe’s dream. At any rate, the question that came to mind at the beginning of my journey to research and write this dissertation, in relation to the thousands of hours one must spend on producing research for a dissertation, of what value is it if it does not, even in some small way, have an impact toward changes in the world that are so desperately needed today?


Excerpt from Did Joe Lyons Kincheloe Discover the Golden Chalice for Knowledge Production? Application of Critical Complex Epistemology and the Multidimensional Critical Complex Bricolage. (Paradis, 2013), The research questions, pp. 153-154




Kincheloe, J. L. (2004a). Preface. In J. Kincheloe & K. Berry, Rigour and Complexity in Educational Research: Conceptualizing the Bricolage (pp. ix–xii). New York: Open University Press.


Kincheloe, J. L. (2004e). Redefining and interpreting the object of study. In J. Kincheloe & K. Berry, Rigour and Complexity in Educational Research: Conceptualizing the Bricolage (pp. 82–102). New York: Open University Press.


Kincheloe, J. L. (2005a). On to the next level: Continuing the conceptualization of the bricolage. Qualitative Inquiry, 11(3), 323–350..

Big Deal-Catch Up 
“As a child I wanted so desperately for magic to be real. I would work for hours collecting what I hoped were just the right combination of ingredients to make some type of magic potion that would provide me with special powers….I found such magic in words viewed in a postformal matrix and I observe and practice that magic everyday.” (Kincheloe, 2006, Reading, Writing, Thinking, p. 13)
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