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Summary Evaluation
A Research Development Seminar in Designing and Analysing Interviews with Representational Probes



 

One-day seminar
25 March 2004, Institute of Education, University of London

The 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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