ERIC Number: ED231846
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Mar-26
Reference Count: 0
The Dilemma of the Professional Educator as Ethnographer: Blessing or Curse?
In socio-cultural field studies the professional investigator encounters problems which raise questions about the researcher's role and influence in the field. A study investigating how a lower and lower-middle class suburban socio-cultural society and an art teacher influence high school students' assumptions about art, also examines the individual's experience of research as a participant observer. Conflicts of interest concern how much professional leadership activity to engage in while working in the field; when the revelation of self and expertise limit or further the research goal; with whom to associate to gain necessary information; and when the tradeoff of information given is worth an understanding gained. Issues of morality, ethics, and loyalty to research subjects reveal dilemmas presented by participant observation methods, shown in anecdotal examples from the research data. The paradoxical issues--to change or not to change the investigated situation--represent philosophical concerns that perhaps cannot be solved, but nevertheless merit discussion. (CM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Participant Observation; Research Subject Relationship
Note: Paper presented at the Ethnography in Education Research Forum (March 26, 1983).