07 SES 03 C JS, Obstacles and Chances of International and Participatory Research
Joint Paper Session NW 07 and NW 15
The presentation details the scope and research design of this small scale study which was partly funded by St Christopher’s trust and the University of Cumbria.
Research question : How do a sample of Indian teachers and Headteachers from five Indian states narrate the impact of both their faith and the Christian foundation of their school.
The philosophical stance adopted is constructivism – ‘reality and knowledge reside in the minds of the individuals and knowledge may be uncovered by unpacking individual experiences’ (Savin-Baden and Howell-Major 2013:56). Through an ethnographic lens, I explored the teacher’s perspective on the impact of an individual’s faith and their school’s Christian foundation on practice.
India has a complex education system (Bhandari 2014, British Council 2014) and a diverse population. The investigation is set within the context of Christian missionary and British legacy schools, anti colonial sentiments and Indian regulations of non-proselytising (Das et al 2012).
The case study utilized an interpretive approach (Savin-Baden and Howell-Major 2013) aiming to understand how spirituality and Christian ethos is framed and perceived in each school context by a sample of teachers and headteachers. An IPA (Interpretive phenomenological analysis) approach was adopted (Smith and Osborn 2003). I was keen not to produce an objective statement about Christian foundation schools’ ethos, but rather the participant’s perspective of how the Christian foundation and their own faith impacted on practice. There was an examination of the participant’s ‘life world’ with a ‘Double hermeneutic’, because ‘the participants are trying to make sense of their world [and] the researcher is trying to make sense of the participants trying to make sense of their world’ (Smith and Osborn 2003:51).
Discussion revolves around the impact of the teacher’s faith on teaching and learning and the influence of Christian values in their schools given that the majority of learners are from Hindu, Muslim or Sikh backgrounds. The empirical enquiry investigated affinities between Christian foundation, an individual teacher’s faith and Christian ethos as exemplified in the school’s ‘institutional body language’ (Dadzie 2000) -for example the displays, taught and hidden curriculum, relationships with the staff, equality of opportunity and so on.
In the presentation I also reflect on the issues of data collection -How does a ‘white western female teacher educator’ access Indian teachers’ views? The paper concludes with a discussion on insider/ outsider/ alongside research and what can be learnt from this Indian case study.
Bandhari, (2014) In quest of identity: student culture in a religious minority instuitution ch 5 pgs 182 – 224 in Thapan, M. Ethnographies of schooling in contemporary India New Delhi : Sage Bangs, J., & Frost, D. (2012). Teacher self-efficacy, voice and leadership: Towards a policy framework for education international. Brussels: Education International Research Institute. Bhatnagar, N., & Das, A. K. (2014). Regular school teachers' concerns and perceived barriers to implement inclusive education in New Delhi, India. International Journal of Instruction, 7(2), 8. British council (2015) Indian Education system available at https://www.britishcouncil.in/sites/default/files/indian_school_education_system_-_an_overview_1.pdf accessed on 3/3/16 Clandinin, D. ed (2007) Handbook of narrative enquiry: Mapping a methodology Thousand Oaks,CA: Sage Crossley, M. Arthur, L. and McNess, E. (2016) Revisiting Insider-Outsider research in Comparative and International Education Oxford: Symposium Books Ltd Das, A. K., Sharma, S., & Singh, V. K. (2012). Inclusive Education in India: A Paradigm Shift in Roles, Responsibilities and Competencies of Regular School Teachers. Journal of Indian Education. Gubrium, J. F., & Holstein, J. A. (2000). Analyzing interpretive practice. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), Handbook of qualitative research (2nd ed., pp. 487-508). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Kendzia, M. (2012) Catholic Update Guide to vocations Cincinnati : Franciscan Media Kvale, S. (1996). Interviews: An introduction to qualitative research interviewing. Thousand Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Macpherson, P. and Tyson, E. 2008 Ethical issues ch 5 in Elton-Chalcraft, Hansen and Twiselton Doing Classroom research OUP:Maidenhead Savin-Baden, M. and Major, C. (2013) Qualitative research the essential guide to theory and practice London: Routledge Journal of Personnel Evaluation in Education, 12, 3, 247-256.
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)
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Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
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Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
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