Qualitative Research in Education

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.


Science subjects are compulsory, as Junior Science, up to year 10 in Australia. From year 11, science is divided into three main disciplines. The study of junior science provides students with a contemporary and coherent understanding of some of the basic laws, theories and principles of biology, chemistry, physics and other scientific fields and their application. Practical experiences are an essential component of both the Preliminary and HSC courses. Students needs to complete 80 indicative hours of practical/field work during the Preliminary and HSC courses with no less than 35 indicative hours of practical experiences in the HSC course. Practical components are essential for HSC exams as it carry minimum of 30% of internal assessment marks for physics stage 6. The internal assessment mark for Physics Stage 6 is to be based on the HSC course only but practical experiences are also included in Preliminary courses (Board of Studies NSW, 2008). This means that internal assessments carry practical experiences which include at least one open-ended investigation integrating the knowledge and understanding, and skills outcomes in both the Preliminary and HSC courses (Board of Studies NSW, 2008). Practical experiences emphasises hand-on activities, which includes:


undertaking laboratory experiments, including the use of appropriate computer based and digital technologies,

the use of computer simulations for modelling or manipulating data,

using and reorganising secondary data, research using a wide range of sources, including print material, the Internet and digital technologies,

the use of animation, video and film resources that can be used to capture/obtain information not available in other forms,

extracting and reorganising information in the form of flow charts, tables, graphs, diagrams, prose and keys.

Generally, the physics teachers in Stage 6 follow different text books which are endorsed by Department of Education and the practicals are included in these text books. Teachers are allocated 7-8 hours(40-50 minutes) of which 2 or 3 consecutive periods are assigned for practical work. This internal assessment was introduced to enhance the practical skills, knowledge, techniques and understanding of the students. Which is the outcomes of stage 6 Physics Syllabus (see appendix 1). Thus my basic aim of this study, therefore, is to find out whether these outcomes are really achieved in stage 6 Physics. Therefore the objectives of my research will be:

To analyze the Physics prescription ( practical component in relevance to the practical skills that the student must acquire)

To analyze Year 12 Physics practical paper (in relation to the practical skills the students should develop)

To observe Year 12 Physics practical classes( to find out what actually goes on in the Physics Laboratories-whether the aims and objectives of practical course are achieved)

To examine practicum practices in terms of infrastructure available.

To suggest suitable alternatives assessment procedures for Year 12 Physics practical assessments.

An analysis of prescription(practical component)will be carried out to find out the aims and objectives, times allocation, evaluation and theoretical component in relation to practical component. Further alaysis of prescribed practicals will be done to reflect the practical skills that could be developed in Stage 6 Physics classes



Th study will use critical discourse analysis (Jupp & Norris, 1993), critical qualitative ethnographic theory (Carspecken, 1996), 'new' sociology of childhood (Christensen, 2004; James & Prout, 2005) and observing Indigenist research (Martin, 2008; Smith, 1999, 2005) to compare and contrast the identity enshrined in Aboriginal education policies with identities that Aboriginal children and young people experience in every day school situations.

Research Design

This study uses an interpretive approach, framed by a social constructivist epistemology (Neuman, 2000;

Robottom & Hart, 1993) and naturalistic inquiry approaches (Lincoln & Guba, 1985); which will enable close collaboration between me (the researcher) and physics teachers during my study of this concept for a period of 8 weeks in 3 high schools. This study will also be most appropriate research design for monitoring a context specific, and negotiated (Simon & Jones, 1992), curriculum intervention and allowed the complexities of different classrooms to be acknowledged and

explored (Brown, 1992; Sarantakos, 1998). Close collaboration between the researcher and

the teachers also allowed them to more readily reach agreement about the significance of

the gathered data (Lin, 1996).

The current New South Wales Aboriginal Education and Training Policy sets an agenda for "commitments in this area in schools" (NSW Department of Education and Training, 2009). This study will analyse Aboriginal education policies in New South Wales since the first policy was implemented in 1982. It will examine how Aboriginal children and young people have been and are identified in policies, the nature of that 'identity' among the population that the policies target, and how these identities have changed over the period that Aboriginal education policies have been in place in New South Wales.

The qualitative research will take place in six primary and secondary schools in contrasting regional, remote and urban locations within New South Wales. It will include the views of teachers from those schools who teach Aboriginal children and young people. Experiences of Aboriginal adults who participated in schooling in New South Wales since 1982 will also be gathered.

'Identity' is a multi-dimensional complex concept whose definition varies according to different disciplinary lenses, such as sociological, cultural, sociolinguistic and psychological. In this proposal 'identity' will be examined and compared from two sociological aspects: "categorical" or "structural" identity, assigned or ascribed by others often from a position of power, such as policy makers; and unique, "ontological" or "assumed" identity, how individuals define themselves, the social groups and characteristics they assign to themselves (Taylor,1998, cited in McDonald, 2009, p. 244 - 248). "Ascribed identity" will be examined through: the analysis of NSW Aboriginal Education Policy documents and the policy-making procedure, the perspective of policy-makers, and qualitative research into the impact of teaching policies on teaching practice. "Assumed identity" will be investigated through qualitative and ethnographic research with Aboriginal children and young people, and adults who have been educated in New South Wales. These individual perspectives will be analysed from the viewpoint of how they intersect with the definition of 'identity' in policy documents.

In this proposal the term "Aboriginal "or "Aboriginal and Torres Strait" is used to refer to Aboriginal people. Recent terminology adopted by governments and researchers refers to "Indigenous" population. However, the term "Aboriginal" is preferred usage by the NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group Inc., NSW government agencies (NSW Department of Education and Training & NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group Inc, 2004), and by children and young people (Kickett-Tucker, 2009).

The research context

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island children and young people have been identified for educational purposes since the beginning of early colonial settlement of Australia, often from a deficit, negative (Jordan, 1983, p. 135) or "paternalistic" (McConaghy, 2000) manner. In 1814 Governor Macquarie established a school for Aboriginal children in Sydney, in an attempt to 'civilise' the Aboriginal population. This was followed by the establishment of Christian missionary schools with similar aims. Later, state government policies excluded Aboriginal children completely from state schools, or allowed minimum levels of education. This practice continued until the Australian Commonwealth government took over responsibility for Aboriginal Affairs in conjunction with state governments (Beresford, 2003), an outcome of the 1967 national referendum that amended the Australian constitution, empowering the Commonwealth government to make laws affecting Aboriginal people (Tripcony, 2001, p. 2).

In1971 the National Census showed that 25 percent of the Aboriginal population had never attended school, compared to 1 percent of non-Aboriginal people (Beresford, 2003). In1989 the National Aboriginal Education Policy (renamed National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy, NATSIEP, in 1993) was developed to address the inequality of Aboriginal access to education (Tripcony, 2001). This policy provided funding and national goals for Aboriginal education. Since then an increasingly complex web of policies and strategies has been developed and revised at federal state government levels, charting the slow progress in addressing and achieving the provision of full education for Aboriginal Australians. In 1995 a review of the NATSIEP implementation by the Ministerial Council for Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA) identified the need for a co-ordinated strategy, leading to the establishment of the National Strategy for the Educational of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, 1996-2002. This was followed by the National Indigenous English Literacy and Numeracy Strategy, 2000-2004, accompanied by additional Commonwealth government funding (Tripcony, 2001, p.3-4).

New South Wales released its first Aboriginal Education Policy in 1982, focusing on "the advancement of Aboriginal communities and an appreciation of Aboriginal cultures and societies by other Australians" (NSW Department of Education and Training, 2009). A further policy in 1996 stated its focus as "Aboriginal students, Aboriginal communities and all staff, students and schools" (ibid). The current NSW Department of Education and Training (DET) Aboriginal Education and Training policy, implemented in 2008, "was developed in response to the Aboriginal Education Review of 2004" (ibid). The policy "is committed to improving the educational outcomes and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students so that they excel and achieve in every aspect of their education and training" (ibid). The Aboriginal Education and Training Strategy 2009-2012 sets out strategies and targets for implementing the policy (NSW Department of Education and Training, 2009c).

Before the 1967 referendum and even into the 1980s Australian governments defined Aboriginal people in terms of skin colour and percentages of "blood" (Jordan, 1983; Kickett-Tucker, 2009).The Australian Bureau of Statistics (2010a) now "considers an Indigenous person to be anyone who identifies themselves or is identified by their family as being a person of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin". This process of identifying as Aboriginal - an 'identity' assumed about oneself, or ascribed by one's family or community - can be seen as both subjective and contextual. In a report on population statistics, the (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2008), attributes "changing social attitudes, political developments and improved statistical coverage …to the increased likelihood of people identifying as being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin". The NSW Aboriginal Education and Training Policy Introductory Guide states (2009, p.3) that "in referring to Aboriginal people, this Policy refers inclusively to all Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islander people".

Definitions of identity in the literature regard it as dynamic, flexible, developing and constructed from multiple social interactions. Social identity is socially constructed "in interaction and institutionally" and something that is "negotiable" (Jenkins, 1886).

A socio-cultural linguistic view sees identity as a "socio-cultural phenomenon" that emerges from discourse and interaction, rather than being a fixed a psychological or social feature. It is impacted by "local ethnographic categories" (Bucholtz & Hall, 2005) and structures. Kickett-Tucker (2009, p. 121), defines racial identity as "a social construct that is shaped and determined by the interactions individuals share with others and social structures".

In the last decade NSW Aboriginal Education Policies have acknowledged cultural values such as relatedness, community and ancestry in the identity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait people. The Report of the Review of Aboriginal Education (NSW Department of Education and Training & NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group Inc, 2004) includes the following statement:

For Aboriginal people, identity means Aboriginality, and although there are as many ways to live out Aboriginality as there are Aboriginal people, at its core Aboriginality is about belonging - belonging to the Land and to each other. Aboriginal people and their cultures come from the Land and the Land gives a sense of belonging. Aboriginal people are connected to their families, their clans and communities... (p. 195)

The teaching of Aboriginal culture in education for all Australians is part of the current policy (NSW Department of Education and Training, 2009) and includes identity in a definition of culture (NSW Aboriginal Education and Training Directorate, 2009a). However, the inclusion of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander culture in Aboriginal education is contested in the literature (McConaghy, 2000), as is the use of "cultural difference" as a theory or explanation when discussing Indigenous education (Nakata, 1997 in Reid, 2004, p. 17-18).

Recent literature has explored the concept of identity in relation to Aboriginal children and young people in the contexts of social construction (Jordan, 1983), psychology (Scott, 1992), race (Kickett-Tucker, 2009; Reid, 2004) and self-esteem (Purdie, Tripcony, Boulton-Lewis, Fanshawe, & Gunstone, 2000). In their qualitative study of self-identity, self-concept and self esteem among Aboriginal and Torres Strait young people in 44 schools by across all Australian states and territories and levels of school Purdie et al had the following aims:

The broad objective of the consultations was to gain information and insights in relation to Indigenous people's perceptions of positive self-identity as it applies to their young people, particularly in relation to school attendance and outcomes (p. viii).

However, there is less evidence of research that examines the connection between identity incorporated in New South Wales Aboriginal education policies, the impact of such "ascribed" identity on Aboriginal children and young people, the objects of policies, their "assumed" identities and how they negotiate their identities institutionally (Reid, 2004). There needs to be a better understanding of how policies and associated programs "shape the people who are their objects, including children" (McDonald, 2009, p. 246).

Significance of the study

This study aims to use qualitative, ethnographic research methods to investigate how Aboriginal children and young people negotiate their identity in relation to that expressed in Aboriginal education policies implemented in New South Wales schools since 1982. There is little research examining the interaction between these two identities in organisational structures (schools). Using critical discourse methods this study will analyse the historical development and creation of policy in New South Wales. The data interpreted from this study examining the intentions and framing of policies will contribute to an understanding of the impacts of policy in the important field of Aboriginal education. Research methods that include and respect the agency of children will give voice to the thoughtsITTS scu2010-06-14T16:34:00

Experiences? of Aboriginal children and young people.

Aboriginal Education Policy

Recently the Commonwealth of Australian Governments agreed to an Indigenous reform agenda entitled Closing the Gap (Commonwealth of Australian Governments (COAG), 2008), a commitment to improve the lives of Indigenous people, especially children, with education as one of its six targets. The Indigenous Education Action Plan Draft 2010-2014, developed by the (Ministerial Council for Education Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs (MCEECDYA), 2010), sets out how each state and territory will achieve the targets espoused in the Closing the Gap agreement (p. 3). Policies at both the national and New South Wales level have identified a wide gulf between the educational achievements of Indigenous and non-Indigenous students. These approaches focus on statistics and indicators in education and comparisons with non-Indigenous achievements, but do not take into account the contexts of such differences. (Pholi, Black, & Richards, 2009) refer to this aim for statistical equality as reducing Aboriginal Australians to "a range of indicators of deficit, to be monitored and rectified towards government-set targets" (p.1). The findings of this proposed study will provide some context for such statistical identities and contribute to knowledge about how they are negotiated by Aboriginal children and young people in selected locations in New South Wales.

Research into the identity of Aboriginal children and young people

Research in the last decade has examined aspects of Aboriginal identity across Australia: self-identity in the social environment and in relation to educational outcomes (Purdie, et al., 2000); self-concept using questionnaires (Craven & Marsh, 2004); self-recognition for classroom teaching and learning in the Northern Territory (Harrison, 2004); and racial identity and well-being in Western Australia (Kickett-Tucker, 2009). But these studies have not investigated the impact of factors such as policy. As Reid (2004, p. 4) states in her study of "racialised" identities in teacher education, "Indigenous educational experiences cannot be understood in isolation from the forces from which they have been created and are being created". This study will contextualize the experiences of some Aboriginal children and young people within New South Wales schools and contribute to an understanding of how educational policies shape identity.

The research plan

Research questions

The primary questions for this research proposal are:

In what ways does an analysis of the development and history of Aboriginal Education Policy in NSW inform our understanding of:

1. How children and young people have been identified as objects of NSW Aboriginal Education Policy.

2. How Aboriginal children and young people have self-identified and continue to self-identify in relation to schools and policy in New South Wales.

3. How the NSW Aboriginal Education Policy has reached intoITTS scu2010-06-14T16:34:00

Influenced? the practice of teaching.

Research design and methodology

Design methodology

The research will use methods consistent with a critical theory paradigm. Critical theory research is concerned with issues of power in relationships between researcher and researched, and of social representations (Carspecken, 1996). Following the new sociology of childhood approach (James & Prout, 2005) the study will listen to children's own voices. It will observe the principles of Indigenist research, (Martin, 2008; Smith, 1999, 2005) and Indigenist standpoint theory (Foley, 2003). Close parallels can be drawn between children and Indigenist research theories. Influenced by feminist theory, they both question past assumptions, require understanding and acknowledgement of the epistemology and ontology of people who are being studied and the "…relationships between cultural categorizations, social position, status and power" (Christensen, 2004, p. 167). The methods used will be qualitative, ethnographic (Carspecken, 1986) and include discourse analysis, participant observation, narrative interviews and semi-structured interviews.

Discourse analysis will examine "how power relations are constituted" (Foucault 1982, p. 132, in Jupp & Norris, 1993) in NSW Aboriginal Education Policy now; how the policies reflect and have reflected government and social attitudes; and how policies have reflected power relations between policy makers and the objects of policyITTS scu2010-06-14T16:34:00

perhaps include a little bit about how discourse analysis works, but briefly…..

Research with Aboriginal children and young people

The position of a non-Indigenous researcher approaching Indigenous research needs to be "culturally sensitive", open (Reid, 2004) and respectful (Bishop, 2005; Martin, 2008; Smith, 1999, 2005). The research methods will be developed in consultation with a reference group of Aboriginal educators. Methodologies employed with Aboriginal children and young people will use a conversational style that is familiar: "(a) a personalized approach; (b) to be treated equally in status; (c) indirect questioning; and (d) courtesy" (Kickett-Tucker, 2009, p. 122). The methods used in participatory research with children and young people listen to their voices (Christensen, 2004; James & Prout, 2005). It is important to be clear about the purpose and the outcomes of the research for the communities involved.

Time will be spent in advance in the schools and communities with Aboriginal children and young people to develop a rapport approaching "insider" status (Punch, 1998) and contribute towards achieving trust. "Reliability and trustworthiness of ethnographic studies traditionally depends on …prolonged and persistent engagement with participants" (Purdie et al, 2000, p. xiv).

The study population

The populations for this research correspond to the two phases of the study. The first relates to the analysis of policy documents and policy making procedure aspect of the study. The study population will be staff in the New South Wales Department of Education and Training Aboriginal Education and Training Directorate and members of the NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group Inc (AECG) who have been involved in policy development in recent years.

The second population will be selected schools in three New South Wales locations - regional, urban and remote. The (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2010c) estimates that of the 1.1 million full-time school students enrolled in NSW in 2009, 45,183 (4.07%) have "identified" as Indigenous.  The largest populations are in southwest Sydney, western and coastal New South Wales. Thirdly, a small number of Aboriginal adults who have completed their education in New South Wales will be selected.

Study sample

Individual policymakers from the New South Wales Department of Education and Training Aboriginal Education and Training Directorate and the AECG will be selected for interview. For the current Aboriginal children and young people study population it is proposed to use case studies in six contrasting primary and secondary schools with different sizes of Aboriginal population within the New South Wales state and non-government systems. The schools will be selected from regional, remote and urban areas of New South Wales, starting with the mid-north coast. Approximately 70 students will be selected from years 5 to 12. Two staff members from each school who teach Aboriginal students will be invited to participate in the study

Selecting a small number of case studies for the sample, as opposed to random sampling of population in more schools, will provide the opportunity for deep analysis of dataITTS scu2010-06-14T16:34:00

Participants' experiences…?.... (Flick, 2009). The choice is also based around the principles and processes of qualitative or ethnographic research with Indigenous populations (Martin, 2008; Smith, 2005) and with children and young people (Christensen, 2004). Spending time with a community to gain acceptance and to assist with reliability of data is vital in both populations. Purdie et al (2000) noted that the short timeframe available to spend with young Indigenous participants was a limitation of their study.

A small number individuals of Aboriginal or Torres Strait origin who have been educated in NSW will be selected to analyse their experiences of schooling in the state, adding further perspectives and data to that gathered from the case studies.

Data collection

Data collection methods will include a variety of methods including consultation, document text analysis, semi-structured interviews, narrative interviews, participatory observation and journals.

The project will begin with discourse analysis of the history of Aboriginal Education Policy (AEP) texts in New South Wales with reference to the overarching Commonwealth Government responsibility for Aboriginal Affairs. Semi-structured interviews with AEP policy makers in New South Wales will be conducted in person and recorded. The outcomes of this first stage will provide an understanding of the concept of "identity" and a framework for consultation and research with Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders.

In the second phase of the study it is proposed to undertake narrativeITTS scu2010-06-14T16:34:00

Aren't all interviews narrative? Need to state whether semi-structured (grand tour), and the reason(s) interviews with Aboriginal or Torres Strait adults who were educated in NSW. The interviewees will be selected from local Aboriginal communities in which the schools are located. Narrative interviews are used for biographical research, providing a "richer version" of an interviewee's experience (Flick, 2009, p. 179). They will be conducted in person and recorded. It is proposed to undertake participatory observation and focus group discussions in the schools with children and young people of Aboriginal or Torres Strait origin as the primary means of gathering data. This will begin with a period of familiarisation with children and young people in the schools and community, a method used both in ethnographic research with children (Christensen, 2004) and Indigenous research (Martin, 2008).

The proposed research with children and young people will include recorded focus group discussions of five to six children in similar age groups (Hoppe, Wells, Morrison, Gilmore, & Wilsdon, 1995). A draft set of questions is included in Appendix A. Before proceeding, consultation with the Aboriginal educators' reference group will take place to ensure cultural appropriateness of the proposed research methods. Participatory activities such as drawing and writing will supplement the focus groups (Christensen, 2004, p.167). This combination of methods - observation, focus groups and activities - will (a) provide opportunities for different voices to be heard in different ways and (b) triangulation of research methodology and data (Flick, 2009, p.444-6).

Semi-structured interviews (Flick, 2009) with one Aboriginal and one non-Aboriginal teacher from each school about their experiences of teaching Aboriginal children and young people with reference to identity will take place. The teachers will also be asked to keep a record of their feelings and thoughts about the research issues for a period of a week. Direct observation of teachers in class will provide data about their behaviour and attitudes towards Aboriginal children and young people and the opportunity to validate data gathered from interviews. These three viewpoints - students, teachers and observations - will provide triangulation of accounts (Burns, 1997).

There needs to be some member-checking and, since you will be comparing sources, you are triangulating. It is always best to make clear how the trustworthiness criteria are being built into your methods and techniques.

Data analysis

Critical discourse analysis methods will be applied to policy documents, examining the language, intended audiences and background of the policies (Jupp & Norris, 1993; Thomas, 2004; Wodak & Krzyzanowski, 2008). Analysing and interpreting the context and "reception" of texts, considered essential in critical discourse analysis (Wodak & Krzyzanowski, 2008), will be achieved by examining the historical development of Aboriginal education policies, and semi-structured interviews with policymakersITTS scu2010-06-14T16:34:00

Ignore my earlier comment about describing discourse analysis!.

The concept of "pan-Aboriginality", assuming a single category or identity for all Indigenous Australians, is not appropriate (Purdie, et al., 2000). Thus it is not suitable to generalise statistically from case studies in one or more language areas for the whole Aboriginal population in New South Wales, or Australia as several writers (Purdie, et al., 2000; Reid, 2004) warn. The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies recommends: "When extrapolating from research, do not generalise from understandings of one Indigenous community to others or to all Indigenous peoples" (AIATSIS, 2010). However, "propositional …or petites generalisations" located within the study population may be applied (Bassey, 1999). Perhaps say something here about post-positivist logic being inductive, so readers identify with the findings you report rather than the researcher generalizing from a sample to the general population. The case studies will provide an opportunity to analyse and interpret data, and evaluate methods and techniques which may be used in further studies. Will the data be transcribed? How and will you use NVivo or Nudist or another program as the 'filing cabinet'? (This is the spot to include it) Or will you do it manually? If so, you have to describe what you are coding….. And won't you be using axial coding when it comes to particular differences or commonly perceived experience? For your thesis, there's a better explanation in M Q Patton's 2003 (3rd Ed) Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methods.

Data from semi-structured interviews, narrative interviews, activities and focus groups discussions will be analysed using open coding methods. These methods involve categorization, and classification of data, identification of patterns and connections between data elements (Dey, 1993). The checking of the researcher's interpretation with the study population will assist with verification and reliability of data.

The computer software program Leximancer will be used to assist with coding data. Leximancer identifies "concepts and themes…emergent from the text and unbiased by external pre-definition" (Leximancer, n.d.)

I have got ahead of myself again…..forgive me!


Approval will need to be obtained from the Southern Cross University Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC), the NSW Department of Education and Training and the Catholic Education Office (CEO) in order to conduct research with Aboriginal children and young people in schools. Informed consent forms will be required for children and young people and their parents (see Appendix 2 for draft consent letters). The research will be guided by the recommendations of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Guidelines for Ethical Research in Indigenous Studies (Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), 2010). Confidentiality of data will be in place toITTS scu2010-06-14T16:34:00

How? Brief description of process required protect the identity of the children and young people, the schools and the teaching staff. Pseudonyms or initials will be used in place of real names when recording interviews.


Consultation with Aboriginal educationalists is underway to advise on appropriate research approaches and methods. This will assist with ensuring cultural safety and cultural respect (Martin, 2008; Smith, 2005). Agreement from individual school principals will be sought following ethics approval.

Action plan

The study is being conducted as a part time PhD and will follow the time frame below.

2010: continue reading and extensive literature review; consult with Aboriginal educationalists

2011: obtain ethics approvals; undertake policy analysis; semi-structured interviews with policy makers; consolidate literature review;

2012: narrative interviews with Aboriginal adults; select schools and begin familiarisation within schools and communities; data collection in schools - focus groups and semi-structured teacher interviews

2013: data analysis; consult on data interpretation

2014-16: continue data analysis, consultation and writing


It is accepted that a small number of research sites is less able to yield generalisations about the populationITTS scu2010-06-14T16:34:00

I don't see this as a limitation, rather as a strength, because you are collecting thick, rich description of participants experiences against which to make your comparisons and contrasts. Limitations that I can see are a) learning to use the software; b) the problem of transcription; c) you haven't said how the interviews will be recorded. Will you record them? Make notes? (in which case you have to write them up within 7 - 10 hours so your memory doesn't fail you) d)potential unwillingness of participants to be candid, (d)how you report these narratives - you haven't stated how you will report back to the participants with a final report (they wouldn't want to read the thesis, but deserve to see how they are being heard).. However, as noted earlier, such generalisation is not considered appropriate with Aboriginal and Torres Strait populations. Similarly, while listening to their voices, research with children needs to be careful not to assume that their voices speak for all as one category (James, 2007).