ERIC Number: ED222985
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1981-Jun-15
Reference Count: N/A
To Ethnograph or Not to Ethnograph? Varieties of Qualitative Research in Education.
Firestone, William A.; Dawson, Judith A.
Noting the increasing interest in qualitative research in general and ethnographic research in particular, the authors of this report clarify the place of the latter within the former. The authors present six criteria for an ethnographic approach to education, illustrated with examples, and discuss ethnography's advantages and disadvantages. The six criteria presented are that (1) the problem be discovered in the field, (2) the senior investigator conduct the bulk of the field work, (3) the field work take at least a school year, (4) the senior investigator shall have had cross-cultural experience, (5) multiple research methods be utilized, and (6) the finished product present a wealth of primary data from the studied group. The authors next demonstrate the variety in qualitative research by describing some dimensions on which qualitative studies vary. In the area of data collection, qualitative strategies can vary in at least five ways: (1) the number of sites studied, (2) the extent of researcher immersion in the situation studied, (3) the extent to which activities are structured in advance, (4) the nature of the observation frameworks, and (5) reporting strategies. Data analysis can follow one or more of three approaches: the intuitive, the procedural, or the intersubjective. (Author/PGD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Research for Better Schools, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.