This book is an introduction to the role played by Spanish formal education in providing feminist pedagogies to adolescents and young people, throughout the first two decades of the 21st century. The images of Spanish feminist protests in recent years, with a considerable presence of young girls but also boys, have spread around the world. But what is their relationship with gender-based inequalities? What is the role of formal education in their understanding of social reality? A sociological and historical analysis of the social and educational changes that have taken place in Spanish youth during these decades are combined, with a pedagogical orientation towards practice.
Teaching and learning qualitative research involves engagement with diverse research methods and procedures. In this chapter, we present collage-making as a pedagogical strategy to facilitate doctoral students’ exploration of their research topics. The ideas of arts-based teaching and learning, social constructivism, and knowledge construction through reflection guided our ways of engaging students in social interaction to foster their understanding about research and their own topics of interest. Six first-year doctoral students prepared collages to illustrate their research topics, presented and discussed them with professors and peers and reflected on the processes of creating and thinking about their research with the collages. Through a description of these activities, we demonstrate how collage can be used to explore and recognise student prior knowledge and new understandings, to encourage openness to different perspectives, to unlock new ways of thinking, and to look at the research topic from a different angle. We end the chapter with insights into how collage helped our students become better acquainted with the methodological diversity of qualitative research and make more informed decisions regarding their own research.
Qualitative research is often a challenging craft for learners. Demands include exploration of beliefs and perceptions of study participants while retaining researcher awareness of his or her own beliefs and perceptions; and construction of a theory or theories of observed reality based on analysis of texts or study of participants’ behaviors. The challenge is even greater for undergraduate students of qualitative inquiry. For some, “research” as a concept poses a psychological barrier, others may not even be aware qualitative research methods exist. A solution that may help qualitative students overcome their personal challenges, preferences and attitudes is a supportive, positive, welcoming, and collaborative classroom climate (in short – CoCC) for learning, created by the instructor.
In this chapter I present my best practices for creating a CoCC. The chapter comprises three sections. First, I present a collaborative classroom climate framework proposed by and characterize the student population at the college in which I teach. In the second section I describe four principles that have guided me in creating supportive, positive and welcoming CoCC. I ground each principle in two earlier qualitative studies – one that presented a teaching framework for qualitative research methods course (QRMC) () and another in which I explored student experiences and the role of the instructor during QRMC (). Using excerpts from student reflections and my own diary I then present exemplar teaching activities and assignments and illustrate the impact they have on students.
In this chapter, I (Janet) describe how university mandates related to the COVID pandemic required me to teach a qualitative methods #1 class online – a learning platform with which I, an advocate of social constructivist pedagogy, was unfamiliar. The extant literature did not offer much help, but collaboration with my former student and volunteer technical expert, research assistant, Christy, proved highly successful. With Christy as a technical advisor, I was able to follow my usual course curriculum and design and support my students as they learned how to create a priori research questions as a first step to structuring an inquiry; devise simulated inquiries through problem-solving teamwork; engage in all group collaborative projects; and write weekly critiques of published inquiries that employed case studies, phenomenology, arts-based research, narrative, oral history, autoethnography and grounded theory, followed by small group discussions about each method of inquiry. As a final individual assignment, my students devised and presented a simulated inquiry followed by class members asking questions and offering their suggestions for improvement. Scholars note that traditional course evaluation surveys are not adequate for online courses (). Therefore, Christy and I provide students’ responses to an informal pilot end-of-semester survey we designed to ascertain their perceptions of the class. We based the survey questions on tenets of three constructs identified in the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework, which presents critical prerequisite factors for student understanding and satisfaction in online learning environments (, ; ; also see ). We close the chapter with an overview of our concerns and accomplishments about the course.
In this chapter we explore ways a qualitative research methodology course has moved from a strictly theoretical orientation to one that includes active, hands-on learning based on constructivist pedagogy. We frame the work using three themes – the passion, the personal and the process. I, Lynn, share in detail activities for encouraging researcher reflexivity and practicing concrete processes for thematic, narrative and arts-based methodologies and suggest how they can be adapted to a digital context if needed. Nicole responds dialogically by describing her experiences in the various components of the course, illustrating how these contributed to her dissertation, and how she adapted these components in her secondary school classroom. The chapter highlights throughout all processes the importance of an ethical and relational stance in every aspect of a research endeavour. It summarizes the evaluation processes I used that were based on a pass/fail marking system in order to encourage risk taking and peer collaboration. I conclude with some reflective comments about the importance of using student responses and experiences to refine the work further. Together, Nicole and I aspire to get novice researchers out of the “armchair” by rolling up their sleeves and participating in hands-on methodological activities.
Data visualization is a powerful analytic tool that enables researchers to explore and interpret the complexities of human experience and present findings in ways accessible to others. The process of constructing a visual representation enables researchers to pull together multiple patterns and themes derived from the data to (1) better understand and describe participants’ experiences in a holistic and meaningful way, and (2) facilitate the process of making connections between the findings and existing theory. We view this process as a form of thick description and a way to establish trustworthiness of findings and methodological rigor.
Researchers have used a variety of media, tools, and methods for visual construction in previous studies, including word clouds, visual metaphors, photo collage, and sculpture. The process has become increasingly popular, and the emergence of graphic and photo technologies have made these methods accessible to researchers with little or no previous artistic experience. Constructing effective visuals, however, can be daunting, particularly for novice researchers and graduate students. Moreover, the complexities and abstract nature of data visualization and visual construction can be challenging to teach.
In this chapter, we offer strategies to teach visual construction using a structured and supportive approach, as well as tips and common pitfalls for the novice researcher and teachers of qualitative research. We also illustrate the value of a social constructivist approach to teaching through one doctoral student’s retrospective reflections on his experience of visual construction first in the classroom, and then during his dissertation research. We integrate specific examples of his work throughout the chapter. These examples show the value of social constructivism in the evolution of a powerful visual representation that effectively illustrates the emotional and life changing experiences of his participants.
The premises and value judgements of axiology as a strong force in all phases of interpretive inquiry are often difficult for qualitative methods students to understand and acknowledge. Yet, qualitative inquiries have minimal value unless researchers address and explain their axiological stances that drive all dimensions of their research (; also see ). In this chapter we describe an arts-based approach to help qualitative students evoke and address their research assumptions and value positions. We begin with a succinct overview of axiological perspectives. We then provide a rationale for turning to the arts as inspiration for personal axiological discovery. Next, doctoral students highlighted in this chapter portray and describe how an arts-based approach elicited their explorations and recognition of the influence of their subconscious, culturally influenced, research stances. We conclude the chapter with a summary of important points to remember about the influence of axiological presumptions on qualitative researchers’ decisions.