researching with spirit


In the context of methodological discussions in educational research, there have been few explicit conversations about methods or methodology for researching with spirit (Hurtado, 2003; Shahjahan, 2005; for an exception, see Dillard, 2006a, 2006b) or animate Earth (see O'Riley & Cole, 2009) . Neither the Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research, (Denzin & Lincoln, 2005) nor the Handbook of Emergent Methods (Hesse-Biber & Leavy, 2008) has included a methodology for researching through or with spirit. Further, discussions of spirituality in research have not yet been taken up (at least explicitly) in the bi-annual international Invitational Research and Development Seminar on Research in Health and Environmental Education, a meeting place for discussions of environmental education research methodologies.


Recently, however, more voices are speaking directly about the importance and need for engagement with spirit as an integral part of one's research methods and methodology (see, for example, Dillard, 2006a, 2006b in education; Bernard, 2007; Harpignies, 2007; Wallis, 2000; Young & Goulet, 1994; and Turner, 1993/2003 in anthropology; Braud, 2004; and Clements, 2004 in psychology; and some Aboriginal methodologists, e.g. Kovach, 2009). Hurtado's (2003) lament that engaging spirit "leaves us bereft of method" (p. 218) is being challenged.