Observing Schools: A Methodological Guide

Front Cover
SAGE, Sep 28, 1996 - 144 pages
"'"This relatively short book ... repays reading as a whole after which it will be a valuable reference for particular aspects of observational methodology' - "EERA Bulletin


Observing Schools discusses the nature and purposes of observational research in schools. It covers the different observational techniques which can be used, and their advantages and disadvantages, bridging the gap between qualitative and quantitative approaches. The preparations which must be made before observation, the process of observation itself, and the recording and analysis of observations are discussed in detail. The book also explores how assessments can be made of observational accounts and discusses the ethical issues raised by this kind of research. These discussions are illustrated throughout by examples drawn from recent observational work conducted on a variety of aspects of school life.


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Approaching Observation
Recording Observations
Analysing Observational Data
Assessing the Findings of Observational Research
Ethical Issues in Observational Research

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Page 5 - Accepts and clarifies an attitude or the feeling tone of a pupil in a non-threatening manner. Feelings may be positive or negative. Predicting and recalling feelings are included. 2 Praises or encourages. Praises or encourages pupil action or behaviour. Jokes that release tension (but not at the expense of another individual), nodding head or saying 'Um hm?' or 'go on
Page 5 - To write these numbers down during observation is to enumerate, not to judge a position on a scale. 1.* Accepts Feeling: accepts and clarifies the feeling tone of the students in a nonthreatening manner. Feelings may be positive or negative. Predicting and recalling feelings are included. 2.* Praises or Encourages: praises or encourages student action or behavior. Jokes that release tension, not at the expense of another individual, nodding head or saying "uh hm?" or "go on
Page 5 - DIRECTIONS: directions, commands, or orders to which a student is expected to comply. 7. CRITICIZING OR JUSTIFYING AUTHORITY: statements intended to change student behavior from nonacceptable to acceptable pattern; bawling someone out; stating why the teacher is doing what he is doing; extreme self-reference. 8.
Page 5 - Asking a question about content or procedure, based on teacher ideas, with the intent that a pupil will answer. 5 Lecturing Giving facts or opinions about content or procedures; expressing his own ideas, giving his own explanation, or citing an authority other than a pupil. 6 Giving directions Directions, commands, or orders to which a pupil is expected to comply. 7...
Page 5 - calling on" student is only to indicate who may talk next, observer must decide whether student wanted to talk. If he did, use this category.
Page 5 - Pupil-talk - initiation Talk by pupils which they initiate. Expressing own ideas; initiating a new topic; freedom to develop opinions and a line of thought like asking thoughtful questions; going beyond the existing structure.

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