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This subject provides a thorough review of contemporary approaches to classroom research, including the use of specific tools for the investigation of classroom practice and its consequences, available technologies to support the recording and analysis of classroom activities, dialogue, artefacts, and resources, and methods of analysis drawing on a variety of techniques and theoretical perspectives.
The subject will draw on the expertise of a team of highly experienced classroom researchers from a variety of disciplinary, theoretical and methodological persuasions.
Particular emphases will include:
(i) Observational techniques relevant to classroom research: the use of classificatory checklists via direct or remote real-time observation; multi-camera approaches to the recording of complex social processes in classrooms.
(ii) Survey approaches to studying classroom practice: Large-scale studies; Questionnaires; Video surveys; Student achievement measures.
(iii) Interview techniques relevant to classroom research: Structured interviews; Scenario-based interviews; Video-stimulated interviews; Focus group interviews.
(i) International studies of classroom practice and student achievement
(ii) National studies of curriculum implementation in the classroom and the factors influencing classroom practice
(iii) Case studies of single classrooms
(iv) Comparative classroom research
Interpreting classroom data
(i) Classroom related measures of teacher and student activity, engagement, participation, language use, teacher quality, and student learning
(ii) Analytical tools relevant to classroom data – text and discourse analysis, analytical software
(iii) Integrating analyses of classroom data, complementary accounts and critical synthesis
Reporting classroom research
(i) Critical examination of existing reports of classroom research: international, cross-cultural, survey, observational, and case study
(ii) Narrative construction in the reporting of classroom research: warrants, validity, comparability, instructional advocacy and other issues.
Intended learning outcomes
To develop student knowledge of:
(i) contemporary methods of classroom research and student ability to (a) critique reports of classroom research and (b) to undertake classroom research using a variety of research methods;
(ii) alternative research designs for classroom research;
(iii) theories relevant to classroom research;
(iv) alternative methods for analysing classroom data;
(v) alternative methods of reporting classroom research.
To develop student expertise in:
(i) the critical reading of reports of classroom research;
(ii) the practical skills of classroom data generation;
(iii) the practical skills of classroom data analysis;
(iv) the reporting and presentation of the results of classroom research.
On completing this subject, participants should be able to:
- Read and critique contemporary research
- Undertake contemporary research
- Report contemporary research
Last updated: 2 December 2019