Researchers have an obligation to reflect on the politics of their research and of whose interests it serves in order to take steps to minimise it being used in damaging ways. This article uses the problem of the 'politics of blame''” the way governments attempt to construct student or institutional 'underperformance' or 'failure' as the clear responsibility of schools and teachers'”to illustrate the importance of researchers stepping back from specific research agendas to consider the overall positioning of their research. The case of the politics of blame illustrates the importance of researchers taking an independent stance rather than being steered too much by what is fashionable to research or what has political support from government. The article makes some suggestions about how researchers can take steps to pre-empt their research being used in damaging ways.Â
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