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Creating evidence towards making statements about classroom activity

Brown, Tony (1994) Creating evidence towards making statements about classroom activity. Research in Education, 51 (1). pp. 33-40. ISSN 0034-5237

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Abstract

In this paper I examine some of the issues underlying the creation of data in classroom based research. In particular, I focus on the status of evidence offered by a researcher describing children’s activity in order to demonstrate how the researcher’s interest necessarily conditions the various stages of any enquiry. I show how evidence is created through a process of selection and interpretation consequential to the researcher making assumptions about the situation he or she observes. I also show how the descriptions themselves, as offered by the researcher, become a material part of the situation being described. In the first section I consider the issues arising in the identifying and gaining access to lessons. This is followed by a discussion about the generation of data. Finally, I examine some of the difficulties to be faced in interpreting such data.

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