Responsibility and Sensitivity in Case Study Research: Exploring Our Role.Reportar como inadecuado

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Researchers involved in a case study of 10 racially mixed public high schools and middle schools that have undertaken the challenge of reducing tracking saw themselves as dispassionate observers. In the middle of the study, however, they began to question this view, discovering that their very presence affected the tenor of reform in each school studied. In some, their presence and the research project were used to garner political credit for the reformers, and in other, they were specifically asked to help. This paper explores the ethics needed to guide decisions about intervention. Can and should researchers stand by to observe as reformers plunge into controversial school reform efforts? If they choose to intervene, how should they deal with the responsibility? Their conclusions provide some guidance for qualitative researchers who face the dilemma of being outsiders with inside information. The two ground rules that they developed are: (1) make explicit and describe in detail all personal interventions and the participants' reactions to these interventions; and (2) raise for discussion and constant review among all members of the team all the professional versus personal dilemmas encountered. (Contains 21 references.) (SLD)

Descriptors: Case Studies, Decision Making, Educational Change, Ethics, Intermediate Grades, Intervention, Middle Schools, Political Influences, Research Methodology, Researchers, Responsibility, Secondary Education, Track System (Education)

Autor: Datnow, Amanda; Ray, Karen


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