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SCLY 2 - Research methods - Observations

SCLY 2 - Research methods - observations

Alan Mears

on 17 January 2013

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Transcript of SCLY 2 - Research methods - Observations

using Observations as a Research Method Observational Methods Outline the differences between each type of observation

Fill in relevant sections of the research methods Pack

Apply educational research examples to each method Research Method: Participant Observation Lesson Aims A big Problem with questionnaires and interviews is that what people say they do and what they Actually do are often very different BUT....... To over come this problem, researchers can observe the group to see them in their everyday environment.

By using observations, a researcher can get a more Valid picture of society. It is also ETHNOGRAPHIC as the researcher gains understanding through experiencing the situation first hand. AND There are two key debates a researcher must address before conducting observational research:

Whether they are going to be PARTICIPANT or NON- PARTICIPANT observer

Whether to carry out the research OVERTLY or COVERTLY. ACTIVITY 1 Using the information we have discussed & your own knowledge.

Complete the table at the bottom of page 31 in your research methods pack. Non-Participant Observation - Man in the Wendy House (Ronald King, 1984) Initially King sat at the back of a class and observed the children. He had no input in lessons and politely refused when children asked for help
In attempt to be completely un-obtrusive King even used the classrooms Wendy house as a hide so he could observe the children and not affect their behaviour with his presence. "I come to the Library every day to study" "Actually.... I really just come here to use their Wi-Fi to watch Made in Chelsea"
The researcher is involved with the sample group. While their Purpose and role as a researcher is KNOWN to the sample group. OVERT OBSERVATIONS
The researcher is involved with the sample group. While their Purpose and role as a researcher is UN-KNOWN to the sample group. COVERT OBSERVATIONS
Participant - this is where the researcher takes an active role in the activities of the group of individuals being studied in the research. This can be either overt or Covert participation.

Non – Participant – The researcher does not have any direct involvement in the activities of the group being studied. There are two forms of Non – participant observation Overt and covert. NON- PARTICIPANT OBSERVATION Can you think of any examples of sociologists who have conducted research using observations?

How Could observations be used to study education?

What does ethnography mean? Starter Covert observations are good as they reduce the impact of the HAWTHORNE EFFECT on the research.

The Hawthorne effect is when a group act differently as they know they are being watched.

By hiding the researchers identity the group will act naturally and the researcher will get valid data.

Some times it is necessary to use covert methods as it is the only way to research some groups E.g. deviant groups/ criminals However, some researchers do run the risk of GOING NATIVE. when they get too involved in the groups activities and stop being and objective researcher. Overt Observations do reduce the ethical problems of deception and informed consent.

But the Hawthorne effect will have an impact on this type of observation as the group will behave differently - An examples?

However, the researcher can Openly complete their field diary - a record of events and observations they make while doing their research. This is more difficult when researching undercover Bruce Parry observing a tribal ritual Also used structured observation
Flanders Interaction Analysis Categories (FIAC)
This identified ten categories of behaviour that showed teacher-student interaction within the classroom
Observation schedules provide a checklist of behaviours that the researcher is interested in, and allows these teachers' interactions to be recorded as quantitative data. (Positivist would support this method of observation) Flanders - FIAC system
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