ERIC Number: ED246272
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Ethnographic Methodology in a Study of Word Recognition Strategies of Adult Beginning Readers.
Ethnography is a research methodology that belongs to a genre of research called by various names, including educational anthropology, participant observation, case study, field study, and naturalistic inquiry. Ethnography was used as the research methodology for a nine-month study of adult beginning readers in Virginia. The research design was a case study that focused on the learning-to-read process of adults in beginning reading instructional situations. Data included the field notes of the observers, documents and materials used in the settings, and statistics descriptive of test results. Analysis was qualitative rather than quantitative. The ethnographic procedures used in the studies included (1) selecting and training a research team, (2) gaining access and acceptance in the field, (3) holding weekly staff meetings and seminars to specify multiple research roles and evolving focuses; and (4) using procedures to establish a valid database. The study concluded that ethnography is an appropriate methodology when the purpose of the research is to describe and analyze a process from which variables can be identified and relationships suggested. These relationships can later be tested as hypotheses in verification research. Although the methodology is rigorous, time consuming, intellectually demanding, and presents complexities in roles and research ethics, it does provide standards to assess the validity of the data and it is an exciting and fascinating approach to inquiry. (KC)
Descriptors: Adult Basic Education, Adult Literacy, Adult Students, Beginning Reading, Case Studies, Educational Research, Ethnography, Field Studies, Literacy Education, Reading Instruction, Research Methodology, Research Problems, Research Skills, Research Tools, Social Science Research, Word Recognition
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Qualitative Research
Note: Paper presented at the Adult Education Research Conference (Raleigh, NC, April 1984). For related documents, see ED 213 990 and ED 219 552.