ERIC Number: ED296877
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988
Interaction in a Rural Science Class. A Naturalistic Study.
Scott, Jessica P.
The positivist paradigm has dominated the shape and direction of research in education. Traditionally the scientific method is adhered to, variables are strictly controlled, statistics are compiled, and conclusions are reached. In the post-positivist paradigm, studies conducted using naturalistic inquiry take place in the natural setting and do not attempt to control variables. This paper investigated: (1) the effect of a researcher upon a class; and (2) the types of interactions which occur in a classroom. This research was conducted in a seventh grade science class. Participant observation, interviews, and written work were the methods employed to collect data. Member checks were done at various points during data collection and analysis. Triangulation was accomplished through the use of participant observation, interviews, and the written work of students. There was concurrence between the results of each method. Results showed that the introduction of a researcher into a normal classroom does affect the students' reactions. They are more subdued and reticient. By the third visit, most of the students were acting more normal and included the researcher in conversations and discussions. Results also showed classroom interactions constantly occurring between students, students and teacher, and teacher and students. (RT)
Descriptors: Classroom Communication, Classroom Research, Educational Research, Ethnography, Interaction, Interpersonal Communication, Junior High Schools, Naturalistic Observation, Participant Observation, Qualitative Research, Questioning Techniques, Rural Education, Science Education, Secondary School Science, Student Reaction, Teacher Student Relationship
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Researchers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 5-9, 1988).