19 SES 02, Ethics and Research in Educational Ethnography (Part 1)
Symposium to be continued in 19 SES 03
This article reviews the authors’ engagement with a research ethics framework (Stutchbury & Fox 2009) through the course of an ethnographic case study of the agendas, participation and influence of stakeholders at a government primary school in Ethiopia (Mitchell forthcoming). Fieldwork took place over an eight-month period in 2014, and involved participant observation in lessons and meetings, informant-led interviews, and the collection of institutional documents. Data collection focused on the meetings of various bodies, and the activities of a single class in Grades 6 and 7. As other research approaches involving fieldwork, ethnography requires negotiating ethical principles and power relations expressed in different texts and contexts: university ethics committees, professional codes, legal systems, and the social world of the research site. Universities are often privileged in these interactions, positioned in a paternalistic, gatekeeper role in relation to those in the research site. Yet the codified ethical policies of universities and professional bodies can provide a rather limited, Western and legalistic reading of social research ethics (Hammersley & Traianou 2012). The framework is a tool for making visible the ethical dimensions of research activities from the perspective of different ethical principles (deontological, consequential) and at different scales of social context (relational, ecological). It encourages thinking beyond mere compliance with institutional guidelines, promoting the kind of awareness and sensitivity which ethical cross-cultural research demands. The framework supports ethical analysis and decision-making across all stages of the research process, however the present discussion focuses on the planning and ethical approval stage. In the UK context, burgeoning ethical regulation based on psychological and biomedical research models can pose a challenge to researchers seeking approval for ethnographic research (Hammersley 2006; Hammersley & Atkinson 2007). Using the Ethiopian study as an example, the authors illustrate how the use of the framework for comprehensive ethical analysis helped to strengthen the proposal for ethnographic research.
Hammersley, M. (2006) ‘Are ethics committees ethical?’, Qualitative Researcher 2, Spring. Available at: http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/socsi/qualiti/QualitativeResearcher/QR_Issue2_06.pdf (Accessed 08/01/17) Hammersley, M. & Atkinson, P. (2007) Ethnography Principles in Practice: Third Edition. Hoboken: Taylor & Francis. Hammersley, M. & Traianou, A. (2012) Ethics and Educational Research. Available at: http://www.bera.ac.uk/system/files/Ethics and Educational Research.pdf (Accessed 10/12/13). Mitchell, R. (forthcoming) An ethnographic case study of the agendas, participation and influence of stakeholders at an urban government primary school in Tigray, Ethiopia. PhD thesis. University of Leicester. Stutchbury, K. & Fox, A. (2009) ‘Ethics in educational research: introducing a methodological tool for effective ethical analysis’, Cambridge Journal of Education, 39(4), 489-504.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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