ERIC Number: ED216556
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982
Reference Count: N/A
Ethnography in Education: Defining the Essentials.
Heath, Shirley Brice
Three aspects of the question of ethnography in education are considered: (1) an explanation of how some ethnographic methodology might be applied in ethnographic research in education; (2) some weaknesses and strengths of ethnography; and (3) a proposal for a case study in which essentials of ethnographic research might be carried out in a community-to-school study. The distinguishing feature of ethnographic studies in institutional settings is consideration by the researcher of the applicability of methods and theories used by anthropologists. Those discussed here are ethnohistorical research; definition of the unit of study, microethnographic work, linguistic investigations, and analysis of artifacts. Some of the weaknesses isolated are related to the generalizability of ethnographic studies, the absence of attention to values in descriptions of cultures, and deficiencies in achievement of comprehensiveness and holistic context. The strength of ethnographic studies lies in its provision of an empirical data base which can help provide the context for expanded interpretations of studies done by other researchers. The case-study outline proposed is a cross-cultural project intended to illustrate how ethnographic research can provide data about ways of becoming literate, specific areas of knowledge about reading and writing, and cultural items that are employed by community members in teaching and using literacy. (AMH)
Descriptors: Anthropological Linguistics, Case Studies, Cultural Context, Educational Anthropology, Ethnography, Literacy, Research Methodology, School Community Relationship, Schools
Not available separately; see FL 012 948.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A