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Research and student voice

Tett, Lyn (2009) Research and student voice. In: SCUTREA (Standing conference on university teaching and research in the education of adults) 39th annual conference, 7th-9th July 2009, University of Cambridge.

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    This paper is written partly as a response to a critique from Sally Baker and her
    colleagues (2006) about an article that John Bamber and I published (Bamber
    and Tett, 2001) in 2001. Their critique was based on the grounds that we had
    developed our arguments in a way that depended ‘on an assumption about the
    veracity of student participants [that] represents a solipsistic retreat into a state of
    analysis where things are the case because people say they are’ (p 175).
    Criticism is never comfortable but it did provoke me into thinking about the nature
    of evidence that is derived from interviews and focus groups with students. Does
    this imply, as Baker and colleagues argue, that this methodology inevitably
    means that researchers have ‘not taken a systematically sociologically informed
    analysis of the nature of institutions or society or the material obstacles to
    change but have instead relied on the subjective individualised realm of student
    experiences’ (p 175)? I will argue that this is an over-simplistic interpretation of
    data that are based on students’ voices and I will draw on findings from a variety
    of educational provision ranging from universities to informal literacy provision in
    community settings to examine the role of the researcher in listening to and
    reinterpreting the detail of people’s lives. There are of course many issues
    raised by data derived from using student voices as a method of enquiry so I will
    begin with the problems raised for research that is based on listening to, and
    interpreting from, interviews with students.

    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
    Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
    L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
    Schools: School of Education and Professional Development
    School of Education and Professional Development > Centre of Lifelong Learning and Social Justice
    Related URLs:
    Depositing User: Sara Taylor
    Date Deposited: 22 May 2012 10:51
    Last Modified: 06 Aug 2013 12:41


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