Fall 2 Blog Post #3

Melissa Akey

Fall 2018

Blog Post #3


My research has been a mixture of different methodologies that I have been introduced to throughout our course. Early in the semester I read about the social research methodology of ethnography. Ethnography is the study of culture, which in my case, I connected to the study of my classroom culture. This research approach requires participant observation, interviewing, field notes, audio/visual documentation as well as artifact collection and archival study. “Ethnographers usually begin their study with pre-fieldwork motivated by the selection of a problem or curiosity toward some aspect of the lives of the people they wish to study (Beach,2005; Delamont, 2008; Hammersley & Atkinson, 2007).” This type of research requires the prolonged engagement in everyday contexts to gain a deep understanding of the culture that you wish to study. At the conclusion of my research I will have studied the culture of my painting class from September- January everyday for 40 minutes a day. What makes this methodology unique is the semester long study of the same group of people. It is a holistic and intensive study of people and culture. “Ethnographic research allows teachers to examine the practices, problems, and policies of art education in a holistic and complex way as they exist in the real world (p. 143).” This methodology also lends itself to meaningful, direct, benefits for the people, class, and schools being studied. My hope is that through this methodology I will develop a deeper understanding of my student’s needs, wants, and feelings about their art and art education.

Another methodology that my research uses is the Narrative and Autobiographical research method. I was drawn to this methodology when reading the quote  “I use narrative inquiry to remember and revision experience, and to study the complexities of classroom life from multiple experiences (p. 222).” This is what I wish to do with my research, learn about the benefit of the use of critique from a multitude of perspectives. Narrative research is a qualitative research methodology that focuses on stories of experiences such as those of my students. Clandinin and Connelly (2000) explain how personal and social experiences in continuum are central to narrative inquiry. The data collection in narrative research works through artifacts, photos and other art based methods to engage in telling personal narratives. In my own research my student’s critiques on each others art as well as stories and thoughts about their own artistic choices are my collection of narrative works. I collect these artifacts by conducting interviews as well as observation and note taking during class critiques.  

To supplement my current research I am going to continue to record the audio from my painting classes until january when the class ends to listen for trends in responses as well as study how their word choice and vocabulary evolves over time. I will also continue to conduct interviews during the critiques on student opinion. I will take note of their opinion of critique and how the use of student choice affects the outcome of the critiques. After I collect all my ongoing data when my class comes to a close in january I will have collected a completed course of data from start to finish.

After the completion of my research I will use the evidence which I have found and supplement with the journals and other research I have accumulated during our course. I will then start writing my research paper.