Place-based Methods for Researching Schools

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2016-12-15
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic

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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


Schools are complex institutions. They do not easily reveal themselves to researchers who rely on only one or two methods. Understanding a school, its neighbourhood and its students requires a researcher with a more complex repertoire of verbal, statistical and visual research strategies.

Place-Based Methods for Researching Schools shows how multiple methods can be used together to research schools, rather than dealing with decontextualised methods, one by one. Taking a novel theoretical approach to the school as a 'place', the book offers grounded illustrations of schools as places from real case study and ethnographic research conducted in both Australia and the UK. A practical guide, this book explores the on-the-ground questions researchers are likely to face in the order they are likely to face them. The chapters not only look at data generation approaches, but also address analysis of the data and writing about the school, topics that are often ignored. Methods explored for use include those drawn from urban planning and geography to explore neighbourhoods, visual surveys, mapping, classroom observation, ethnographic observation, interviews, focus groups, sociograms and linguistic corpora.

Including research tips from the authors, case studies, a glossary and annotated further reading list, this book is essential reading for students and scholars approaching their research project.

Author Biography

Pat Thomson is Professor of Education in the School of Education at the University of Nottingham, UK. She also directs the Centre for Advanced Studies. A former headteacher, she now focuses on arts, learning and change in educational and community settings.

Christine Hall is Professor of Education and formerly Head of the School of Education from 2008-14 at the University of Nottingham, UK. Formerly a secondary school teacher, she has worked in teacher education for the last 20 years supervising numerous students and teachers on school-based research projects. Her own research is on literacy and the arts in schools.

They are lead researchers in the Centre for Arts, Creativity and Literacies at the University of Nottingham.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Studying a School
2. Getting Into the School
3. Getting to Know the Neighbourhood
4. Reading the School
5. Multiple Perspectives on the School
6. Living with the School
7. Analysing Complex Data Sets
8. Writing the School

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