ERIC Number: ED444121
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
The Role of Qualitative and Ethnographic Research in Educational Policy.
It is only by the considered and judicious use of a range of methodologies that educators, policymakers and the public can make real advances to the system for teaching students to reach their full reading potential. By limiting reading instruction research to experimental and quasiexperimental studies, the National Reading Panel missed critical areas included in qualitative and ethnographic research and nullified the possibility of solving learning and teaching problems. Language and cognitive differences, differential access to books, and inequalities in schooling are possible causes for differential achievement rates, a type of educational research addressed through ethnography. The rigor represented in codified ethnographic research methods produces scientifically valid and reliable data, as do descriptive and correlational methodologies and their combinations. Ethnographic, correlational, and descriptive methodologies demonstrate a value added nature which increases their potential contribution to educational research. These methodologies are needed to allow investigation of insights, possible operative factors, and new information, which need to be understood before limiting studies to experimental, hypothesis-testing approaches. (EF)
Descriptors: Elementary Education, Ethnography, Literacy, Qualitative Research, Reading Instruction, Reading Research, Research Methodology
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: International Reading Association, Newark, DE.