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ERIC Number: EJ876938
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Apr
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 44
ISSN: ISSN-0141-1926
Contrasting Concepts of Learning and Contrasting Research Methodologies: Affinities and Bias
Hodkinson, Phil; Macleod, Flora
British Educational Research Journal, v36 n2 p173-189 Apr 2010
This paper analyses the conceptual significance of different methods of researching learning. Based largely upon our own experiences, we briefly compare the use of mini-ethnography, life history, cross-sectional surveys and existing panel survey data. We argue that there are strong affinities between each of these methods and significantly different ways of understanding the nature of learning: mini-ethnographies with learning as participation, life history with learning as construction and both types of survey with learning as acquisition. Three things follow. The first is that decisions about how to research learning are related to decisions about how to conceptualise and theorise learning. The second is that there is no foolproof empirical way to adjudicate between different conceptualisations of learning, though empirical evidence can and should play a significant part in informing such decisions. The third is that though mixing methods (including mixing more than one different qualitative approach) can bring advantages, the integration of the findings of mixed methods in relation to learning requires careful and sometimes difficult conceptual work. (Contains 2 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A