9.11.11 final tools for learning searching literature
Jim Dine, 1962, MoMa Tools for Learning Module 2 Searching Literature Paula Nottingham 9/11/11
Module 2 Module 2 is about planning for a professional inquiry. Part of this planning involves learning the skills to investigate topics that you are interested in for your inquiry. For this module you are choosing three pieces of literature and analysing them for there content. You are also trying out the four practitioner inquiry tools: observations, surveys, interviews and focus groups
What is a review of literature? “ The selection of available documents (both published and unpublished) on the topic, which contain information, ideas, data and evidence written from a particular standpoint to fulfil certain aims or express certain views on the nature of the topic and how it is to be investigated, and the effective evaluation of these documents in relation to the research being proposed” (p.13). Hart, C. (1998) Doing a Literature Review , London: Sage Publications.
Reviewing Literature – making choices <ul><ul><li>Searching for work-place, community of practice or disciplinary content about your topic – what is the inquiry about? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Thinking about the levels of criticality of these sources ex. academic research or professional sources – where is the knowledge coming from? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Seeing what concepts or theories (abstract ideas) relate to your practice as a creative professional (theorising your experience in the workplace) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ideas can come from those introduced as samples in the module e.g. professional practice (Eraut), Communities of Practice (Wenger), Experiential Learning (Kolb) OR theories that you learned within the discipline (dance, acting , graphic design). It is your job to relate this literature of theory and practice to what you do. </li></ul>
Data Sources <ul><li>Thinking about the topic and searching for sources to find out about it: </li></ul><ul><li>What are data sources? </li></ul><ul><li>What am I interested in? Where is it ‘located’ and therefore from which potential sources can I generate knowledge of it? What do I expect these sources to be able tell me? (Mason, 2002) </li></ul><ul><li>Large scale studies, mapping documents from the industry or government sources, policy documents in education, people, organisations, texts, events – think about issues of access </li></ul>
Reading Literature for content Use critical thinking when reading literature “ Critical thinking calls for a persistent effort to examine any belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the evidence that supports it and the further conclusions to which it tends” (Glaser 1941, found in Fisher 2001) You will be looking for academic arguments that recognise the various points of view. You can then develop your interpretation of what is happening that is ‘backed up’ by these experts or professionals in the field – it is discovering the ‘why’ questions as well as developing your knowledge and understanding Activity: capturing the author’s position (Cottrell, Critical Thinking Skills, 2005) Read Passage 3.4 see if you can ‘get’ the argument…
Passage 3.4 (Cottrell, 2005) It was initially believed that young children could not understand other people’s points of view or undertake tasks such as counting and measuring until they were as least seven years of age. However, it seems the problem does not lie in children’s capacity to do these things so much as in their understanding of what is being asked and why. If there is no obvious purpose, or they do not understand the language used, children find tasks difficult. Even young children can perform tasks formerly considered too advanced for them, as long as these are set up in ways that make sense to them. Problems that involve teddies or drinks, for example, may be meaningful to a very young child, whereas tasks with counters and beakers are not.
Good Academic Practice: Effective Writing The use of citation for words and images – any ideas that are quoted or paraphrased – you must reference these in a Bibliography, review university guidelines on copyright – use Harvard referencing – WORDS and PICTURES Keeping annotations of literature throughout the process is helpful (writing/drafting notes while reading to refer to later) for evaluating the literature – you may want to type these out on the computer so they will be easier to use later on in your inquiry Making notes throughout the process about key academic arguments in your sector, discipline, field (e.g. the debate about the use of phonics in learning to read)
Sticking to your topic search <ul><li>Watch out not to wander too far away from your topic – try to focus on the articles that have the most relevance. </li></ul><ul><li>Try to be more specific in your search terms – then you will find full-text articles you can download. </li></ul><ul><li>You may find you cannot download some articles because the university library does not have these electronic sources, make a note of the citation and see if you can get it somewhere else or find something similar that you can use. </li></ul>
Searching on Google – gives you some interesting ‘big picture’ ideas but can include lots of unwanted commercial and erroneous sources
Google Scholar limits the search to more academic or professional sources. It sometimes leads your to publisher’s websites that want tot sell you articles. Copy the name of the journal or book and see if it is available at the Middlesex library wither in book or journal form.... These are free to use as a student.
Visually scan what is on offer from the google search BUT go past the first page because Google decides for you and you want to decide on the choices yourself choose a likely source.
Make a decision about how this will give you information about your topic.
Download the source and read it. Many of these articles will talk about research or studies that people have done about their topics… so you need to make some judgments about how this relates to what you are doing.
You can access the Middlesex University resources online using your IT user number and password from the MyUnihub site.
You can go to the catalogue for books and journals and also electronic sources.
Journal articles from the Middlesex library can give you more specialised points of view about your topic. You need to choose three journal articles or other sources to review in this module.
Basic search techniques (Middlesex Website) * or ? allows you to shorten a word but pick up it’s variant endings in a search e.g. account* will pick up account, accountant and accounting AND, NOT and OR join or exclude keywords “ phrase” – putting a phrase in speech marks means that it will be searched in exactly the way that it is entered (bracketed keywords) allow you to perform quite sophisticated levels of searches Boolean Operators Google and Google Scholar do not use these added words for searches – but they are sometimes used within databases and can cut down search time using electronic searches with databases.