ERIC Number: ED276670
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Nov-14
Reference Count: 0
Ethnographic Scholarship and Social Education.
Palonsky, Stuart B.
Ethnographers find themselves among a family of researchers referred to as naturalists. This rather diverse family conducts research described by turns as qualitative, participant observational, case study, symbolic interactionist, phenomenological, constructivist, and interpretive. The focus of the ethnographer's inquiry is on the mundane, everyday practices of people. Social studies and ethnographic research would seem to go together naturally. What may be surprising is that social studies educators appear to be less willing than others in education to use field research techniques. In 1973, Shaver and Larkins argued that most of the research in social studies was being conducted by graduate students. There may be several reasons for the paucity of ethnographic studies of social studies classes or social studies teaching. Among these reasons are: (1) There is a disconcerting narrowness of scope in ethnographic design. (2) The research methodologies require a difficult, time-consuming set of procedures which, if not adhered to, lead to research of questionable value, and leave the researcher time for very little else. (3) Although classroom ethnographies provide rich descriptions, they present only a thin slice of school culture. (4) Host schools are entitled to protection, but pseudonyms and disguises cannot mask the school and those who earn a livelihood there from anyone who knew about the enterprise. (BZ)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers; Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the College and University Faculty Assembly, National Council for the Social Studies (New York, November 14, 1984).