Schools are complex institutions. They do not easily reveal themselves to researchers who rely on only one or two methods. Understanding a school, its neighbourhood and its students requires a researcher with a more complex repertoire of verbal, statistical and visual research strategies. Place-Based Methods for Researching Schools shows how multiple methods can be used together to research schools, rather than dealing with decontextualised methods, one by one. Taking a novel theoretical approach to the school as a 'place', the book offers grounded illustrations of schools as places from real case study and ethnographic research conducted in both Australia and the UK. A practical guide, this book explores the on-the-ground questions researchers are likely to face in the order they are likely to face them. The chapters not only look at data generation approaches, but also address analysis of the data and writing about the school, topics that are often ignored. Methods explored for use include those drawn from urban planning and geography to explore neighbourhoods, visual surveys, mapping, classroom observation, ethnographic observation, interviews, focus groups, sociograms and linguistic corpora. Including research tips from the authors, case studies, a glossary and annotated further reading list, this book is essential reading for students and scholars approaching their research project.
"Schools are complex institutions. They do not easily reveal themselves to researchers who rely on only one or two methods. Understanding a school, its neighbourhood and its students requires a researcher with a more complex repertoire of verbal, statistical and visual research strategies. Place-Based Research Methods in Schools surveys multiple research tools rather than dealing with them separately. Taking a novel theoretical approach to the school as a 'place', the book offers grounded illustrations of schools as places from real case study and ethnographic research conducted in both Australia and the UK. A practical guide, this book explores the on-the-ground questions researchers are likely to face in the order they are likely to face them. The chapters not only look at data generation approaches, but also address analysis of the data and writing about the school, topics that are often ignored. Methods explored for use include those drawn from urban planning and geography to explore neighbourhoods, visual surveys, mapping, classroom observation, ethnographic observation, interviews, focus groups, sociograms and linguistic corpora. Including research tips from the authors, boxed case studies, a glossary and annotated further reading list, this book is essential reading for students and scholars approaching their research project"--
An epidemic of student disengagement in schools and rampant standardization nationally that "teaches to the test", is leaving the actual experiences and everyday lives of students out of their education (Umphrey, 2007). In this cultural context, it seems imperative that schools reawaken the learning spirit of students by bringing their own communities and 'places' of their everyday life into the classroom. I wanted to investigate how a critical place-based education in the arts, utilizing arts based methods of research, could activate and engage urban students in their personal explorations of community. Place-based education is believed to boost self-esteem, academic achievement, and student engagement. In an action research project focused on using arts based methods of research, I addressed the questions: What occurs when students use artistic strategies to research, collect data about and represent their communities? How does an urban critical place-based art education affect students' perceptions of their own community and research? What occurs when students become the researchers and teachers of their own communities in the classroom and art curriculum through the artistic strategies of photography, drawing, and map-making? I investigated my research questions through a critical place-based action research project. I worked with beginning photography students at an urban Chicago high school for 7 weeks to create a photographic series of their view of their community through a series of images taken using various set parameters for exploration. Students were regarded as researchers who mapped their personal perceptions of their community through instruction based explorations, documentary photography, the maintenance of a creative research journal, and the creation of a map artwork utilizing their contact sheet images. My study furthers the argument that we need to break children out of the four walls of the classroom as one way to address student disengagement in classrooms. A critical place-based approach can not only better the school and surrounding communities, but also aid students in the development of a personal community identity. I have shown that by putting students in the role of co-researchers, art educators can increase their ability to critically construct their own ideas of community. My research has shown that a critical place-based educational experience, utilizing arts-based research as a teaching tool, is a beneficial asset to children as they grapple with growing up, developing their own ideas about their communities, and asserting themselves within the world.
"As education evolves in the 21st century and students learn to develop knowledge from the ground up, educators step into the role of facilitator. Critical to this paradigm shift is a connection with places that develops knowledge from local experiences into broad global understanding. This thesis explores the literature on how people develop a connection with place, the importance of learning about the world through appropriate developmental stages, and the relevance of place-based education as part of learning in the 21st century. Through qualitative research methods--including surveys, interviews, and focus groups--this thesis demonstrates the ways in which educators in an elementary school in Albuquerque, New Mexico develop a personal sense of place. It also asks how an educator's understanding of place is integrated into her or his teaching practices and addresses where there is room for place-based education principles in a wide range of classrooms. The findings of this study suggest that through relationships to place and people, young learners can develop a sense of belonging that drives a love of and responsibility for places on both local and global scales."--leaf 6.
Doing Educational Research in Rural Settings is a much-needed guide for educational researchers whose research interests are located outside metropolitan areas in places that are generically considered to be rural. This book is both timely and important as it takes up the key question of how to conduct educational research within and for rural communities. It explores the impact of educational research in such contexts in terms of the lasting good of research and also those being researched. The authorship is international, which brings together researchers experienced in conducting educational inquiry in rural places from across European, Australian, American, and Canadian contexts, allowing readers insight into national and regional challenges. It also draws on the research experiences and methodological challenges faced by senior figures in the field of rural educational research, as well as those in their early careers. Key topics include: Working with and within the rural; The impact of educational globalisation and the problematisation of cultural difference in social research; Researcher subjectivities; The position of education research in rural contexts; The usefulness of research Reciprocity and converging interest; Ethics and confidentiality. This book is uniquely written with an eye to practicality and applicability, and will be an engaging guide for higher degree and doctoral students seeking to gain a stronger understanding of educational research in rural settings.
As the sixth volume in the International Research on School Leadership series, the contributing authors in this volume consider the history, challenges, and opportunities of the field of research and practice in educational leadership and administration in schools and districts. Ten years after the work of Firestone and Riehl (2005) and their contributing authors, our aim with the present volume was to summarize and update the work of the field, and provide a space to consider the multiple futures of educational leadership in schools and districts, as both challenges and opportunities. The first decade of the twenty?first century brought significant critiques, challenges, and competition to the research and practice of training leaders and administrators of schools and districts around the world. Congruently, the field experienced significant growth and change, as multiple new sub?domains flourished and were founded. Thus, in this volume we were delighted to included excellent chapters from multiple authors that considered the duality of the challenges and opportunities of: - The work of the field of educational leadership and administration research to date. - The opportunities and challenges of new visions of leadership in traditional and non?traditional schools. - The evolving state of research evidence in educational leadership and the increasing sophistication of multiple methodologies, including qualitative research, quantitative modeling, the ability to test theory, and the increasing opportunities brought on by the intersection of data, research, and practice. - The preparation of educational leaders. - And the emerging trends in the professional development of school leaders. The authors of the nine chapters in the present book volume took on this challenge of confronting the duality of not only including the past as we look to the future, but also the duality of the critique of the field in the midst of exciting and significant progress in our knowledge and understanding of leadership in schools. In the first section of the book (Chapters 2, 3 and 4), the authors examine the interplay of educational leadership research and theory as it relates to reform in schools, especially as it relates to serving historically underserved populations globally. In section 2 (Chapters 5 and 6), the authors highlight the importance of methodological considerations in school leadership research as a means to understand theory and practice as well as providing interesting avenues that point to multiple exciting future possibilities through rely ing on current innovations noted within the chapters. Section 3, (Chapters 7 and 8) examine the research and practice of school leadership preparation, especially as it relates to university?district partnerships and non?traditional school settings. And in the final chapter, (Chapter 9), our capstone contributor provides a means to link the present volume with the past writings on these topics, while also providing a lens to view the exciting possibilities and promises of the multiple futures of the field of educational leadership research and practice.
Mathematics, Science and Technology Education (MSTE) emerged as a research discipline in the 1960s, and continues to reflect the distinctive flavour and character of its roots in Western societies, and science. In this mode, often based on positivist frameworks, research environments are characterised by idealised environments, sanitised research conditions; depoliticised neutralised data and contested analyses. The book arises from needs in the mathematics and science education research community in Southern Africa for a methodology text that is responsive to rapidly changing educational environments; and to the challenges and possibilities of research in contexts characterised by inequality, diversity, poverty, violence, the particular history within which research takes place, and the consequent ethical and socio-political considerations. The book also acknowledges and works with the practical and political realities of education and schooling in much of Southern Africa, where schools are often poorly resourced and communication with them is often difficult, and where research methodologies and ethics have to take account of the complexities of school operations and school-community relationships. The book does not aim to position itself as a counterpoint to 'conventional' research methodologies. It aims to build on the established base of mainstream MSTE and seeks to elevate and widen the debates, raise methodological issues, and offer innovative possibilities and pedagogies. To this end, the chapters present theoretical, meta-level reflections on issues in research design in the fields of mathematics, science and technology education. In this shift of focus, the book draws on a number of fairly recent research approaches. These include ethno mathematics, cultural studies in science education, place-based education, community-based education, environmental education, socially critical theory, and education for social and economic development.
This book describes and documents one school’s experiences in achieving their environmental literacy goals through the development of a place-based learning environment. Through this iniative, a longitudinal, descriptive case study began at the Bowen Island Community School to both support and advocate for ecological literacy, while helping the school realize its broad environmental learning goals. Conceptualised as an intensive case study of a learning environment (with an environmental education focus), the program was part of a larger ecological literacy project conducted in association with preservice and graduate education programs at a nearby university and research centre. Following both (empirical) learning environments and participatory (ethnographic) research methods, the project is described from a variety of perspectives: students, teachers, teacher educators, researchers and administrators. The volume describes a variety of forms of place-based education that teachers devised and implemented at the school while giving evidence of the development of a supportive and positive place-based learning environment. The programs and initiatives described in this volume provide the reader with insights for the development of place-based programming more generally . The final chapter outlines participatory methods and action research efforts used to evaluate the success of the project and recounts the development and validation of a learning environment instrument to assist with this process. The new instrument coupled with qualitative descriptions of the learning environment experienced by many at the school give unique insights into the various ways the study of learning environments (as a methodology) may be explored.
Environment Based Learning (EBL), also known as Place-Based Learning (PBL), is a style of curriculum design that focuses on local community examples to teach curriculum standards. Students are better able to relate to content and to feel more connected to their communities and local environments through this strategy. While schools across the country are using these methods, there is far less research available on rural vs. urban place-based learning. This quantitative study aims to determine at what frequency rural Virginia high school teachers utilize an environment-based curriculum to meet the state’s Standards of Learning. This was completed through an anonymous survey of classroom teachers. Designated school employees were asked to send a Qualtrics created survey to rural high school teachers in their districts. Fifteen participants from two different rural Virginia school districts responded to the survey. Findings suggest that despite a lack of familiarity and training with this curriculum design, nearly half of the respondents utilized environment based curriculum at some previous time. EBL does not make up the majority of their curriculum, but it is being utilized. The results of this study suggest that rural Virginia teachers are already using EBL, but teacher opinions on its importance in the classroom vary greatly. More research, specifically qualitative research, may be necessary to completely understand the use of environment-based learning by educators in rural Virginia High Schools.--Abstract