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Research access & ethics


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  • 1. Access&EthicsResearch, Access & EthicsAdrian Twissell MA2012
  • 2. Access&EthicsAcademic Freedomo Researching is a privilegeo Expectation of inquiry without interference orcensorshipo Freedom to challenge thoughts and ideaso Responsibility of researcher to: Do what’s right for participant/situation Ethic of respect/freedom from prejudice Further knowledge Avoid deception Disseminate new knowledgeThomas (2009) p147BERA (2011) Guidelines 4 (aim to extend knowledge); 6 (ethic of respect);7(responsibilites); 9 (freedom from prejudice)
  • 3. Access&EthicsOverview of Research Interesto Research Interest – the role of visual spatial skills in creative thinking andproblem solving and their contribution to talent development in D&To Why am I interested in this? – personal experience indicates that students whoperform well in D&T are able to apply visual spatial reasoning well to problemsolving. The link between thinking strategy and visual outcome is personallyfascinatingo Educational benefits - to improve the alignment of teaching and learning inrelation to visual spatial skills application and talent development for allo Value to dept/school - teachers’ planning benefits from greater understanding ofstudents’ approaches/thinking skills. Potential for curriculum developmento Dissemination – by internal report/web link (parents)/journal articleBlaxter et al. (2008)BERA (2011) Guideline 11 (explanation of process); 50 (responsibility topublish); 51 (accessibility of publication)o Possible Research activities for ethical consideration ‘Creativity’ ‘test’/exercise (year group/cross sectional?) Student interview Parent interview/survey (internet/email survey?) Staff/department survey Exploration of CATs/exam data Publication within school/journal publication
  • 4. Access&EthicsAccesso School based inquiry accessed via Headmastero Permissions sought (reference also to ‘ethical issues’ slide): Administer year group wide/cross sectional test (time forthis, ‘deception’, use of admin staff) (consult assistant headre: administering exercise)  Interview selected students individually  Interview/survey parents (via internet/email?) (consultdeputy head re: coordinated approach)  Interview/survey staff  Access CATs/exam data  Publication within/outside of school with appropriateanonymity (will the research benefit other departments?) Blaxter et al. (2008) p155BERA (2011) Guidelines 32 (sponsor’s facilitation); 40 (right to publish)
  • 5. Access&EthicsConsidering Ethical Issueso Who is benefiting?o Use of others’ time & energyo Will participants be discomforted?o Is privacy respected?o Children in particular: May feel loss of respect amongst peers May feel they are being scrutinised May be embarrassedThomas (2009) p149o Blaxter’s et al. (2008, 158) issues: privacy, informedconsent, anonymity, secrecy, truthfulness, desirability ofresearch
  • 6. Access&EthicsElaborating Specific Ethical IssuesEthical Issue Application to Research ThemeWho is benefiting? Teaching & learning developed for all in D&TUse of others’ time & energy Students may miss other curriculum opportunitiesto take exercise/interviewParents’ timeWill participants be discomforted? (1) Discomfort related to test taking conditions. Culturefair exercise?. Some students feel awkward duringinterviews. Use of recording device. Detriment-willothers feel left out of interviews?Is privacy respected? (2)Data storage (2)Students not involved may know who is involved(anonymity issue). Interviews in private (althoughchild protection guidelines to follow)Consideration to where data is stored (externallocations, USBs etc). Voice recordings.Children in particular:May feel loss of respect amongst peersMay feel they are being scrutinisedThey may be embarrassedLess likely at this schoolPossibly by test taking (younger students)By interview/revealing personal viewpointsBlaxter’s et al. (2008, 158) issues: privacy,informed consent, anonymity, secrecy, truthfulness,desirability of researchBERA (2011) Guidelines (1) 23 (explanation of detriment); (2) 25 (confidentiality); 28(data storage, publication & confidentiality)
  • 7. Access&EthicsConsidering Deceptiono Creativity exercise – does it require an element of‘deception’? To ensure a ‘natural’ response? To avoid leading participants? Could it be described as a ‘learning’ exercise?o Full deliberation/disclosure in reporting (includingfeedback to participants) is recommended by BERA(2011)BERA (2011) Guidelines 14 (openness and Disclosure); 31 (debrief and reporting); 46(scrutiny of data and methods)
  • 8. Access&EthicsInformed Consento Opting In (preferred for high risk; more work for researcher;possible skewed samples) Interview - an invitation explains participant’s involvement ‘informedconsent information’ (Thomas, 2009: 150, Table 7.1) They choose to participate The opportunity to withdraw at any time is made clear No further analysis should take placeo Implied Consent (for lower risk; opt-out approach may beaffected by ‘power relationship’ when researching with children) Creativity Test – ‘delivered’ to Year group or cross section Letter to parents including ‘informed consent information’(Thomas, 2009: 150, Table 7.1) Contentious approach to be agreed with HeadmasterThomas (2009, 150-151)BERA (2011) Guidelines 14 (openness & disclosure);15 (right to withdraw)
  • 9. Access&EthicsInformed Consent InformationConsideration Information (TBC)Nature & purpose of studyExpected benefitsPossible harm that may comefrom the studyConfidentiality, anonymity, datastorage (for how long and itsdestruction)Ethics procedures & appealsResearcher’s name and contactdetailsThomas (2009, 150: Table 7.1)
  • 10. Access&EthicsPotential RisksRisk Application to ResearchThemeCausing psychological or physicalharmTest taking/interviews can beworrying for younger studentsDamaging standing or reputation Involvement in interviews maybe viewed as defamatory byother studentsInfringing privacy Exploring students’ personalperspectivesBreaking the Law Missing the normal curriculum fortest/interviewHarming a community Drawing attention to abilitydifferencesThomas (2009, 152)
  • 11. Access&EthicsThe PoemThought (Leaves of Grass)Of Equality – As if it harm’d me, giving others the samechances and rights as myselfAs if it were not indispensable to my own rights that othersposses the sameWalt Whitman (1860)
  • 12. Access&EthicsReferencesBERA (2011) Ethical Guidelines For Educational Research, retrieved at on 26th March 2012.Blaxter,L., Hughes, C. and Tight, M. (2008) How To Research (3rd ed),Maidenhead: Open University.Foreman-Peck, L. and Winch, C. (2010) Using Educational Research ToInform Practice: A Practical Guide To Practitioner Research In Universitiesand Colleges, London: Routledge.Murphy, F. (1975) Walt Whitman: The Complete Poems, London: Penguin.Thomas, G. (2009) How to do your Research Project, London: Sage.