Trusting the process: using an emergent design to study adult education

Wright, Hazel R. (2009) Trusting the process: using an emergent design to study adult education. Educate. ISSN 1477-5557

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Abstract

This paper describes the process of becoming an educational researcher. Years of carrying out minor research projects where time and disciplinary constraints necessitated a pre-planned research strategy, led to a determination to let the unfolding research agenda dictate the choice of methods in a doctorate. I wanted to explore the interpretative paradigm in depth in addition to adopting an interdisciplinary approach to my research. I therefore spent some considerable time studying different methodologies and questioning my own ontological and epistemological position before electing for „real world research‟ using an emergent framework rather than a postmodern form of bricolage. The reasons behind such decisions form the background to this paper. The research topic was a case study of a group of mature adult women returning to education to train in childcare. Data capture required retrospective recall so, of necessity, the major research strategy was that of interview but the flexibility gained through researching students already known to me, allowed a degree of experimentation with the interview techniques, particularly a shift from semi-structured to conversational style to free-association interviewing. This required a means to evidence the nuances within the discourse, met by the adoption of conversation analysis techniques at the transcription stage. Immersion in the data allowed a holistic interpretation. This led to thematic analysis, the development of typologies and creation of localized theory, and then to the adoption of the capability approach as a conceptual framework taking the theorization to higher levels of refinement, demonstrating that my trust in the process was founded.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Citation: Wright, H.R., 2009. Trusting the process: using an emergent design to study adult education. Educate Special Issue December 2009, pp.62-73. Presented at: Kaleidoscope ’09: Annual Graduate Conference in Education, University of Cambridge, 5 June 2009..
Faculty: Faculty of Education (for research published prior to September 2011)
Depositing User: Mr I Walker
Date Deposited: 11 May 2011 15:25
Last Modified: 07 Jul 2016 12:49
URI: http://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/129406

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