Doing Qualitative Educational Research: A Personal Guide to by Geoffrey Walford

By Geoffrey Walford

Geoffrey Walford, a well known and skilled researcher, displays upon the pains and tribulations and the issues and gives you of engaging in learn — and in addition at the hyperlinks among the idiosyncrasies and situations of researchers and what's attainable in study. study is printed as a way more advanced procedure than is mostly well-known, occasionally messy and disorganized, occasionally restricted in unforeseen methods, yet consistently hard to either researcher and reader.

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It is relatively easy to find the academic qualifications of those in the senior management team of a school and the title of a dissertation for a masters or doctoral degree can often be found from the university or on the Internet. If someone has a doctorate, it is worth seeing if he or she has published anything again, this is now easily done on the Internet. If a headteacher has researched and published on management structures or special educational needs, for example, this is certainly worth knowing before making any approach.

The children will ignore the adult and continue to push and shove, shout and scream, on the assumption that the adult will do nothing about it. The wise adult will stay on the sidelines and not become involved unless one of the children is seriously threatened. But adult status will allow the 'insignificant other' status to be overthrown if the adult so desires. At any point during the research I felt I could easily have acted 'as a teacher' and the students would have acquiesced to this assumed authority.

When an appointment is arranged by telephone, they are often careful to explain how busy they are and how little time they can spare but, once in the office, they seem to have far more time than expected. In my recent work on sponsored grant-maintained schools (Walford, 1997, 1998b), for example, when I interviewed headteachers and sponsors I usually asked for 45 minutes. None of the interviews was this short, and some went on for over two hours. A great deal of that time was spent in them talking about issues that were not directly relevant to my own concerns but, by listening to their agenda, I was able to obtain very full answers to my own specific questions.

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