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Analyzing Communication

Praxis of Method

Series:

Wolff-Michael Roth and Pei-Ling Hsu

The collection of data sources in the social sciences involves communication in one form or another: between research participants who are observed while communicating or between researcher and researched, who communicate so that the former can learn about/from the latter. How does one analyze communication? In particular, how does one learn to analyze data sources established in and about communication? In response to these questions, the authors provide insights into the "laboratory" of social science research concerned with the analysis of communication in all of its forms, including language, gestures, images, and prosody. Writing in the spirit of Bourdieu, and his recommendations for the transmission of a scientific habitus, the authors allow readers to follow their social science research in the making. Thus, each chapter focuses on a particular topic-identity, motivation, knowing, interaction-and exhibits how to go about researching it: How to set up research projects, how to collect data sources, how to find research questions, and how to do many other practical things to succeed. The authors comment on excerpts from the findings of between 2 and 4 published studies to describe how to write and publish research, how to address audiences, which decisions they have made, which alternative approaches there might exist, and many other useful recommendations for data analysis and paper publishing. In the end, the authors actually follow an expert social scientist as he analyzes data in real time in front of an audience of graduate students. The entire book therefore constitutes something like a journey into the kitchen of an experienced chef who gives advice in the process of cooking.

Auto/Biography and Auto/Ethnography

Praxis of Research Method

Series:

Wolff-Michael Roth

In a number of academic disciplines, auto/biography and auto/ethnography have become central means of critiquing of the ways in which research represents individuals and their cultures. Auto/biography and auto/ethnography are genres that blend ethnographic interests with life writing and they tell about a culture at the same time they tell about an individual life. This book presents educational researchers, in exemplary form, the possibilities and constraints of both auto/biography and auto/ethnography as methods of doing educational research. The contributors to this volume explore, by means of examples, auto/biography and auto/ethnography as means for critical analysis and as tool kit for the different stakeholders in education. The four thematic sections deal with: a. different possible uses and constraints of the two methods b. understanding teaching and teaching to learn c. institutional critiques d. experiences and trajectories as evidence of a sociology of everyday life. The book was written to be used by upper undergraduate and graduate students taking courses in research design; because of its practical approach, it is highly suitable for those contexts where research methods courses do not exist. The audience also includes professors, who want to have a reference on design and methodology, and those who have not yet had the opportunity to employ a particular method.

Doing Teacher-Research

A Handbook for Perplexed Practioners

Series:

Wolff-Michael Roth

There are many teachers who think about doing research in their own classes and schools but who are perplexed by what appears to be involved. This book is intended for these perplexed practitioners, to provide them with an easily understandable narrative about the concrete praxis of doing research in their classrooms or in those of their teacher peers teaching next door or in the same school. The fundamental idea underlying this book is to provide an easily accessible but nevertheless intellectually honest text that allows teachers to increase their agency with respect to better understanding their praxis and the events in their classrooms by means of research.
The author draws on his experience of doing teacher-research while being a high school teacher and department head. Roth uses six concrete research studies that he has conducted alone or with peers to describe the salient parts of any teacher-researcher investigation including: what topic to study; issues of ethics and permissions from students, school, and parents; how and what sources to collect; how to structure resources; how to construct data from the materials; how to derive claims; and how to write a report/research study. Roth chose the case-based approach because cases provide the details necessary for understanding why and how he, as teacher-researcher, has made certain decisions, and what he would do differently today. Using this case-based approach, he allows readers to tie methods choices to situations that they likely are familiar with.

Doing Qualitative Research

Praxis of Method

Series:

Wolff-Michael Roth

The author takes readers on a journey of a large number of issues in designing actual studies of knowing and learning in the classroom, exploring actual data, and putting readers face to face with problems that he actually or possibly encountered, and what he has done or possibly could have done. The reader subsequently sees the results of data collection in the different analyses provided. The author shows how one writes very different studies using the same data sources but very different theoretical assumptions and analytic technique.
The author brings his publication experience in very different disciplinesinto play to provide readers with way of experiencing research as praxis. The book is organized around six major themes (sections), in the course of which it develops the practical problems an educational researcher might face in a large variety of settings. The book was written to be used by upper undergraduate and graduate students taking courses in research design and professors who want to have a reference on design and methodology.