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ERIC Number: ED204342
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Feb
Reference Count: 0
Very Special Natives: The Evolving Role of Teachers as Informants in Educational Ethnography.
Underlying the current use of ethnography in the study of teaching and learning is the assumption of an analogy between the school or classroom and culture. The claim of educational ethnography is that it discovers and describes the ways that members of the school community create and share meaning. Ethnographers aim to discover the operating knowledge that enables educators and students to navigate everyday life in schools. To document classroom life with any measure of completeness or validity, the ethnographer must consider both the social life of the classroom and the mental activities occasioned by social interaction. Teachers, as the chief planners and purveyors of important occasions for learning in the classroom, are in a unique position to observe, monitor, and reflect upon both social and academic change in the classroom. In this light, teachers are very special natives of the classroom community who can be important arbiters of the validity of educational ethnography and can even help to shape the course of ethnographic description. (Author)
Descriptors: Behavior Standards, Classroom Environment, Classroom Techniques, Communication (Thought Transfer), Educational Anthropology, Ethnography, Interaction Process Analysis, Research Methodology, Social Behavior, Social Environment, Teacher Role
Institute for Research on Teaching, College of Education, Michigan State University, 252 Erickson Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824 ($2.50).
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Michigan State Univ., East Lansing. Inst. for Research on Teaching.
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Symposium of the University of Delaware College of Education (5th, Newark, DE, May 23-24, 1980).