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What is going on in the world of schools?: Reflections on the role of the participant observer in school development projects
Dalarna University, School of Education and Humanities, Education.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6530-3019
Dalarna University, School of Education and Humanities, Education.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9026-6640
2005 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

International studies that compare school-systems in different countries often try to measure the pupils’ “knowledge-level”. The same thing also happens in national investigations, sometimes with focus on how marks in different subject develop during time. However, what does this tell us about the situation on the local level, in the single school and in the single classroom? Would, for example, participant observation be a better way to understand what happens in the school-system compared to traditional quantitative methods?

 

This paper takes its departure from a reflection on field experiences in a three-year school development project in a Swedish upper secondary school. Participant observation has; however, to face problems similar to what insiders meet. The insider has an interest to do research in a, more or less, familiar environment. There is an obvious risk to be “prisoner” in your own conceptions. At the same time, this gives a possibility to create a deep understanding of the studied phenomena, an understanding of the study object that may be hard to create for a person who is unfamiliar with the environment. Our reflection is also build up on some theoretical assumptions about how to use participations observations to understand pedagogical processes that take place in schools. From these points of view, we will discuss some aspects of the following question:

-  What possibilities and limitations do participant observation has in order to describe, interpret and understand complex processes in school development?

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005.
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-10290OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-10290DiVA: diva2:540175
Conference
NFPF: s conference in Oslo, Norway 10 –15 Mars 2005 Nordisk Forening for Pedagogisk Forskning. 33. kongress. Universitet i Oslo, Norge. 10-12 mars, 2005.
Available from: 2012-07-08 Created: 2012-07-08 Last updated: 2016-03-21Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • chicago-author-date
  • chicago-note-bibliography
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf