Dolly Ramos GallegoBeing a carefulobserverMerriam, (1998) QualitativeResearch and Case studyApplication in Education
Observations: natural field setting- firsthand encounter with phenomenon Interviews: designated location- secondhand account of the world Fieldwork or field study: connote both
Task 1 What is your experience of observing someone’s class or having someone observe your class? Was it a possitive or negative experience? Why? What kind of useful information about teaching could be gathered through observation?
Subjected to controls Recorded (validity- systematically reliability) Planned intentionallyFor a researchpurpose
Why How Triangulate emerging findings Selective attentiveness Record behavior at the moment Learn to be a systematic observer •Writing descriptively Understand complex situations •Recording or using field notes •Choosing the essential info Useful when participants are reluctant
Participant observation Pros Cons
Participant as observer Complete observer• Near total immersion, they are •Outsider- does not take part in the part of the group being social setting at all. E.g. watching studied. Involved and children play from behind a two-way mirror. exposed to routines Complete Participant Observer as participant •Labeled as spy or traitor •Peripheral membership role •Questionable ethics •Observer before participant
What to observe? Purpose of the study Conceptual framework The problem Research question“…Researchers often begin a series ofinvestigations by impressionistic, informalobservation” (Hawkins)
Context, space, objects, resourcesNumber, roles, purpose, characteristicsSequence and length of activities,connection of people and activitiesParticipants and topics of conversationsNonverbal communication, symbolicwordsYour role, actions, reflections
Bogdan and Biklen (1992) What are you actually going to do? Will you be disruptive? What are you going to do with your findings? Why us? What will we get out of this?
Participant as observers •Teacher or researcherNovice Subjectivityresearchers •“a catalyst for•Judging teachers’ changes that are performance already taking place” (Frankenberg,1982) Concerns in observation
Recording observations •Written accounts Field notes of the observation •DuringVideotape- tape •Obtrusive recorders •Describing exactly Recounting what was the session observed •IntrospectiveFieldwork record of the journal experience