ERIC Number: ED436326
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-May
Praxis to Practice: Putting Qualitative Methods To Work for Rural Education.
Lawrence, Barbara Kent
This paper examines issues and areas of concern for the educational researcher moving from the relative safety of academic research to the more perilous arena of practice-oriented or action-oriented qualitative research. The first question is one of purity or objectivity: giving credibility to research results by imposing adequate rigor on methods and interpretation to offset the agenda of a financial supporter or to balance the researcher's own perspective or ambitions. The second question regards the ethics of research. The action researcher has no more license to harm than does the academic researcher. It is argued that the applied or action researcher must have higher standards of ethics as the research subjects will not be anonymous and their lives or careers could be negatively affected. Next is the question of power--the aura around "research" that elevates the researcher over his or her subjects, as well as the power of the qualitative research process to distort the researcher's perspective and judgment. Finally, there are the double questions of applicability and accountability. The action researcher must face not only the prospect of sharing research findings but also of seeing those findings tested and applied. Seven questions are posed to researchers concerning how to put qualitative methods to work for rural education. A table compares 10 aspects of academic, pedagogical, and applied/action research. (SV)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Qualitative Research in Rural Education Conference (1st, Morgantown, WV, May 20-21, 1999).