Research Methods in Education Seminar Series

_DSC0191LRAre you interested in doing research in educational settings and want to know more about the ways you might carry out your study? As part of the Pedagogic Research Network, this Teaching and Learning Exchange seminar series will provide a theoretical and practical introduction to some of the qualitative methodologies that can be used for researching higher education in a creative arts context. 

4th May 2016, 13:00-17:00, High Holborn, room 210
Phenomenography: an approach to research in higher education
Professor Alison Shreeve, Bucks New University

This seminar will introduce you to the research approach known as phenomenography, which was developed in educational research in the 1970s. It offers a way to understand that particular situations are experienced differently within a group of people. It underlies the well-known deep and surface approaches to learning and has been used to explore how people understand aspects of learning, teaching, research and assessment in higher education. It provides a useful tool for understanding how difference might lead to less successful engagement in higher education.

18th May 2016, 14:30-17:00, CSM, room D119
Thinking about interview data
Professor Sue Clegg, Leeds Beckett University

One of the most frequent methods of data collection reported on in the literature on higher education is the interview. However, it is often under-described in the methodology sections of published papers. This seminar will provide some insights into the dynamics of the interview where the researcher has rich insider knowledge of the contexts they are researching. It will also consider how different framings of the research interview lead to different approaches to analysing interview data. The seminar will introduce various approaches to analysing interview data, and participants will be encouraged to reflect on how they might frame interviews for their own research

25th May 2016, 15:00-17:00, High Holborn, room 902
Ethnography and autoethnography: principles and applications of ethnographic research methods
Dr Kate Hatton, University of the Arts London

This seminar will examine the principles and applications of ethnographic research methods, beginning with a short historical overview of how such methods have evolved and their uses within educational research. Case studies taken from past and present research will be introduced to show how methods work in qualitative studies. Some reference will be made to autoethnographic methodologies from across creative disciplines where a sense of the critical self is imagined within a field of research shaping a number of written and visual outcomes. The social and cultural contexts of ethnographic research will be highlighted as a means of promoting ways of thinking and writing productively.

1st June 2016, 14:00-16:30, Richbell Place, room G06
Narrative Inquiry in Higher Education
Dr Sheila Trahar, University of Bristol

Narrative inquiry is a form of qualitative research that presupposes that we understand and give meaning to our lives through story. This seminar will consider the philosophical underpinnings of narrative inquiry, attending to the ways in which a story is constructed, for whom and why, and the cultural discourses that it draws upon. Ways of gathering, ‘analysing’ and re-presenting narrative ‘data’ will be explained as will the role of the researcher. Examples from higher education research will be given to explore the responsibility of narrative inquirers to pay attention to how knowledge is constructed, shared and understood in local contexts.

8th June 2016, 14:00-16:30, High Holborn, room 313
Semiotics and the visual turn: on the use of images in research
Dr Nick Peim, University of Birmingham

This seminar will explore some principles of semiotics from de Saussure to Derrida to highlight issues relating to questions concerning meaning and interpretation in research. A brief introduction to key ideas will be followed by collective descriptions and analyses of images with consideration given to their potential uses. At stake in all this will be a basic phenomenology of research relations.

15th June 2016, 14:00-16:00, Richbell Place, room G06
Practice as research: practising research practices
Dr Mark Ingham, University of the Arts London

Using Katie MacLeod’s essay ‘The functions of the written text in practice-based PhD submissions’ from the Working Papers in Art and Design 1 (2000), this seminar will explore the evolving place of practice in research, as research, with and for research. MacLeod [asserts] ‘…that art is a theorising practice; it can produce the research thesis; it cannot be said to be simply an illustration of it.” Please could you bring with you an example of your own or another’s art and design work to use as a springboard, or sounding board for the session.

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