Introduction Interpretive inquiry is providing accounts that enable practitioners to move beyond the frequently sloganized terminology of child-centered ideology to a critically reflexive dialogue where the tensions between intentions , actions and the dilemmas they pose for practice are brought into higher relief . By promoting and sustaining such a reflexive dialogue , interpretive inquiry can increase understanding of the what and the why of classroom actions , as well as practitioners ‘ potential for professional growth and program development
Arising from this matrix , practitioners are understood as active transformative agents rather than as passive implementers of preconceived policy . It [banner_entry_middle]
is assumed that all the elements of the inquiry ‘s problem enjoy a dialectical relationship through the reflexivity of practitioners . In contrast with a `positivistic ‘ approach to research , interpretive inquiry aims to transform the consciousness of practitioners and , by so doing , aims to give them grounds upon which to decide how to change themselves . Due to the problematic nature of the inquiry ‘s question , this task is never quite complete . However , it assumes that to `understand in a different way ‘ increases potential for alternative actions . Documenting the multiple realities of classroom practice helps to ground understanding of child-centered teaching in ways that respect the voices of teachers , the problematic nature of child-centeredness , and the dialectical relationship between its constitutive elements
In some respects , this concept of the consistency is akin to the triangulation techniques described in the qualitative research and mixed methods literature . With triangulation techniques , a researcher validates the results from one source of data with that from another source of data . As noted by several authors (Holstein , Gubrium , 1994 , the measurement of any construct should be improved if one collects multiple measures of that construct . For instance , it is more likely that schools will be accurately classified if both quantitative and qualitative data are utilized in making the determination of effectiveness status , If the results from different measures of school effectiveness are consistent , then the researcher may conclude that the school is effective (or ineffective ) with some confidence . On the other hand , if the school appears to be effective with regard to its students ‘ scores on a science test , but not effective with regard to its students ‘ scores on a language arts test , then the researcher faces a dilemma in interpretation of the overall effectiveness status of the school
An interpretive understanding suggests that the words of this principal are not only expressions of this principal ‘s personal experiences , feelings , beliefs , images , and the like (although they are certainly all of these in some sense . These words are the new , unanticipated (and most likely unintended ) re-voicing of a world , a world full of multiple tales that are folds of the same cloth (the same weave . Such implication does not mean that his words are identical to that world (Eisner , 1981 . But neither are they simply different . His words bear a family resemblance ‘ to tales we have heard before but now , having heard this principal ‘s tale , we will never hear those… [banner_entry_footer]
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