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H809: Activity 3.6: Oliver et al. (2007)

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http://learn.open.ac.uk/file.php/6758/Readings/ebook_h809_reading5_oliver_etal_e1i1_l3.pdf [Accessed 20th February 2011]

Read the Oliver et al. chapter, but in particular concentrate on the section headed 'Methodology' (pp. 30-7). Consider the following questions:

  1. What do each of the various approaches listed highlight?

Action Research Approach - 'technical' - instrumentalist view i.e. use pre-formed models.

'practical' - models provide guidance but practitioner must develop own practice - wider application

'emancipatory' - critical theory - educators recognise constraints- some relation to socio-cultural perspective - establish more egalitarian practices - wider application

Behaviourist - operant conditioning can guide instructional materials and can compare cohorts over time

Activity theoretic perspective - useful to analyse situations to identify problems/conflicts. Used to analyse change.

Socio-cultural perspective - investigating power manifestations

  1. How, if at all, are specific methods (interviews, surveys, focus groups, observation, etc.) and methodological approaches related?

 

The historical, cultural and political context influences the researcher's interests and thus their choice of topics to study and their methodological approach. Specific methods have been developed on the basis of methodological approaches and affect the types of conclusions that they are willing to draw.

For example, in an interview or questionnaire, the types of questions asked may reflect the culture/interests of the moderator or a difference in culture may cause the respondent to have a different understanding of the questions from the moderator.

 

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