analysis, social organization, classroom talk

Friday, August 26, 2005

Databases, re-analysis ...

The culmination of the Early Career Researcher Program is that each participant must develop an application for a small seeding grant. I haven't developed my idea however have been doing some thinking about it. This morning i wondered if I might use the project to return to my data from my PhD. Since I recorded 12 hours of classroom interaction and have only used one transcript of a section of one lesson, it makes sense to use what i have in other ways, if that is possible. Another idea I have is to establish a database of some kind.

I found an issue of the journal, Forum: Qualitative Social Research, that pertains to both areas that i have been thinking about.

Text. Archive. Re-analysis.

This issue also looks interesting:

Qualitative Inquiry: Research, Archiving, and Reuse

CA and new technologies

During the week I did a search using Google Scholar and seeking CA studies that relate (in some way) to new technologies. I have listed a small number of studies (see the sidebar link)and will add to this over the next few weeks. The link is to another blog that I have created for the purpose of "storing" the studies. I figured that this would be more accessible for me than listing the papers under favourites.

Doing the trawl of CA work in the "area" was a great way to get my head back to thinking about aspects of CA that I might pursue in the future. Funnily enough I could make some parallels with my PhD work in the classroom and the analysis of some on-line activity. For example, because i recorded interaction that occurred during a time of individual activity by students (independent writing)much of the resulting transcript contains simultaneously occurring conversations. So ... I was interested to note some of the CA papers that I found have needed to address simultaneously occurring conversations e.g. when the data were chat room conversations.

In my study I opted to record all conversations in the transcript rather than omitting some interactions to focus on others. This decision was a crucial (if controversial)one. One positive outcome was my finding that one student used the talk of others that he heard around him to take his own turn in interactions. I would never have noticed this if I had left out the talk occuring "around" Wayne.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Tape and transcript

During my PhD work I spent several months developing one transcript that was used, together with a video recording, for my study of the social organization of independent writing in an early years classroom. During those months i worked between audio recordings and video recordings of the same classroom lesson. It sounds complex but was a consequence of difficulties getting clear recordings on the classroom. To make sure I "got sound" i used three recording devices in all. It was particularly difficult to hear voices on the video recording.

As well as these technical aspects, there were many reasons for moving between transcripts and recordings during the development of the final transcript that I used in my study. I added in most of the non-verbal actions, for example, as I was analyzing sequences. The reason for this? It appeared impossible to select those actions that were relevant (out of all those that were occurring) until I began to analyse what appeared to be of relevance to students and to the teacher.

It was fascinating work and I consequently wrote a section about developing the transcript in my thesis. I found the following article interesting when I came across it this evening.

Innocence and Nostalgia in Conversation Analysis: The Dynamic Relations of Tape and Transcript

Great title! The authors are Malcolm Ashmore and Darren Reed.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Writing research up

I found an article this morning that outlines some guidelines for writing up educational research:

Good Practice in Educational Research Writing

The article was produced for the British Educational Research Association and is copyrighted by it.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Room with a view

view Posted by Picasa

Some say it helps to have a place to write. I not only have a place I have a companion. Here is a pic taken from my desk. Angie likes to sit in front of me as I work. As you can see she doesn't disturb but rather adds a nice calmness. Angie looks out the window and I look at her.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

setting my sights

oops. yesterday's early career researcher meeting confirmed for me that my goals are currently all short-term. John has asked us to think about the contribution that we intend to make in the next five years. Part of planning towards that is to clarify where the research focus will be. That requires some thinking on my part before we meet next week. I won't tease out the problem fully but its dimensions will involve thinking about whether i want to maintain an interest in writing and pedagogy. A brief search I did yesterday suggested that "cutting edge" would probably require moving into IT aspects. Don't know about that. I mean I am interested in it but would really need to do a lot of work and find a niche, even so, if I moved in that direction.

My on-going interest, ever since coming across Hugh Mehan's work, has been classroom interaction. I DO know that I want to continue to do CA and develop in that area. The rest is going to require some hours of thought.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

setting new goals

Some weeks ago I posted a modest list of "things to do". I completed the list this week by posting two proposals to AERA. I sent one to a SIG and one to a division. What i did find interesting about the process for AERA was developing the summary of the proposed paper (up to 2,000 words). it certainly helped to clarify thoughts about an unwritten paper!

so ... what next?

I would like to try to write an article that could inform an early childhood audience but stay true to CA. Peter Freebody and Carolyn Baker wrote a great paper in 1993 along these lines.

Baker, C. D., & Freebody, P. (1993). The crediting of literate competence in classroom talk. The Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 4, 279-294.

I am going to spend a bit of time today thinking about possibilities for an article. The second meeting of the Early Career Researchers group is today. maybe that will help.

Monday, August 01, 2005

on being cavalier

One of the things that i found very difficult in my analysis of independent writing was actually deciding what social activity was being accomplished during an interaction. For example, requests were tricky. I spent a lot of time during the analysis, and since, wondering about the difference between a request for information and a request for help. Although these things might seem to be the same, at some stages students did specifically ask for help. Therefore I figured that there was a difference, although it is possible to argue that requests for help and requests for information are the same activity.

I am therefore very interested in analytic work that researchers do when they appear to have little trouble assigning a category or theme to utterances in a transcript. Sometimes I would love to be able to do that. Certainly some colleagues have suggested to me that CA gets caught up on these distinctions to the detriment of producing work that appeals to a wider audience. For me,it is interesting to consider the finer points and to work out how it might seem for those whose talk and interaction is the focus for my work.

Wayne: now (0.4) please help me ((moves closer to Melodie))