NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ815400
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jun
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 43
ISSN: ISSN-1745-7823
Ethnography and the Perils of the Single Case: An Example from the Sociocultural Analysis of Primary Science Expertise
Traianou, Anna
Ethnography and Education, v2 n2 p209-220 Jun 2007
While the use of ethnographic and qualitative research methods has spread across many fields of educational inquiry, until recently this has had little impact on research in science education. However, there is currently a methodological shift taking place in this area, prompted by the rise of a sociocultural perspective on cognition, which sees knowledge as tied to action, and treats expertise as being defined by relevant communities of practice. There is a close affinity between this perspective and ethnography. In this paper, I discuss a recent ethnographic investigation of primary science expertise guided by this perspective: an in-depth study of the perspective and practice of a single teacher. I focus on some of the problems involved in this study, arising from the divergent orientations of the researcher and the practitioner in the context of their collaboration. These difficulties threatened the completion of the study, but in the end were negotiated successfully. However, they raise important questions about the relationship between ethnographer and informant in the context of ethnographic research.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: Researchers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A