analysis, social organization, classroom talk

Thursday, September 21, 2006

house keeping

today saw me attending to bits and pieces that are easily put off but need to be done. first was updating my CV. no, I'm not intending to be needing my CV for anything at the moment but it pays to update it regularly. It was great to be able to change two publications from "under review" to "in press" and "accepted for publication". Making those changes heightened my sense of "what next?" So the second thing was to make a submission to a journal. It was an article that developed out of my presentation at AERA this year. I have been lingering over it, mostly because it uses what i regard as my best bit of analysis in my PhD. the process leading to publication is a long one I have discovered and so I hoped to circumvent the process by being really sure about the article. in the end I was tinkering, so decided today to stop that, send it off, and see what happens.

I have several drafts of papers "sitting around" on my computer and one received my attention today. I drafted the beginnings of the paper towards the end of last year but just left it in a post PhD moment of indecision. Today I decided that I should either toss it or finish it but not leave it sitting "in the sock drawer" on my computer. In the paper I argue that current conceptualizations of independent writing by young children foreground the ways that teacher instruction has informed it and ignore the ways that social activity and interaction constitute it. I've given myself this weekend to sort the paper, after that it becomes a submission to a journal or ceases to exist.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

good talk today

I dropped by to visit one of my Ed D students today. Jeanne is mid data collection and developing transcripts and thinking about analysis. We chatted for quite a bit and had some good moments. I love talking around transcripts and it is especially interesting to be working with a higher degrees research student at the beginning of data collection and analysis. Definitely this makes it worthwhile to have moved across three states of Australia to take up my position.

Jeanne has been interviewing first year out teachers who have recently graduated from the undergrad program at CQU. while I can't pre-empt what she will do or find in her analysis, she has some great data and ideas about it. I tend to bring my ethno/CA bent to talk about transcripts and I think that it useful for offering different ways of thinking about what people DO in interviews even when the research student isn't using CA. Jeanne brought her growing familiarity with the transcipts, insights and enthusiasm for her developing work. It feels like real research is happening here.

Monday, September 11, 2006

analytic methods

I have been enjoying my work with research students since i came to cqu. I am particularly interested in pinning down analytic methods earlier in research. for some reason students seem to stop short of this in their thinking about research design, and end up in a bit of a muddle.

I was very lucky in my PhD work in relation to analysis on a number of counts. I knew straight from that start that I was going to do Conversation Analysis and I had a fair understanding of what this entailed. my supervisor died at the beginning of my analysis and so I had to make my own way for quite a bit. while it wasn't easy I had a sense of what i needed to do although I wasn't very sure about how well I was doing it. so i just kept doing the analysis over and over until I thought it was as good as I could get it.

while I wouldn't recommend spending the time I did, I do believe that working away at analysis helps develop the skills needed. and since then, I've refined some of my analyses further as i've started to write articles. it's fascinating stuff (smile). so I am a bit sorry when research students rush through analysis. most seem to love data collection and analysis seems like the bit you have to do in between to get to write up the thesis. while I spent a year in a classroom I only recorded 12 hours of classroom interaction and only analysed about 35 minutes of those after first making 90,000 words of transcripts (of the 12 hours) in order to find the bit I would focus on. Those 35 minutes occupied me for about two and a half years and I reckon I could actually find enough in those 35 minutes to keep me occupied for the rest of my academic career.

Although I hope I don't do that.