ERIC Number: ED208214
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Dec
Reference Count: 0
Ethnographic Methods for Exploring the Education/Work Nexus.
Passmore, David Lynn
Ethnographic methods have been proposed as one alternative to research based heavily on statistics and experimental design. Ethnography essentially means "a way of systematically learning reality from the point of view of the participant." Four features distinguish ethnographic research from other research methods: (1) the research is considered as an instrument of the research; (2) research is guided by an inductive, serendipitous, holistic perspective of the research problem and process; (3) research methods are designed to be used "in situ," that is, in the natural setting in which the human behavior of interest to the researcher is occurring; and(4) the results of ethnographic research often lack the capacity to startle their consumers because these results frequently take on a commonplace character and tone. Ethnographic methods might provide a fruitful alternative to common research methodology for studying problems of the education/work connection, such as studies of job skill acquisition and adaptability, employer preferences in hiring youth, youth employability problems, reasons for student enrollment in vocational education, and effects of vocational education on youth's ability to acquire and progress in jobs. The ethnographic approach should not become just a fad, however. Many approaches to research problems will be needed to create the knowledge we need to improve the transition of youth from school to work. (KC)
Descriptors: Adolescents, Adults, Education Work Relationship, Employer Attitudes, Employment Patterns, Employment Practices, Employment Problems, Ethnography, Job Skills, Observation, Outcomes of Education, Postsecondary Education, Research Methodology, Research Needs, Research Problems, Secondary Education, Student Educational Objectives, Transfer of Training, Unemployment, Vocational Education, Young Adults, Youth Employment
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Pennsylvania Research Coordinating Unit for Vocational Education, Harrisburg.
Authoring Institution: Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park. Div. of Occupational and Vocational Studies.
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Vocational Association (Atlanta, GA, December 1981).