day seminar held on 25th March at the Institute of Education, University
of London was planned by Dr Carolyn Boulter, Professor Michael Reiss and
Dr Sue Dale Tunnicliffe as a means of discussing the results of their
ESRC-funded project “Children’s understandings of the natural
world: the significance of methodology and context”. The aim of
the morning session was to use the process and results of the research
as an opportunity to explore the use of representational probes in interviewing.
The participants started by working in groups on a workshop to critique
the photographs and drawings used in the project. This was followed by
some background to the sampling and methodology of the project. Professor
Kerst Boersma of Utrecht University then gave a critique of the methodology
of the project which was followed by discussion. The same pattern was
followed in the afternoon with a workshop on analysing transcripts and
a critique from Professor John Gilbert of the University of Reading of
the analysis approach used in the research which had arisen from modelling,
systems theory and categories related to human features. There were 24
participants from a range of research interests, including TLRP projects,
field centers and museums, PhD students from various universities, a CPD
and ITT provider and a head teacher from one of the participant schools.
There were three organisers and two discussants. The day was evaluated
very positively with the participants reporting that they had found the
experience of participating in a research project undergoing proper critique
inspiring. Those involved with the use of representations in their own
research reported that the day had made them reconsider their own research.
The organisers have gained a great deal from the day by way of well focused
and useful feedback.
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This page was last updated 22nd April 2004