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Holistic research for holistic practice: making sense of qualitative research data

Colley, Helen and Diment, Kim (2001) Holistic research for holistic practice: making sense of qualitative research data. In: Annual Conference of the Learning and Skills Development Agency (LSDA), 5th - 7th December 2001, Cambridge, UK. (Unpublished)

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    Abstract

    Prevalent models of research advocate technical methods to guarantee ‘truth’. They suggest the discovery of a single ‘effective’ way to develop learning and skills through the isolation of particular categories and variables. We argue, by contrast, that holistic research is needed to inform the holistic practice that is pursued by many professionals in Further Education. In order to support the development of research capacity in FE (a key aim of the project on Transforming Learning Cultures in Further Education), this paper considers how holistic data analyses and interpretations were effected in two different qualitative research projects: one on secondary school pupils’ responses to Shakespeare in the National Curriculum, and one on mentoring relationships with ‘disaffected’ young people in post-16 pre-vocational training. We discuss how standard coding techniques fragmented highly personal stories, distorted or obscured key issues and over-simplified complex processes and contexts. In conclusion, we offer arguments for alternative methods of data analysis which may prove supportive of FE practitioner research, as well as providing evidence relevant throughout FE.

    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
    Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
    Schools: School of Education and Professional Development
    School of Education and Professional Development > Centre of Lifelong Learning and Social Justice
    School of Education and Professional Development > Centre of Lifelong Learning and Social Justice > Policy Research Group
    School of Education and Professional Development > Centre of Lifelong Learning and Social Justice > Social Cohesion Research Group
    School of Education and Professional Development > Centre of Lifelong Learning and Social Justice > Early Years Childhood Youth and Community Research
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    Depositing User: Cherry Edmunds
    Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2012 11:52
    Last Modified: 06 Aug 2013 10:42
    URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/13241

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