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Challenges of a participatory and multi-perspective strategy of research on learning

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EARLI SIG 17, Jena 2010
ECER, Helsinki 2010

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Challenges of a participatory and multi-perspective strategy of research on learning

  1. 1. Prof. Dr. Petra Grell University of Potsdam, Germany Challenges of a Participatory and Multi-Perspective Strategy of Research on Learning
  2. 2. Research/Learning Workshop
  3. 3. Research/Learning Workshop <ul><li>A participatory research approach </li></ul><ul><li>Developed for research on learning of adults (18+ year-old) </li></ul><ul><li>References to action research </li></ul><ul><li>Combination of different methods within a workshop </li></ul><ul><li>Connection resp. interplay of (a) the process of gaining insight and reflection together with participants and (b) the research process following special research interests </li></ul>In a nutshell
  4. 4. Research Process Denzin, N. K. ; Lincoln, Y.S. (Ed.) (2005): Handbook of Qualitative Research. 3rd Edition. Sage Publications. P.23 Theoretical Paradigms and Perspectives The Researcher as a Multicultural Subject The Art, Practices and Politics of Interpretation and Presentation Methods of Data Collection and Analysis Research Strategies
  5. 5. Core Principles <ul><li>“ Unverfügbarkeit” of the human being (translated as “non-disposability”), persons are not objects nor instruments of others (e.g. researchers) </li></ul><ul><li>Participation </li></ul><ul><li>Openness/flexibility of the research design and the research situation </li></ul><ul><li>Triangulation of perspectives </li></ul><ul><li>Triangulation of methods (data collection) </li></ul>
  6. 6. Research/Learning Workshop <ul><li>First contact </li></ul><ul><li>Visiting the field / the institution (elements of ethnographic fieldwork, experts discussion) </li></ul><ul><li>Preliminary information for participants </li></ul><ul><li>Doing the Research/Learning Workshop </li></ul><ul><li>Few weeks later: Feedback/discourse of the released findings </li></ul>
  7. 7. Research/Learning Workshop: activities & methods
  8. 8. Images (chose a topic related image + talk about) „ Das Treppenhaus mit so vielen Stufen, wie man denke ich auch irgendwie erklimmen muss. Ich denke, man versucht, ich versuche so zwar die Stufen einzeln zu gehen, aber irgendwie habe ich manchmal das Gefühl, vier Stufen gegangen zu sein, und eine davon fehlt mir, so als Wissenslücke, sodass ich sagen würde: jetzt hast du zwar schnell was gelernt, aber fehlt da dazwischen nicht was? Wichtigkeiten, Unwichtigkeiten. Wie weit ist der Weg? Aber man weiß auch, irgendwann kommt man eben an.“ (Bildkarten SEK II 70/77, Bildkarte: Treppenhaus; Tn. 26) „ The staircase with as many steps as, I think, one somehow has to climb. I think one tries, I try to climb it step-by-step, but somehow, sometimes I feel like having climbed four steps at once, and one of the steps is missing now, like a knowledge gap. And I say to myself: you have learnt pretty fast, but isn‘t there something missing in between? Importance? Insignificance? How long is this way to go? But somehow you know, you will finish it someday. “
  9. 9. <ul><li>Critics concerning teaching-learning setting </li></ul><ul><li>Meaningless activities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>„ Occupational therapy“ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Meaningless activities during ...” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Time-thieves , I want meaningful/useful activities!” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Topics / oriented towards participants </li></ul><ul><li>No/not ... </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Considering practical experiences, life-skills ” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Paying attention to life and situation” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Responding to strengths and weaknesses” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ If teaching, no stereotyped routines but individual and goal-oriented for everybody!” </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Collage “How I’d like to learn”
  11. 11. Collages Collage Approx. 100 x 140 cm Title of this one: In a nutshell, learning How I’d like to learn
  12. 13. Welcome to the think tank A place where my joie-de-vivre flourishes All or nothing Totally relaxed The smarter stays awake Awake vs. Relaxed The most important: to rejoice I am having a lot of fun I feel like doing this
  13. 14. Just don’t drown! Right in the middle instead of not being present Alone I am nought (nothingness) Solidarity vs. Competition
  14. 15. Eternally forced to be in this stupid, stinking school Perspectives of life and future Where do you want to go anyway? Make your own choice An unavoidable success
  15. 16. A lot of data <ul><li>Images + verbal explanation (transcription) </li></ul><ul><li>Group-discussion (transcription) </li></ul><ul><li>Handwritten cards + discussion </li></ul><ul><li>Collage + discussion + explanation (transcription) </li></ul><ul><li>Complete video-documentation (5-6 hours) </li></ul><ul><li>Questionnaire </li></ul>
  16. 17. Circle Reflect existing
  17. 18. More than one perspective ... <ul><li>„ They don’t work/learn despite massive orders “ </li></ul><ul><li>„ They do other stuff than assigned“ </li></ul><ul><li>„ They ignore given orders“ </li></ul><ul><li>„ ... They are ‘locked/stoned’ ” </li></ul><ul><li>“ They are lethargic“ </li></ul><ul><li>„ Their strategy is minimal-effort“ </li></ul><ul><li>„ Professional deficits” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Meaningless activities“ </li></ul><ul><li>„ .... they have no clue/no idea/no plan what to do with us “ </li></ul><ul><li>„ Badly prepared teaching “ </li></ul><ul><li>„ Really boring” </li></ul><ul><li>„ Their teaching is a mess“ </li></ul><ul><li>„ Incompetency“ </li></ul>Teachers Participants
  18. 19. „ Reasonable strategies from subjective point of view” Niche-strategy (hidden activities) Enraged Resistance Visible resistance to meaningless activities. Strong opposition / fight against unfair treatment and loss of respect. Avoiding to get drastic sanctions. Resistance to meaningless activities. But: Components and topics of the course that are identified as meaningful are learned self-directed and hidden from the teacher. Situation of threat and mistrust ...
  19. 20. Challenges and limitations <ul><li>Interests of participants and researchers are different, the process is entirely fragile </li></ul><ul><ul><li>An illusion of harmony does not solve the basic problem, instead it might lead to misinterpretation of the situation. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hierarchy, power, acceptance … </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Moderator/researcher needs high competencies (research and group-dynamics) to act adequate in situations </li></ul><ul><li>A lot of data and contradictions </li></ul>
  20. 21. Is it worth the effort? Image: flickr user crystaljingsr cc by-nc-sa
  21. 22. [email_address] Prof. Dr. Petra Grell References Bahn, Chr. (2009) Review: Petra Grell (2006). Forschende Lernwerkstatt. Eine qualitative Untersuchung zu Lernwiderständen in der Weiterbildung [A Research Workshop in Learning. A Qualitative Investigation into Resistance to Learning in Further Education] In: Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung/Forum Qualitative Research. Vol. 10, No. 2. Online: http://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/1281 Barre, K.; Greb, U.; Hoops, W.; Grell, P. (2008): Innovationsbereitschaft unter Praxisdruck. [Willingness to implement an innovative Approach under the conditions of everyday work (in vocational training)] In: Berufs- und Wirtschaftspädagogik Online. Bwpat Spezial 4 – Hochschultage Berufliche Bildung 2008. [16 pages] Online: http://www.bwpat.de/ht2008/ws09/barre_etal_ws09-ht2008_spezial4.shtml Denzin, N. K. ; Lincoln, Y.S. (2005): The Discipline and practice of Qualitative Research. In: (Ed.): Handbook of Qualitative Research. 3rd Edition. Sage Publications. p. 1-32. Grell, P. : Forschende Lernwerkstatt. Eine qualitative Untersuchung zu Lernwiderständen in der Weiterbildung. Münster u.a. (Waxmann) 2006. Grell, P.: „Im Bild erinnert - aus der Sprache gefallen?” Bild-Text-Collagen als Forschungs- und Reflexionsinstrument. In: Dörr, M.; von Felden, H.; Klein, R.; Macha, H.; Marotzki, W. (Hrsg.): Erinnerung - Reflexion - Geschichte. Erinnerung aus psychoanalytischer und biographie -theoretischer Perspektive. Opladen: VS-Verlag 2008, S. 179-193. Grell, P. (2010): Forschende Lernwerkstatt. In: Friebertshäuser, B.; Prengel, A.; Handbuch qualitative Forschungsmethoden in der Erziehungswissenschaft. Neuausgabe. München: Juventa, S. 887-896. Engeström, Yrjö (1987/1999) Learning by Expanding: An Activity – Theoretical Approach to Developmental Research. German Translation, Marburg 1999 Faulstich, Peter; Forneck, Hermann. J.; Grell, Petra; Häßner, Katrin; Knoll, Jörg; Springer, Angela (2005): Lernwiderstand – Lernumgebung – Lernberatung. Empirische Fundierungen zum selbstgesteuerten Lernen. [Resistance to Learn – Learning Environment – Learning Counselling . Empirical Data on self-directed Learning.] Bielefeld (WBV). Grell, P. (2006): Forschende Lernwerkstatt. Eine qualitative Untersuchung zu Lernwiderständen in der Weiterbildung [Research/Learning Workshop. A Qualitative Investigation into Resistance to Learning in Further Education]. Münster (Waxmann). Grell, P. (2010): Forschende Lernwerkstatt. In: Friebertshäuser, B.; Langer, A.; Prengel, A. (Ed.): Handbuch Qualitative Forschungsmethoden in der Erziehungswissenschaft. 3rd Ed., [Handbook Methods of Qualitative Research in Educational Science] Weinheim, München, p. 887-896. Holzkamp, K. (1993): Lernen. Subjectwissenschaftliche Grundlegung [On Learning. A subject-scientific basis]. Frankfurt a.M. (Campus) Kemmis, Stephen; McTaggert, Robin (2000): Participatory action research. In: Denzin, N. K. ; Lincoln, Y.S. (Ed.): Handbook of Qualitative Research. 2nd Edition. Sage Publications. p. 567-605. Lave, J; Wenger, E. (1991): Situated learning. Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge
  22. 23. <ul><li>I. Interpretation of the Collage within the workshop </li></ul><ul><li>(Originators remain silent from 1-3, other participants interpret) </li></ul><ul><li>Depiction: What do I see? – Label the elements </li></ul><ul><li>What kind of atmosphere do I sense? – Emotion, mood </li></ul><ul><li>Interpretation: What do I understand? Leads to group interpretation </li></ul><ul><li>Originators explain their ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Workshop moderator repeats their explanation </li></ul>Collage-interpretation, step-by-step <ul><li>II. Interpretation of the Collage after the workshop (researchers only) </li></ul><ul><li>Reconstruction of the verbal explanations </li></ul><ul><li>Linking together explanations and collage </li></ul><ul><li>Focussing on the missing parts, the non-explained, the confusing parts </li></ul><ul><li>New Interpretation (marking the differences to the originators’ explanation) </li></ul>