04 SES 15 B, Does Locality And Context Matter For Inclusion? A Transnational Perspective
Research on teaching practices is increasingly interested in cross-country perspectives following trends in international frameworks, organizations, and guidelines, such as the UNCRPD and the Sustainable Development Goals. Nevertheless, inclusive education practices underlie certain structures and presumptions which are determined by the contextual settings in which they take place. This is recognised by international research approaches and addressed in different ways. This paper engages in a methodological discussion of notions of context and contextualisation in qualitative research approaches on inclusive teaching practices.
The first part of the paper retraces developments in the understanding of inclusion and disability as well as developments in international frameworks on that topic. It is followed by an examination of the construction of context in different research approaches. Context, as a complex construct with different meanings and implications, is embedded divergently in research methodologies. The mode of framing and approaching context within a methodology affects not only the research design and outcome but also has strong implications on its significance for cross-country and/or local discussions and practices. The second part gives examples of how context is approached in the data collection and analysis of two research projects that are building on ethnomethodology and documentary method, respectively. For research in the European cross-country settings it is fruitful to substantiate the role of context in the research methodology and design as well as in practice.
The paper discusses two different research projects that follow an international perspective on teaching practices in inclusive education. Both featured research projects focus on teachers’ descriptions of their understanding and managing of diverse learning groups. While the projects explore different research questions, both projects adopt a reconstructive approach to their research field, one based on ethnography and one based on documentary method. The first research project builds on videography and interviews with teachers in primary schools in three capital cities. The second research project makes use of the Documentary Method to analyse narrative interviews with teachers from different countries. As the paper is particularly focussing on data analysis, the research designs will be introduced briefly before presenting an example of data analysis as conducted in the projects.
Ethnography and Documentary Method follow a reconstructive approach to interview data. Following two examples of data analysis, we will discuss challenges that arise in the process of analyzing data within international research endeavors. In general, researchers have to address those challenges in any qualitative and reconstructive research project. Doing research in international contexts, nevertheless, reinforces certain aspects that need specific attention. Building on a methodological discussion on context and contextualization helps to retrace and reflect on those challenges. In particular we highlight two areas, namely (i) challenges related to contextual information and (ii) the strategies of comparison inherent in the analysis process of the two research projects. The examples of data analysis will be further discussed in light of those challenges and suggestions for the research process will be given.
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