Erickson_Pt._I

Erickson_Pt._I - 5. Qualitative Methods in Research on...

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Unformatted text preview: 5. Qualitative Methods in Research on Teaching Frederick Erickson Michigan State University General and abstract ideas are the sot-tree of the greatest errors of I. I. Rousseau Who: is General Nature? is there such a Tiling flt'Witot is General Knowledge? is tit-ere such a Thing i’fStriet‘iy Speaking All Knowledge is Particular. Introduction and Overview This chapter reviews basic issues of theoryr and method in ap- proaches to research on teaching that are alternatively called ethnographic, qualitative. participant ohsewationahcase study. symbolic interaction ist. phenomenological. constructivist. or interpretive. These approaches are all slightly different, but each bears strong family resemblance to the others. The set of related approaches is relatively new in the field of research on teaching. The approaches have emerged as signifi- cant in the decade ol‘ the lflfitls in England and in the IS'TEJs in the United States, Australia. New Zealaod. and Germany. Be- cause interest in these approaches is so recent. the previous edi- tioas orthe Handbook ofiiesearcn on Teaching do not contain a chapter devoted to participant observational research. Accord- ingly. this chapter attempts to describe W and their theoretical res 'tions in considerable detail and does not attempt an exhaustive review at the rapidly growing literature in the field. Such a review II-viII be appropriate for the next edition of this handbook. Front this point on I will use the term interpretive to refer to the whole family oIapproaehcs to participant observational re- search. I adopt this term for three reasons: [a] It is more inclu- sive than many olthe others (cg, ethnography, case study}; (h) W. Hittite it avoids the connotation. of defining these approaches as atten— tially nonquantitative {a con no tation that is carried by the term qualitative). since quantification ol‘ particular sorts can often be employed in the work; and to} it points to the key feature at family resemblance among the various approaches— central re— search intenst in human meaning in social life and in its eluci- dation and exposition by the researcher. The, issue of using as a basic validity criterion the Mediate and ion-oi moneys directions, as defined from the actors‘ point of view, is crucial in distinguishing interpretive participant ob- servational research from another observational technique with which interpretive research approaches are otten wort-sod. ail-Called rich description. Since the last decades of the l9th century. the data ooilecrion technique of continuous narrative deseriptiou— a play—by-play account of what an observer sees observed persons doing— has been used in social and lichav- ioral research. The technique was first used by psychologists in child study and then by anthropologists and sociologists doing community studies. It is important to emphasize at the outset that the use ol‘con- tin nous narrative description as a technique —What can less formally be called “writing like crazy“—does not necessarily mean that the research being conducted is interpretive or qualitative, in a fundamental sense. What ntakfi such work The author thanks reviewers Hugh Mehan [University of Calliornia at San Diego} and Raymond P. McDerutott {Teachers College, Ciflumhia University}. Preparation nfthis chapter was supported in part through the Institute for Emarch on Teaching, College ei'lititusatiim1 Michigan State University. The Institute for Research on Teaching is funded fa'irrqarily by the Program for Teaching and Instruction of the National Institute of Education. United States Department ot Education. The opinions captioned in this puhlhsatiou do not nettessarily reflect the position, policy, or onfiorsemmt of the National Institute of Education. {Cmtracl No. dill-5141314}. 119' 12'] FREDERICK ERICKSDN interpretive or qualitative is a matter o!" substantive locus and intent, rather than of procedure in data collection, that is, a research technique does not constitute a research learned. The technique of continuous narrative description can be used by researchers with a positivist and behaviorist orientation that deliberately csclndes from research interest the immediate meanings of actions from the actors’ point of view. Continuous narrative description can also be used by researchers with a nonpositivist, interprctivc orientation, in which the immediate [often intuitive} meanings of actions to the actors involved are of central interest. The presuppositions and conclusions otthcse two types of research are very different, and the content of the narrative description that is written difl'ers as well. If two ob- servers with these dillering orientations were placed in the same spot to ohscrve what was ostensibly the “same” behavior per- formed by the “same” individuals, the observers would write substantively diliecting accounts ol‘ what had happened, choos- ing difi‘ering kinds of verbs, nouns, adverbs, and adjectives to - characterize the actions that were described. The reader should note that in making these assertions] am taking a different position from Green and Evenson (this vol- ume}. who emph asiae certain commonalities across various ap- proaches to direct observation. Their comprehensive review ol‘ a wide range of methods olclassroom observation {including some of the methods discussed here) does not emphasize the discontinuities in theoretical presupposition that obtain across the two major types of approaches to clams-cont research, posi- tivisttbehaviorist and interpretive. This chapter emphasizes those discontinuities. Green and Evcrtson are relativer opti- mistic about the possibility of combining disparate methods and orientations in classroom observation. I-am more pessimis- tic ahout that possibility, and have become increasingly so in the last few years. Reasonable people can disagree on such mat- ters The reader should compare the two chapters. keeping in mind the difl'crences in perspective that characterize our two discussions, which run a1ong lines that are somewhat similar but are nonetheless distinct. From my point of 1view, the primary significance of interpre- tive approaches to research on teaching concerns issues of Don- Lcnt rather than issues or procedure. Interests in interpretive content lead the researcher to search for methods that will be appropriate for study ofthat content. if interpretive research on classroom teaching is to play a significant role in educational research, it will be bccausc of what interpretive research has to say about its central substantive concerns: (a) the nature of classrooms as socially and culturally organised environments [or learning, {it} the nature of teaching as one, so only one, aspect of the reflexive learning environment, and {c} the nature {and content} of the nteaning-perspcctives of teacher and learner as intrinsic to the educational process. The theoretical conceptions that define the primary phenomena of interest in the interpretive study ol‘ teaching are very different from those that underlie the earlier, mainstream approaches to thc study of teaching. These distinctive features of thc interpretive pet-spec tive will he considered throughout this essay. This is not quite to say that this is a situation of competing paradigms in research on teaching, it paradigms are thought ol‘ in the sense used by Kuhn {1962} to refer to an integrated act of theoretical presuppositions that lead the resoarclter to see the world of one‘s research interest in a particular way. a paradigm is metaphysicaL a scientific theoretical view, according to Kuhn, becomes in practical usage an ontology. The current conflict in research on teaching is not one of competing para— digms,l would argue, not bucausc the competing views do not differ ontologically, but simply because as Lakatos {19?8) and others have argued for the natural Stilettos: — and especially let“ the social sciences paradigms do not actually compete in scientific discourse. Dld paradigms are rarely replaced by falsifi— cation. Rather the older and the newer paradigms tend to coex- ist, as in the survival of Newtonian physics, which can he used For some purposes, despite the competition of the Einsteinian physics, which for other purposes has superseded it. Espfidally in the social sciences, paradigms don’t die; they develop vari- cose veins and get fitted with cardiac pacemakers. The perspec- tive of standard research on teaching and the interpretive perspective are indeed rival theories—rival research pro- grams—even it it is uniiltcly that the latter will totally super- sede the refiner. l have not attempted a comprehensive review oltlte field, nor have I attempted to present a modal perspective on interpretive research. There is much disagreement among interpretive re— searchers about the proper conduct of their work and its theo- retical foundations. I:i-ivcn this lack of consensus, which is greater than that in the more standard approaches to research on teaching it would be inappropriate for too to attempt to speak on behalf olaii interpretive researchers. Accordingly, this chapter emphasizes tltose aspccts of theory and method that are most salient itl my own work. In substance, my wort: is an at- tempt to combine close analysis ol fine details of behavior and meaning in everyday social interaction with analysis of the wider societal contest —the field of broader social influences —within which the lace-to-laoe interaction takes place. In method, my work is an attempt to be empirical without being positivist; to be rigorotts and systematic in investigating the slippery phenomena of everyday interaction and its connec- tions, through the medium of subjective meaning. with the wider social world. The chapter begins with an overview ol‘ interpretive ap- proaches and the kinds ol research questions that are olcentral interest in such work. The next section reviews the intellectual roots of interpretive research, the development of Iirsthand par- ticipant observation as a research method, aud the underpin- nings of that development in particular kinds of social theory and practical concern. The third section traces the inaplications olthis general theoretical orientation for the study oiclassroom teaching. Then the discussion turns to consider issues of meth- od. Therejsajictjpnon data collection and anflygjshdl'ti a section on dataanalysisaii'i‘lfi'iefpi‘fp'afifiohpcd Iwritten reports. ThisTc'sefiibtis will-address the reasons that data analysis inhercs in the data collection phase of research as well as in the reporting phase. The chapter conclu tic-s with a dimussion of implications of interpretive approaches for future research on teaching. - Hearst'ch Interpretive, participant observational fieldwork has been used in the social sciences as a research method for about seventy QUALITATIVE METHODS IN RESEARCH ON TEACHING 121 years. Fieldwork research irtvolvcs (al intensive, long-term par— ticipation in a field setting; {b} careful recording of what hap~ pens in the setting by writing field notes and collecting other lrinds of documentary evidence leg, memos, records, examples 01' student work, audiotapes, videotapes}; and {c} subsequent analytic reflection on the documentary record obtained in the field, and reporting by means of detailed description, using na.r~ rative vignettes and direct quotes front interviews, as well as by more general description in the form of analytic charts, sum- mary tables, and descriptive statistics. Interpretive fieldwork research involves being unusually thorough and reflective in noticing and describing everyday events in the field setting and in attempting to ideuti ly- the significance of actions in. the events from the various points or view of the actors themselves. Fieldwork methods are sometimes thought to he radially inductive. but that is a misleading characterization. It is true that specific categories for observation are not determined in advance of entering the field setting as a participant observer. [t is also true that the researcher always identifies conceptual is- sues ol research interest before entering the field setting. In field- work, induction: and deduction are in constant dialogue. As a result, the researcher pursues deliberate lines oliuquiry while in the field, even though the specific terms of inquiry may change in response to the distinctive character of events in the field setting. The specific terms ofinquiry may also he reconstrued in. response to changes in the fieldworlrer’s perceptions and under— standings ofevents and their organization during the time spent irt the field. Interpretive methods using participant observational field— worlr are most appropriate when one needs to known more about: I. The specific structure of occurrences rather than their gen- eral character and overall distribution. [What does the de- cision to leave teaching asa profession look like for partic— ular teachers involved?) What is happening in a particular place rather than across a number of places? (if survey data indicate that the rate of leaving teaching was lowest in a particular American city, we might first want to know what was going on there before Ioolring at other cities with aver— age teacher leaving rates.) 2. The meaning-perspectives ol‘ the particular actors in the particular events. (What, specifically. were the points ol‘ view of particular teachers as they made their decisions to leave tcachirtg?l 3. The location of naturally occurring points of contrast that can be observed as natural experiments when we are unable logistically or ethically to meet experimental conditions ol‘ consistency of intervention and of control over other in— fluences on the setting. [We can't hold constant the condi— tions that might influence teachers to want to leave teaching. and we can‘t try to cause them to want to leave.) 4. The identification of spccific causal linkages that were nct identified by experimental methods, and the develth of new theories about causes and other influences on the patterns that are identified in survey data or experiments. Fieldwork is best at answering the following questions {on these questions, and the ensuing discussion, see Erickson, Florio. & Buschman, 1931], of which these remarks are a paraphrase}: 1. What is happening, specifically, in social action that takes place in this particular setting? 2. What do these actions mean to the actors involved in them. at the moment the actions took place? 3. How are the happenings organized in patterns olsccial or- ganisation and learned cultural principles for the conduct of everyday life- how, in other words, are people in the immediate setting consistently present to each other as environmenls for out: anothcr‘s meaningful actions? 4. How is what is happening in this serting as a whole tie, the classroom} related to happenings at other system levels outside and inside the selling (mg. the school building, a child‘s family, the school system. federal government ntan— dales regarding mainstreaming}? 5. How do the ways everyday life in this setting is organised compare with other ways of organizing social life in a Tit-Fido range olscttings in other places and at other times? Answers to such questions are often needed in educational research. They are needed for five reasons. The first reason con- cerrls the invisibility ofeceryc'rry life. “What is happening here?" may seem a trivial question at first glance. It is not trivial since everyday life is largely invisible to us (because of its familiarity and because of its contradictions, which people may not want to face}. We do not realize the patterns in our actions as we perform them. The anthropologist Clyde Kluelrhohrt illustrated this point with an aphorism: “The fish would be the last creature to discover water." Fieldwork research on [caching through its inherent refiectivcncss, helps researchers and teachers to make rhefarrtilr'ar strange and interesting again {see Erickson, [934}. The commonplace becomes problematic. What is happening can become visible, and it can be dccu— mentcd systematically. A second reason these questions are not trivial is the needfor specific understanan through doemteutation ofeonerete details cpl—practice. Answering the question. “What is happening?" with a general answer often is not very useful. “The teacher [or stu- dents] in this classroom is [are] on-taslr" often doesn‘t tell us the specific details that are needed in order to Understand what is being done, especially il‘ one is attempting to understand the points or view ol‘ the actors involved. Nor is an answer litre the following sufficient, Usually: “The teacher is using behavior modification techniques effectively." This does not tell how. specifically, the teacher used which techniques with, which children, nor what the researcher‘s criterion ofe‘ffectiveness was. Similarly. the statement “The school district implemented a program to increase student time-on—tasli‘" does not tell enough about the extent and kind of implementation so that if test scores or other outcome measures did or did not show change, that putative “outcome” could reasonably be attributed to the putative “treatment‘ “What was the treatment?" is often a useful question in research on teaching Interpretive fieldwork research can answer such a question in an adequater specific way. A third reason these questions are not trivial concerns the need to consider the local meanings that happenings have for the people involved in them. Surface similarities in behavior are III FREDERICK ERICKSDN sometimes misleading in educational research. In different classrooms. schools, and communities, events that seem ostensi- bly the same may have distinctly differing local meanings. Di— rect questioning of students by a teacher, for example, may be seen as rude and punitive in one setting, yet perfectly appropri- ate in another. Within a given setting. a certain behavior like direct questioning int: y be appropriate for some children at one moment, and inappropriate at the nest, from a given teacher's point of view at that time in the event being observed. When a research issue involves considering the distinctive local rneao— ings that actors have for actors in the scene at the moment. fieldwork is an appropriate method. ll. fourth reason these main research questions of fieldwork are not trivial concerns the ncea'for comparative understanding ofa'ifi'erent social scrtinps. Considering the relations between a setting and its wider social environments helps to clarify what is happening in the local setting itself. The observation “Teachers don’t ask for extra materials; they just keep using the same old texts and workbooks for each subject” may be factually accu- rate, but this could be interpreted quite differentlyr depending on contextual circumstances. If school system-wide regula- tions made ordering supplementary materials very dimeult in a particular school district, then the teachers' actions could not simply be attributed to the Spontaneous generation of local meanings by participants in the local scene— the “teacher cul- ture“ at that particular school. 1li'that the teachers do at the classroom and building level is influenced by what happens in wider spheres of social organisation and cultural patterning. These wider spheres of influence must also be taken into ac- count when investigating the narrower circumstances of the lo- cal scene. The same applies to relationships of influence across settings at the same system level, such as the classroom and the home. Behavior that may be considered inappropriate in school may be seen as quite appropriate and reasonable in community and family life. For example, children may be encouraged in the family to be generous in helping one another; in the classroom this may be seen by the teacher as attempts at cheating. A lifth reason for the importance of this set ofquestions con- cerns the needfor comparative understanding beyond the imme- diate circumstances ofrlre local setting. There is a temptation on the part of researchers and school practitioners alike to think of what is happening in the standard operating procedures of everyday life as the way things must and ought to be, always and everywhere. Contrasting life in United States classrooms to school life in other societies, and to life in other institutional contexts such as hospitals and factories, broadens one‘s sense of the range of possibilities for organizing leaching and learning effectively in human groups. Knowing about other ways ofor- ganiring formal and nonformal education by looking back into human history, and by looking across to other contemporary societies around the world. can shed new light on the local hap— [re-tings in a particular school. The Iieldworker asks continually while in the field setting, "Now does what is happening here compare with what happens in other places?“ Awareness of this does not necessarily lead to immediate practical solutions in planning change. The compa r- ative perspective duel inform attempts at planning change, however. By taking a comparative perspective people can dis- tillguish the spurioust distinctive and the genuinely distinctive [earu res of their own circumstances. That can lead them to heat once more realistic and more imaginative than they would otherwise have been in thinking about change. To conclude, the central questions of interpretive research concern issues that are neither obvious nor trivial. They con— cern issues othuman choice and meaning. and in that sense they concern issues of improvement in educational practice. Even though the stance of thc fieldworker is not manifesz evalua- tive, and even though the research questions do not take the form “Which teaching practices are most effective?” issues of efl'ectiveness are crucial in interpretive research. The definitions of effectiveness that derive from the theoretical stance and ena— pirical findings of interpretive research differ from those found in the more usual approaches to educational research and de- velopment. The program ofin terpretive research is to subject to critical scrutiny every assumption about meaning in any set— ting, including assumptions about desirable aims and defini— tions of effectiveness in teaching. This critical stance toward human meaning derives from theoretical presuppositions that will be reviewed in considerable detail in the next section of this chapter. Intellectual Roots and Ammuptions of Interpretive Research on Teaching Roots in Western European intellectual H isrory interpretive research and its guiding theory developed out of interest in the lives and perspectives of people in society who hart little or no voice The late 18th century saw the emergence of this concern. Medieval social theorists had stressed the dig— nin of manual labor, but with the collapse of the medieval world view in the lfith and l‘i'th centuries the lower classes had some to be portrayed in terms that were at best paternalistic. one sees this paternalism in baroque theater and opera. Peasants and house servants were depicted in a one-di- mensional way as uncouth and brutish. they were not refine tive. although they may have been. capable of a kind of vocal cleverness in manipulating their ovetsecrs. masters. and mistresses. Examples of this are found in the servant characters of Moliere and in the farm characters of J. S. Bach’s Peasant Cantata, written in I'M-2. Beaumarchais' The Barber afSeoille. written in llEl, is distinctive precisely hocause it presented one of the first sympathetic characterizations of a servant figure. The dangerous implications of such a portrayal were immediaa 1er recognised by the French censors, who prevented its perfor- mance for three years after it had been written. "the perspective represented by The Barbee of Settille had been preceded in France by the writings of Rousseau. In England, this new per- spective had been preligured by the mid—18th—century English novelists. - Interest by intcilcctuais in the life-world {Lebcnswclt} of the poor—especially the rural poor—continued to grow in the early 19th century as exemplified by the brothers Grimm, who elicited folklore from German peasants. Their work emerged simultaneously with the development of the early romantic movement in literature, in which commoners were positively QUhLITflTWE METHODS IN RESEARCH ON TEACHING “.3 portrayed. Folklore research presupposed that the illiterate country people who were being interviewed possessed a genuine aesthetic sense and a true folk wisdom, in spite of the peasants’ Lack of formal education and lack of “cultivated” appreciation of the polite art forms that were practiced among the upper classes. Concerns for social reform often accompanied this in- terest in the intelligence and talent of the untutored rural poor. Innovations in pedagogy were also related to this shift in the view of thc poor, for example the schools established in Switzerland by Postaloza'i to teach children who had hitherto been considered unteachahle. Later in the [91h century, attention of reformers shifted from the rural poor to the working-class populations of the growing industrial towns (for a parallel discussion of this development, see flogdan and Biltlen, [932, pp. 4—! 1}. In England, Charles Booth documented the everyday lives of children and adults at work in factories and at home in slum neighborhoods {see Webb, 1926}. Similar attention was paid to the urban poor in the United States by the “muckraking” journalists Jacob Riis [How the dither Holy“ Liza’s, [390) and Lincoln Steflins {190-4}, and in the novels of Upton Sinclair, for example, The Jungle (1906}. Another line of interest developed in the late 19th century in kinds of unlettercd people who lacked power and about whom little was known. These were the nonliterate peoples of the European-controlled colonial territories of Africa and Asia, which 1were burgeoning by the end of the l9th century. Travel- ers' accounts ofsuch people hart been written since the begin— nings of European exploration in the lfirh century. fly the late 19th century such accounts were becoming more detailed and complete. They were receiving scientific attention from the emerging field of anthropology. Anthropologists termed these accounts ethnography, a monograph—length description of the lifeways of people Who were critical, the ancient Greek term for “otherS"--- barbarians who were not Greek. Anthropologists had hogun to send out their students to collect ethnographic information themselves. rathcr than relying for the information on the books written by colonial administrators, soldiers, and other tray-elem. lit 19H, one of these students, Bronislaw Malinowski, was interned in the Trobriand Archipelago by the British govern— room while he was on an ethnographic expedition. Matinowski was a student at Oxford University and had been sent to the Britsh colonies by his teachers. He was also Polish; a subject of the AustroaHuugariau Empire. On. that ground he was suspect as a spy by some ollictals ofthe British colonial adntininrartnn. Forced to stay in the Trobriands more than twice as long as he had intended, during his detention Malinowski developed a closer, more intimate view of the everyday life-ways and mean- ing-porspoetives of a primitive society than had any previous ethnographer, whether traveler or social scientist. Mallnowslri’s account, when published in [922, revolutionized the field of so- cial anthropology by the specificity of its descriptive reporting and by the sensitivity of the insights presented about the beliefs and perspectives of the Trobtiandcrs. Malinowski (“$35, 1922,.“ 195-5] reported insights not only about explicit cultural know— ledge. Information on explicit eultnre had been elicited from informants by earlier researchers who used interviewing strat- egies derived from the work of the early folklorists. In addition Malinovvski reported his inferences about the Trobriander's I'm- plieit cultural knowledgc— belieis and perspectives that were so customary for the Trobrinnders that they were held outside conscious awareness and thus could not be readily articulated by informants. By combining long—term participant observa- tion with sensitive interviewing. Malinowski claimed, he was able to identify aspects of the Trobriandcrs‘ world view that they themselves were unable to articulate Many anthropologists attacked thc claims of Malinowskian ethnography as too subjective and unscientific. l[.‘tthers were very taken by it. it squared with the insights of Freudian psy- chology that people knew much more than they were able to say. Freud's perspective. in turn, was consonant with the much broader intellectual and artistic movement of expressionism, which emphasized the enigmatic and inartieulate dartr side of human experience, barking back to a similar emphasis among the early Romantics. Maliuowski was a product of this late- thh-century intellectual milieu, and the postwar disillusion- rncut with the values of rational liberal thinking matte the 1920s an especially apt time for the reception of Malinowski’s position. Malinowski’s intellectual milieu in his formative years was not only that of the late [13th century in general, but that of German intellectual perspectives in particular. These bear men- tion here. for they involve presuppositions about the nattire of human society and consequently about the nature of the social sciences. German social theory, as taught in universities of the time, made a sharp distinction between natural science, thwbsenschcfl. and what can be translated “human science," or “moral science," Geotcswirscnschofl. Thc latter term, which literally means, “science of spirit," was dis- tinguished from natural science on the grounds that humans differ from other animals and from inanimate entities in their capacity to make and share meaning. Sense-making and mean- ing were the spiritual or moral aspect of human existence that differed from the material existence of the rest of the natural order. Because of this added dimension. it was argued, humans living together must be studied in terms of the sense they make of one another in their social arrangements. The etymological metaphor ofspirit as an entity that under- lies this sharp distinction betiwcen thc natural and the human sciences recalls an analogous metaphor in the term psychology, which in the Greek literally means “systematic knowledge about the soul." The terms Gettteswirsentehqfl and psychology remind us that in the initialch century, as social and behavioral chances hogan to be defined as distinctive fields, there was as yet no commitment to deline them as positive sciences modeled after the physical sciences. That came later. The chief proponent of the distinction between the natural and the human sciences was the German historian and social philosopher Wilhelm Dilthcy [liliflfltl'l'ha l914flfl'lfia]. He argued ([914H19'Fob} that the methods of the human sciences should he hermettentt'coi, or interpretive [from the Greek term for “interpreter “l, with the aim ofdisooveting and communicat- ing the meaning-perSpcctives of the people studied1 as an inter- preter does when translating the discourse of a speaker or writer. Dilthey's position was adopted by many later German social scientists and philosophers, notably 1|pitcher (192.2,!19'1'8) and Husserl {l936fitfi’ffl}. A somewhat similar position was 124 FREDERICK ERICKSDN taken by Dilthey's contemporary, Mart. especialIy it‘ll his early writings, for example, the Theses or: Feucrbotrh ([959 ed]. Despite Marx's emphasis on material conditions as determin— ing norms, beliefs, and values, he was centrally concerned with the content of the meaning-perspectives so determined. Indeed, a. fundamental point of Marx‘s is the historical cmbeddedness of moseiousness—the assumption that one’s view of self and of the world is profoundly shaped in and through the concrete circumstances of daily living in one's specific situation of life. Subsequent Marxist social theorists have presumed that pro- found dili'erences in meaning-perspwtive will vary with social class position, and that presumption estepds to any other spe— cial life situaticrt, for example. that due to one's gentler status. raise, and the like. We can assume that Malinowslti was influenced by basic as- sumptions in German social theory of his day. Those assump- tions were contrary to those of French thinkers about society, notably Comte and Durkheim. Corn te. in the mid-19th century. proposed a positivist science or society. modeled alter the physi— cal sciences, in which causal relations were assumed to be ana— logous to those of mechanics in Newtonian physics (Comte, lflififlgbli]. Durkheim, Comte's pupil, may or may not have adopted the metaphor of society as a machine, but in attempts ing to contradict the notion that the individual is the fundamen- tal unit of society, he argued that society must be treated as an entity in itself -a reality stat generic Such a position can easily be interpreted as a view of society as an organism or machine. At any rate, what was central for Durkheim was not the mean- ing-perspectives of actors in society, but the “social facts" of their behaviors (Durkheim “1931953). This stands in sharp contrast to the German intellectual tradition or social theory. [On the relations of presuppositions in social theory to method- ology in the social sciences. see the book-length comparative review of functionalist. interpretive. Marxist, and esistcnlialist positions in BurreIl at Morgan. [9759: and sec also Winch, 1958, and Giddens. 1982.} A final influence on American participant observational re- search was the development of American descriptive linguistics during the 19295. In studying native American languages linguism were discovering aspects of language structure— sound patterns and grammar — that had never been considered in traditional grammar and philology based on Indo-Europcan languages. These new aspects of language structure were regu— lar and predictable in speech, but the speakers themselves were unaware of the structures they had learned to produce so rega- larly. Here was another domain in which was evident the eit- istence of implicit principles of order that influenced human behavior outside the consciousness of those influenced. This intellectual environment was the con text for the training of Margaret Mead at Columbia University, with which Silt: was associated for the rest of her career. Her study Coming ong-g In Semail‘l‘lh}, again controversial as of this writing, can be con- sidered the first monograph—length educational ethnography. It is significant that it dealt with teaching and learning outside schools. By the mid-1920s., with the urban sociology of Robert Park at the University of Chicago. ethnography came home. Students of Park and Burgess reg, Wirth. [9113: Zorbaugh, 1929] tecd sustahted participant observation and informal interviewing as a means of studying the everyday lives and values of natural groups of urban residents {mostly working class migrants from Europe}, who in Chicago and other major American cities were distributed in residential tenitories defined by an intersection of geography, ethnicity, and social ciass. In the 1930s a whole American community. Newburyport. Massachusetts (“Yankee City"}, was studied by Malinowskian fieldwork methods under the direction of the anthropologist W. Lloyd Warner at Har— vard {Wamer & Luut, 1941}. In a study that was greatly in- fluenced by Warner, Whyte {[955} identified another kind of natural group as a unit of analysis, a group oflate adolescent males in an urban working-class ltalian neighborhood. Here the community was studied out from the gang of young men. rather than the usual anthropologists way of trying to study the commit} as a whole, which Wher found to be theoreti— cally and logistically impossible in an urban setting. After World Will“ H, ethnograpbcrs began to turn directly to issues of education, under the leadership ol Spindler {1955] at Stanford and Kimball (1914] at Teachers College, Columbia Both were influenced considerably by the work of Margaret Mead. and Kimball had been a student or Warner‘s Chicago school sociology also made a significant contribution to ethno- graphic work in a. study ola cohort of mediml students under the direction oi" Everett Hughes (cf. Becker, Geer. Hughes, Er Strauss, 19151}. An institutionalized network for researchers with these interests was initiated in 1968, with the formation of die Council on Anthropology and Education as a member or- ganization ol' the American Anthropological Association. Also during the [9605 much qualitative work on teaching was done in England, under the leadership ol' Stenhouse and his asso- ciates (Steuhouse, 1913; MacDonald uh Walker, 1974; Walker Jr Adelman, 19H; Elliott 3:. Adclman, Hid}. The next major impetus for ethnographic study of education, and the last to be noted in this discussion, came in the early 197m with the creav tion of the National Institute ol‘ Education. Key stalf tbcrc established policies that not only allowed landing for ethnographic study, but which in some instances encouraged work to be done in schools along those lines Utter] in that work the unit olaualysis was the school community, with classroom teaching receiving peripheral attention. At the same time, how- ever, studies were begun in which teaching in school classrooms was the central phenomenon of research interest. {For addition- al discussion ol‘tlte ro]e ol‘ NlE. see Cartoon, this volume} To conclude where we began, it is important to remember that qualitative research that centers its attention on classroom teaching is a very recent phenomenon in educational research. The key questions in such research are: “What is happening here, specifically? What do these happenings mean to the people engaged in them?" The specifics ol'action and olmeaning-pcrspectives ot‘actors in interpretive research are often those that are overlooked in other approaches to research. There are three mm'or reasons for this. One is that the people who hold and share the meaning— perspectives that are ofinterrst are those who are themselves overlooked, as relatively powerless members of society. Th'm is the case for teachers and students in American public schools, as it was for the working class in postmedieml Europe. [See the disputation on the powerlessness of teachers in Lacie: at Little. this volume}. a second reason that these meaning—perspectives QUfiLfTATlVE METHODS [bl RESEARCH ON TEACHING 115 are not represented is that they are often held outside conscious awareness by those who hold them, and thus are not explicitly articulated. A. third reason is that it is precisely the meaning- perspeclives of actors in social life that are viewed theoretically in more usual approaches to educational research as either peripheral to the center of research interest. or as essentially irrelevant — part ofthe “subjectivity” that must be eliminated if systematic. "objective" inquiry is to be done. In the section that follows we will explore further the signili— cauce to research on teaching of the meaning-perspectives of teachers and students, and we will consider" reasons why stanv dard educational research does not, for the most part, take ac count of these phenomena in the design and conduct of studies oftcaching and learning in classrooms. Theorerieni Assumptions of Interpretive Research on Teaching Let to begin by considering some pelt-documented findings from survey research—test data on school achievement and measured intelligence. These are perplexing findings. Tl:|t‘:_'ir can be interpreted differently depending upon one's theoretical orientation. L [n the United States there are large differences across indi— virtuals in school achievement and measured intelligence. according to the class. race. gender. and language back- ground ofthe individuals. Moreover, these differences per- sist across generations. 2. Test score data accumulated in the recent process—product research on teaching show differences across different class- rooms in the achievement of elementary pupils who are similarly at risk for school Failure because of their class. race, gender, or language background 3-. The same test data also show differences in achievement and measured intelligence among individual children in each dassroom. These findings from survey data sugar that while the likeli- hood of low school achievement by tow-socioeconomic-status children and others at risk may be powerfully influenced by large-static social processes {i.e., handicaps due to one‘s position in society) and individual differences (i.e.. measured intelli- pence). the school achievement of such children is amenable to considerable influence by individual teachers at. the classroom level. Teachers, then, can and do matte a difference for educa— tional acuity. Finding Number 1 seems to argue against the contention nt‘c‘itics on the radical left that social revolution is a necessary precondition for improvement ofschool performance by the children of the poor in America. Finding Number 2 also contradicts the contention of liberals that environmental depri- vatiort. especially the home child—rearing environment, ac— counts for the low school achievement of such pupils, since outside-school conditions presumably did not change for those students at risk who nonetheless did better academically with some teachers than with others. Findings Number 1 and 3- con- tradict the contention of moderate and {311in conservatives that current school practices involve social sortng that is {air tie. aSsigning pupils to different curricular tracks on the basis of measured achievement} and that the route to educational! improvement lies in simply applying current sorting practices more rigidly. The radical left. of course. can dismiss finding Number 2 on the grounds that the differences in measured achievement of pupils that can be attributed to teacher influence are only slight. and are thus trivial. The radical right can dism'm findings Number I and 3- on the grounds that children of low socioeco- nomic status {SE5}. or racialitinguistictculturat minority hack— ground. or flatmates are genetically inferior to white upper-class mates. which accounts for their low achievement and measured hiteliiegnce. Both of these counterargumcuts. from the lch and from the right. have been used to dismiss the significance of these three findings. if one does not dismiss file findings on these grounds, however, the three findings-taken together are paradoxical. It would seem that children's achievement can vary from year to year and from teacher to teacher with no other things changing in those children's lives. Yet children at risk, overall, perform significantly less well in American schools than do children not at risk. Positive teacher influence on the achievement of children at risk seems to he the exception rather than the rule. and rot: here raters to the children’s social background. not to the individual child's intrinsic ability. [In- deod. from an interpretive perspective it is meaningless to'spealr. of a child‘s intrinsic ability, slow the child is always found in a social environment. and since the child‘s performance and adults' assessments of the child's performance both influence one another continually. Rather we can say that a child‘s as- sessed ability is socially constructed. It is a product ofthe child‘s social situation — the social system — rather than an attribute of that person.) The findings from the United States are more paradoxical in fire light of international school science achievement data {see Camber 3t Kceves, 19?}, pp. 51, 259] which show that in some developed countries, such as Flemish-speaking Belgium, Italy, Sweden. and Finland. the correlation hetwmn social class hack— gronnd and school achievement is much lower than it is in the United States or Great Britain. and that the correlation is lower in Japan than in the United States or Britain although not so low in Japan as in the countries listed first in this sentence. How are we to understand why these survey data shoutI the patterns that they do‘ir Is the social construction of student performatme and amassed ability different in Italy from that of the United States? What might we do to irate:- higher achievement by lots— achieving groups ofpupils in the United States? How an: we to understand the nature of teaching in the light of these findings? The survey data themselves do not tell us. They ntust be inter- preted in the context of theoretical presuppositions about the nature of schools. teaching, children, and classroom life, and about the nature ofcause in human social life in general. These assumptions, we have already noted, differ fiinrlarnentally be- tween the standard approaches to research on teaching and the interpretive approaches that are the topic ofthis chapter. Perhaps the most basic diaerence between the interpretive and the standard approaches to research on teaching lies in their assumptions about the nature ofeause in human social relations. This IDthlS the distinction made earlier between the natural sciences and the human sciences {Naturu'irsenscfrgfl and Geistesu'issenrchgii}. 116 FREDERICK ERICKSDN In. the natural sciences causation can be thought of in me- chanical, or chemical, or biological terms. Mechanical cause, as in Newtonian physics. involves relationships between force and matter, and physical linkages through which force is eacrtcd — one billiard ball striking another. or the platen in a combustion engine linked by cams to the drive shaft.- Cbemical cause in- volves energy transfer in combination between atoms of dill'erv ent elements. Biological cause is both mwhanical and chemical. Relations among organisms are also ecological, that is, causal relations are not linear in one direction, but because ofthc coor- plettity ofinteraction among organisms within and across spe— cies. cause is multidircctionai. Thus the notion of cause and effect in biology is much more complex than that of physics or chemistry. But the differences in conceptions of cause in the natural sciences are essentially those of degree rather than of kind. Even in biology there is an underlying assumption ofuni— formity in nature. Given conditions Jr, a bacterium or a chicken is likely to behave in much the same way on two dili'crcnt occav sions. The same is true in physics or chemistry, more or less, despite poet—Einsteinian thinking Under conditions I. one ral- orie of heat can be considered the same entity on the surfince of the sun and on the surface of the earth. and under conditions at. one atom of oxygen and two of hydrogen will combine in the Slime way today as they do the next day. The assumption of uniformity of nature, and of mechanical, chemical, and biological metaphors for causal relations among individual entities is taken over from the natural scienr: in positivist social and behavioral sciences. Animals and atoms can be said to helices, and do so fairly consistently in similar circumstances. Humans can be said to behave as well, and can he observed to be doing so quite consistently under similar cir— cumstan. Moreover, one person’s behavior toward another can be said to cause change in the state ofanotber person. Me— chanical, chemical, and ecological metaphors can. be used to understand these causal relations, thinking of humans in so- ciety as a machine, or as an organism, or as an ecosystem of inanimate and animate entities. Classrooms and teaching have been studied from this per- spective, especially by educational psychologists. and also by some [irisitivisl sociologists. Linear causal models are alien cm- played, beoavicr is observed. and causal relations among var- ious behavioral variables are inferred; for example, cenain [Hilltl'l'tti of questioning or of motivational statements by the teacher are studied to see if they cause certain changes in test- taking behavior by children. in educational psychology this perspective derives from a kind of hybrid hehaviorism, in the sense that what counts is the researcher‘s judgment of what an observable behavior means, mute: than the actors’ definitions of meaning. Such behaviolisl or "behaviorslis‘l" presuppositions about the fitted and obvious meanings of certain types ofactions by teachers underlie the so- ettlled process—product approach to research on teacher elfec- liveliest: fer. Dunkin St Biddle, I954], which was at first corv relational and later became experimental. in educational sociology an analogous perspective derived from the shift toward positivism that occurred in American so- ciology after World War II. Social facts were seen as causing other social facts. by relations akin to that of mechanical link- age. These linkages were monitored by large-scale correlational survey research (e.g., Coleman et at, 1966] and subsequent reanalyscs of that data set (Mostcller d: Moynihan, 19H, and .I'encks et aL [Will]. The main guiding metaphors for most educational research on teacher and school ell'ectiveness from the 195th through the [filth became the metaphor of the classroom as something like a Skinner be: and the metaphor of school systems and the wider society as something like linked parts ofa large. inter- nally difl'crcntiated machine. In neither metaphor is the notion of mind necessary. The phenomenological perspective of the persons behaving is not a feature of the theoretical models the metaphors represent. interpretive researchers take a very diiferent view of the na- ture of um'l'ormity and ofcause in social life. The behavioral uniiormity from day to day that can be observed for an indivi- dual, and among individuals in groups, is seen not as evidence of underlying, essential uniformity among entities, but as an illusion —a social construction akin to the illusion of assessed abiJity as an attribute ot'the person assessed Humans, the inter— pretive perspective asserts. create meaningful interpretations of the physical and behavioral objects that surround them in the environman We take action toward the objects that surround us in the light ofour interpretations ofnneaningfulness. Those interpretations, once made, we take as real -— actual qualities of the objects we perceive. Thus, once a child is assessed as having low ability, we assume not only that the entity low ability ac- tually exists, but that it is actually an attribute of that child. We do not question such assumptions, once made. We cannot do so, or as actors in the world we would always be inundated by masses of uninterpretable detail and would be continually tan- talired by the need to hold all inference and background as- sumption in abeyance. We handle the problem of having to bet for practical purposes. nut-tine rectors—beliemrs in the taken- for—granteel reality we perceive at first glance—by continually taking the leap of faith that is necessary. We see the ordinary world as if it were real. according to the meanings we impute to it. The previous discussion elaborates on the point made in the previous section on the emergence of a distinction between the natural sciences, Nurnrtvirsensrhoflcn, and the human sciences, Getsmswissenschoflen. This line of thinking, esplicated by Dil- they, and continued with Weber (1923]???) and Robots ([9? I}, is exemplified in current writing in the philosophy of social sci- ence by Berger and Luckmann {1961i}, Winch {1958}, and (lid— dens {lain}, among many others To be sure. there is much more apparent uniformity in hu- man social life. Through culture humans share learned systems for defining meaning. and in given situations ofpraclical action humans often seem to have crcatcd meaning interpreta- tions. But these surface similarities mask an underlying diversi- ty; in a given situation of action one cannot assume that the behaviors of two individuals. physical act: with similar form. have the same meaning to the two individuals. The possibility is always present that difierent individuals may have differing interpretations of the meaning of what... in physical form. appear to be the same or similar objects or behaviors. Thus a crucial analytic distinction in interpretive research is that between behavior. the physical act, and action, which is the physical behavior plus the meaning interpretations held by r- I'uvste i"- ' : avail“ l r :- r l QUALITATIVE METHODS EN RESEARCH ON TEACHING 127 the actor amt those with whom the actor is engaged in inter- action. The object ofioterpretive social research is action, not behav— ior. This is because of the assumption made about the nature of cause in sociai life. If people talte action on the grounds of their interpretations of the actions of others, then meaning—interpre- tations themselves are causal for humans. This is not true in nature. and so in natural science meaning from the point of view of the actor is not something the scientist must discover. The billiard ball does not make sense of its environment. But the human actor in society does, and dilterent humans rnalre sense difl'erently. They impute symbolic meaning to others' ac- tions and take their own actions in accord with the meaning interpretations they have made. Thus the nature ofcouss in hu- man society befittues very difierent from the nature of cause in the physical and bioiogical world, and so does the nature of uniformity in repeated social actions. Because such actions are grounded in choices of meaning interpretation. they are always open to the possibility of reinterpretation and change This can be seen in examples otsymbolie action such as. pub— lic executions. Such an event is conducted with the aim not only to punish a particular offender but. to coerce a confession of guilt or remorse in order to deter others from committing simi— lar offences. The intentions are both physical and social: to kill the offender and to do so in such a way as to influence public opinion. The physical death that occurs can be seen to result from a physiml cause that disnlpts the biochemical organiza- tion ofthe body as a living system. The reactions of the offender and audience, however, are not “caused” by the physical inter- vention itself, but are matters of meaning interpretation, eman- ating from the various points of view of dill'ering actors in the event. Consider the ease of Joan ofhre. Some soldier’s hand thrust a iighted torch into the pile of wood whose subsequent coma bustion killed loan. who was tied to a stake. Looking at the crude physical and behavioral “facts” in this scq uenee of events, one can say that the result at what the soldier did was a. matter of physics, chemistry. and biology. But the soldier‘s behavior did not cause loan to cry out. denying the charge oi witchcraft. insisting that the voices she had heard were those of angels rather than demons. She persisted in justifying her military resistance to the English as a response to the will of God. Such persistence was social action, entailing a choice of meaning in- terpretation. Score of the witnesses at the scene accepted Joan‘s interpretation rather than that of her English judges. its the story of her death spread. French nobles and commoners united in intensified resistance to the English. French morale was in- creased rather than decreased, which frustrated the intent oi‘ the execution on grounds of witchcraft. Meaning interpretatioosrather than physical or chemical processes — were what were causal in this sequence of social aca lions and reactions. These interpretations were the result of hu- man choices, made at successive liolrs in the chain of social interaction. Had the soldier refused to light the [ire because he was persuaded oi Joan's innocence, the judges might have cho— sen to relent or to have executed the soldier as wclL Had loan admitted guilt to the charge of witchcraft. the reaction of the French armies might have been dilterent. But even if she had confessed publicly, the witnesses and subsequent audience might have discounted her admission as the result ofcoercion. Thus the French might still have continued to resist the English, cnragcd by what they had come to see as a symbol of abhorrent injustice. We can see how it makes sense to claim that prediction and control, in the tradition of natural science, is not possible in systems of relations where cause is mediated by systems of s ym- bols. The martyr breaches the symbolic order of a degradation . ceremony. turning the tables upon those whose intention is to degrade. Martyrs are exceptional but they are not unique. That martyrdom occurs at all points to the intrinsic fragility of the usual regularities of social life, grounded as they are in choices of meaning in the interpretation ofsymbols. The case oftlre execution of Joan of Arc shows how interpre- tive sense-making can be seen as l'trndarnentalty constitutive in human social life. Because of that assumption, interpretive rc— scarch maintains that causal explanation in the domain of hu- man social iiie cannot rest simply upon observed similarities between prior and subsequent behaviors. even if the correla- tions among those behaviors appear to be very strong, and ex- perimental conditions obtain. litatber, an explanation of cause in human action must include identification of the meaning- interpretation of the actor. “Objective” analysis tie. systematic analysis) ot'“su bjective“ meaning is thus ofthe essence in social research, including research on teaching, in the view ofirtterpre- tive researchers. The interpretive point of view leads to research questions ofa fundamentally dilTerent sort from those posed by standard re- search on reaching. Rather than ask which behaviors by teachers are positively correlated with student gains on tests of achievement, the interpretive researcher asks “What are the conditions of meaning that students and teachers create to- gether, as sonre students appear to learn and others don‘t? Are there differences in the meaning-perspectives of teachers and students in classrooms characterised by higher achievement and more positive morale? How is it that it can make sense to students to learn in one situation and not in another?I How are these meaning systerns created and sustained in daily interac- tion'?" These are questions of basic significance in the study of peda- gogy. They put mind bath in the picturer in the central place it now occupies in cognitive psychology. The mental life of teachers and learners has again heorne crucially significant for the study of teaching (Shulman. [ESL and Shuiman, this vol- - tune}. and from an interpretive point of view mind is present not merely as a set of “mediating variables“ between the major independent and dependent variables of teaching—the ina puts and outputs Sense-making is the heart of the matter, the medium of teaching and learning that is also the message. Interpretive, participant observational fieldwork restarrchhin addition to a central concern with mind and with subjective meaning. is concerned with the relation between meaning-per— spectives of actors and the ecological circumstances of action in which they find themselves This is to say that the notion of the social is central in fieldwork research. In a classic statement Ii’v'e’euer {1922,F1978} defined social action: “A social relationship may be said to exist when several people reciprocally adjust their behavior to each other with respect to the meaning which they give to it, and when this reciprocal adjustment determines 128 FREDERICK ERICKSDN the form which it takes“ (p. 30]. Standing somewhere, for example, is a behavior. Standing in line, however, is social ac- tion, according to Weber‘s definition, becauso it is meaningfully oriented to the actions ofothers in the scene -- -others standing in the line, and in the case of a typical school clamroom, the teacher in charge, who has told the children to stand in line. All those others in the scene are part of ego's social ecology. Pat- terns in that eraJlogy are defined by implicit and explicit cultural understandings about relationships ofproper rights and obliga- tions, as well as by conflicts of interests across individuals and groups in access to certain rights. Thus, for example, in the standing—in-line scene. the official rights of the person occupy- ing the status of teacher differ from the rights of those persons occupying the status ofstudent. Moreover, there is an addition- al dimertsion of difierence in rights and obligations. that be- tween the official {formal} set of rights and obligations and the unofficial one. Officially, all children in the line have the obligav tion to obey the teacher's command to stand in line. Unoffi- cially, however, some children may have rights to obey more casually than others. These differences among the children can be thought of as an unofficial, informal social system within which status [one‘s social position in relation to others) and role (the set of rights and obligations that accrues to a particu- lar status] are defined differently from the ways they are defined in the official, formal system a basic assumption in interpretive theory ofsoeial organiza— tion is that the formal and informal social systems operate si— multaneously. that is. persons in everyday life take action together in terms of both oflicial and unofficial definitions of status and role. a basic criticism of standard research on teach— ing that follows from this theoretical assumption is that. to the extent that teacher and student roles are accounted for in the prcdetcrtrtincd coding categories by which classroom observa- tion is done, the category systems take no account of the uneth— cial, informal dimensions ofrole and status in the classroom. This is not only to miss the irony and humor ofthe paradoxical mixing of the two dimensions ofclamroom life, but to miss the essence of the social and cognitive organization of a classroom as a learning environment. Classrooms, like all settings in for- mal organizations, are places in which the formal and informal systems continually intertwine. Teaching, as instructional lead- ership, consists in managing the warp and woof of both di- mensions in dealing with children and their engagement with subject matter. To attempt to analym clamroorn interaction by observing only the warp threads and ignoring the woof threads is to misrepresent fundamentally the process of pedagogy. The focus on social ecology—its process and structure—is latitude in interpretive social research on teaching. The re- searcher seeks to understand the ways in which teachers and students. in their actions together, constitute environments for one another. The fieldwork researcher pays close attention to this when observing in a classroom, and his or her fieldnotes are filletl with observations that document the social and cultural organiration ofthe events that are obscnred, on the assumption that the organization of memory-inaction is at once the learn‘ ing environment and the content to be learned all human groups have some form of social organization While it is universal that regularly interacting sets of individ uals possess the capacity to construct cultural norms by which their social ecology is organised -face to face, and in wider spheres up and out to the lovel ofthe society as a whole the partipngr forms that this social organization takes are specific to the set or individuals involved. Thus we can say that social organization has both a local and a nonlocal character. Let us consider the local nature of social organization first, and then the nonlocal nature ofit. Interpretive social research presumes that the meanings-in— action that are shared by members of a set of individuals who interact recurrently through time are iocrzfin at least two senses First, they are local in that they are distinctive to that particular set of individuals, who as they interact across time come to share certain specific local understandings and traditions- -a distinctive microculture. Such microculturcs are charactelistric of all human groups whose members recurrently associate. These are so—callod normal groups. which are the typical unit of analysis studied by fieldwork researchers The ubiquity of these natural group-specific rnicrocultures can be illustrated by the following example. Compare and contrast the daily routines of two upper-middle-class white American Families, one of which is characterized by serious emotional pathology, and the other ofwhich is not. its the family systems are viewed from the out- side. on the surface, patterns in the conduct of everyday life may seem very similar. Both families live in the same suburb, next door to one another. Both houses have dining rooms. Both families use paper towels in the kitchen and buy Izod sports shirts for their children. Yet in one family there is deep trouble, and in the other there is not. The microculture of one nuclear family regarding child-rear— ing and other aspects of family life differs in at least some re- spects front that ofa family living next door that is identical to the first in ethnicity. class position. age of parents and children. and other general demographic features. These differences. al— though srnall. are not at all trivial. They can have profound significance for the successful conduct of daily life. This is atv tested to by the personal experience of marriage. in which ego learns that cgo's in-laws and spouse hold somewhat different assumptions from those held by ego about the normal conduct of daily life, and that these others may bejust as deeply cons vinced as is ego ofthe inherent lightness of their own customary ways of doing things. The same is true for school classrooms. Interpretive re- searchers presume that micromltures will differ from one class- room to the next, no matter what degree ofsimilarity in general demographic features obtains between the two rooms. which may be located literally next door or across the hall from one another. Just as the adjacent suburban families diliecrcd, so two classrooms can differ in the meaning-perspectives held by file teacher and students, despite the surface similarities between the two rooms. Almost every American elementary school classroom today has fluorescent lights. Regulations governing the amount of floor space that must he provided for a given number of children mandate that American classrooms will be roughly the same size. Regulations mandate a roughly similar ratio of adults to students Entering virtually any elementary school classroom one will see arithmetic workbooks. a pub- lished basal reading series. a chalkboard. dittoed wort: sheets. some books to read, crayons for coloring, paste, and scimors. Roughly the same level of skills is taught at the various grade It: ~——.-.—r.,,..«|—_,.—_v levels throughout the country. How then to account [or the substantial dili'erences in patterns of student achievement acmss dill'ercnt classrooms? It may be that the dill'crences in organization that we need to be interested in are quite small indeed, and radiwa local little dill'crenms in everyday class- room liie that make a big difference for student learning, subtly dilferent meaning-perspectives in which it makes sense to stu- dents to learn in one classroom and does not make sense to learn in another classroom. from a student‘s point of view. Meanings—inaction are assumed by some interpretive re- searchers to be local in a second and more radical sense. that of the locality of moment-to—morneut enactmenl of social action in real time. Today‘s enactment of breakfast in a family diners from yesterday‘s. and in conversation during today‘s break last. the content and process of one person's turn at speaking and the reaction of the audience to what is said will differ from that of the next turn at speaking and "audience reaction. Life is con- tinually being lived anew, even in tile most recurrent of custom- ary events This is assumed to be true of school classrooms as well Positivist rmearch on teaching pmumes that history repeats itself; that what can be learned from past events can generalize to future events —in the same setting and in different settings. Interpretive researchers are more cautious in their assumptions. They sec. as do experienced teachers. that yesterday's reading group was not quite the same as today‘s. and that this moment in the reading group isnot the same as the next moment. What constitutes appropriate and intelligible social action in class- rooms and all other natural human groups is the capacity for a set ofindiirid nuts to live together successfully in the midst olthe current moment, reacting to the moment just past and expect— ing the next moment to come. This is the world of lived exper- ience. the life-world [Lebenswrit‘l The lilcrworld olleacher and students in a classroom is that ol' the present moment. They traverse the present moment together across time as surl~ boarders who ride the crest ofa wave together with linked arms. it is a delicate interactional balancing acL if any one in the set wavers or stumbles, all in the set are affected. Each individual in the set has a particular point of view from within the action as the action changes from moment to mo- ment. During the course of the enactment of recurrent types of events {c.g., breakfast. math lessons] some of these individual perspectives come to be intersubjectively shared among the members of the interacting set. Members come to approximate one another‘s perspectives. in at least a rough correspondence among the individually differing points of view even though time are not identical. Since each individual in the set is unique. however. the specific content of shared understandings at any given moment and across moments and days is unique to that particular set oflndividuals Thus within a given mom-cut in die enactment of an event and during the overall course of shared life together. particular sets oltndividaals come to hold distinc— tive local meanings-in-actiort, These meanings are also nonloeal in origin. Face-to-face axial relations do indeed have a life of their own. but. the materials for the construction of that life are not all created at the moment, within the some. Cine nonloeal influence on local action is culture, which can be defined in cognitive tcrms as teamed and shared standards for perceiving. believing. acting, QUALITATIVE METHODS lN RESEARCH Obi TEtltCl-IING 129 and evaluating the actions of others (see the discussion in Goodenougiu IBEl. pp. Elli). Cultural learning profoundly shapes what we notice as well as what we believc, at levels cut~ side conscious awareness as well as within awareness. Students in an ordinary American classroom speak English. a culturally learned language system that connects the students with the lives of others across space and time, had: before the Norman Conquest. Much of what they know of the language is outside conscious awareness -- that is, children oomc to school kncw~ ing how to use grammatical constructions of which they de- velop a reflective awareness only after some years ol‘ schooling. Students in American classrooms learn a particular cultural tradition of mathetnatical reasoning, and an arithmetic symbol system derived from Arabia. “Hume cultural traditions are non- Iocai in provenience. . Another source ol‘ nonloeal influence is the perception-that has! members have ol‘ interests or constraints in the world he— yond the horizon of their tace-to-iace relations. In a school classroom these influences may come from the teacher next door, from parents, from the principal, from institutionalized procedures in the federal government regarding the allocation of special resources to die classroom. There is indeed a social structure within which clamroom life is embedded. In mat secnsc Durkheim was right society is a reality in itself, and there are social facts of which local actors take accounL Here, however, the interpretive researcher parts company with Durkheim, for the issue is how to take account of the reality of nonloeal culture and society without assuming me- chanistic causal linkages between these outside realities and the realities of social rclations face to face. interpretive research takes a somewhat nominalist position on this issue ofontology: Society and culture do exist. but not in a reified state. Social ciao position. for example. does not. "cause" school achieve- ment people influence that. in specific interactional occasions. The structure of the English language system does not “cause” the way specific people speak -—ilte speaker makes use of the system in individually distinctive ways. The principal's memo that an achievement test is to be given Friday morning does not “cause” the teacher's hand motions as he or she passes out the test booklets that behavior is the result of meaning-interpre- tations and choices, deliberate and nondeliberate, that the teacher has made. including the choice not to ignore the merno‘s injunction. The task or interpretive research, then. is to discover the spe- cific ways in which local and nonloeal forms oi" social organica- tion and culture relate to the activities of specific persons in malring cholcm and conducting social action together. For classroom rcseard-t this means discovering how the choiom and actions olal] the members constitute an enacted curriculum —a learning environment. Teachers and students in their interac- tion together are able to {a} make use of learned meaning ac quired and shared through acculturation {not only language system and mathematical system, but other systems such as po- litical ideology, ethnic and class subcultures, assumptions about gender roles, definitions of proper role relationships hes tween adults and children. and the like]: {it} take account nl'tltn actions of others outside the immediate scene, making sense of them as structure points [or better. as production resources} around which they can construct local action; {c} learn new 131] FREDERICK ERICKSUN culturally shared meanings through lace-to-t‘aoe interaction; and {d} creole mannhlps, given the unique exigencies of practical action in the moment. Shrine ofthese emergent solutions become institutionalized as distinct local traditions. Others of these created meanings are inaprovised in uniquely concerted ways, given the unique per— spectives ofjusr that local set of interacting individuals. Indeed, even what can be called “following rules“ can he seen as involv- ing more than passive compliance to external constraints. Indi— viduais are not identically smialired automatons performing according to learned algorithmic routines for behavior [such hlind rule followers are described by llCi'rarlinkel, [961 as “judg- mental dopes" and “cultural dopes," pp. fill—68}. Rather, they are persons who act together and make sense, according to the cultural “rules” which as they enact, they vitin in situationally specific ways. Thus the local microeultures are not static. The microculture can be drawn upon by the members of' the local group as they assign meanings to their daily action, but because olthe constant, intents: dialogue between the interpretive per- spective provided by the mieroculture. the exigencies of practi- cal action in the unique historical circumstances of the present moment, and the differences in perspective among members of the interacting group, the ways in which the evolving microeul- ture can influence the actions of group members is a dynamic process in which change is constant. From this perspective. in research on teaching it is the surface similarities across staterooms or across reading groups that seem trivial and illusory. rather than as in the standard perspec- tive. in which the local dillerenoes we have been describing are seen as trivial—as uninterestineg "molecular" variation. that can be ignored in the analysis of general characteristics of elleu— live teaching. Mainstream positivist research on teaching searches for general characteristics of the analytically general- iced elieetive teacher. From an interpretive point of view, how- ever, effective teaching is seen not as a set of' generalized attributes of a teacher or of students Rather, ell'cctive teaching is seen as occurring in the particular and concrete circum- stances ot' the practice of a specific teacher with a specific set of students “this year,“ “this day," and “this moment" {just after a fire drill]. This is not to say that interpretive research is not interested in thediseoveryot' universals, h-ul that it takes a different route to their discovery, given the assumptions shout the state of na- ture in social life that interpretive researchers moire. The search is not for abstract minorsnit arrived at by statistical generaliza- tion from a sample to a population. but for concrete universals. arrived at by studying a specific case in great detail and then comparing it with other cases studied in equally great detail. The ammption is that when we see a particular instance of a teacher teaching, some aspects of what occurs are absolutely generic. that is, titey apply cross-culturally and across human history to all teaching situations. This would be true despite tremendous variation in those situations teaching that occurs outside school, teaching in other societies, teaching in which the teacher is much younger than the learners, teaching in Urdu, in Finnish, or in a mathematitmi language, teaching narrowly con— strued cognitive skills, or broadly construed social attitudes and beliefs. Bastille this variation some aspects of what occurs in any human teaching situation will generalil'e to all other sit— uations of teaching Dther aspects of what occurs in a given instance of teaching are specific to the historical and cultural circumstances of that type of situation. Still other aspects of what occurs an: unique to that particular event. and lo the parv ticular individuals engaged in it. The task of the analyst is to uncover the different layers of universality and particularity that are conirontcd in the specific case at hand— what is broadly universal, what generalizes to other similar situations. what is unique to the given instance. This can only he done. interpretive researchers maintain. by at- tending to the details of the concrete case at hand. Thus the primary concern of hiterpretive research is particularizability, rather than generalizahility. Due discovers universals as roani~ lested concretely and specifically, not in abstraction and gener- ality {see the discussion in Hamilton, 1930}. Among anthropologists this point is made in the distinction between ethnography, the detailed study ofa particular society or social unit. and t't-llflfltlngyi the comparative study of differing societies. or social units. The basis for valid ethnological comparison, however, is the evidence found in detailed ethnographic case studies. not in data derived from surveys. (See the discuon in Hymes, [982, who asserts that educational ethnology rather than ethnography is the most fundamental task for interpretive fieldwork research in education.)- In linguistics, from which the term coherere urticaria! comes, the point is made in distinguishing between universal and spe- cific structural features of human languages. One cannot study the topic of human language in general. Clne finds in nature only specific human languagm. Only by detailed understanding of the workings of a specific language, followed by comparative analysis of each language considered as a system in its own right. can one distinguish what is universal from what is specific to a given language. One can begin to distinguish the universal from the specific by comparing languages with differing struc- tural properties, for example, Navaho, Ojibwa, Urdu. Chinese, Yoruba, Finnish, Greek, English, but only it' one understands very thoroughly the organization of each language as a distinct system, through developing a fully specified model ofeaeh sys- tem. Partial models ofeach system, and a sampling procedure that randomly selected a few sentences lrom each of the lan- guages would not he an adequate empirical base for studying human language as a general category. Interpretive social research on teaching presumes that the same obtains for teachers and classrooms. Each instance ofa classroom is seen as its own unique system. which nonetheless displays universal properties of teaching. These properties are manifested in the concrete. however. not in the abstract. Such concrete universals must he studied each in its own right This does not necessarily mean studying classrooms one by one. But it does presume that the discovery of fully specified models of the organization of teaching and learning in a given classroom ntust precede the testing oi' generalization of those models to other classrooms. The paradox is that to achieve valid discov- ery of universals one must stay very close to concrete cases For interpretive researchers, then, the central foetus of pro- cess—product research on teaching on the production of gen- eralizable knowledge seems inappropriate. The following quotation hum Brophy {19W} illustrates the way in which the concern for generalisation drives the enterprise to process —pro— duct research: “A study involving 20 classrooms studied for 29 hours each is almost certainly going to he more valuable than a _ retried-mm —-r- ’7'n‘l...ut..,,,.,..,-..t,.,.'._-_iL-.uii'Il-.-.~r- n...- ...,. study of a single classroom for 400 hours or a study of an classrooms for one hour each, other things being equal {i.e.. sophistication of research design}" (p. T43}. That could only be true if fully specified models had been developed. and if class- rooms were generically similar enough that subtle variations across them were trivial in what for lack of better terms we can call the social and cognitive organisation ofteaching and learning. The Mainstream Persyectioe in Researcher: Teaching The history of mainstream positivist research on teaching for the past It] years is one of analytical bootstrapping with very partial theoretical models of the teaching process, on the as- sumptions that what was genetic across classrooms would emerge across studies1 and that the subtle variations across classrooms were trivial and could be washed out of the analysis as error variance. This approach to studying teacher efl'cctivencss can be seen as a borrowing by American educational researchers of an ap- plied natural science model for research and development ect- etuplihed by agricultural experimentation. Research and development using a positivist natural science approach is possible in agriculture because of the uniformity of the phenomena that are considered. While the chemical compo- sition of the soil may vary from one field to the next. and 1n'ta’ttlter conditions may vary from year to year, the fundamen- tal variables that are considered — chemicals, genetic structures of plants. the biochemistry of plant metabolism and growth — are constant enough in form and bounded enough in scope that it is possible to conduct research and development by the operations of repeated measuretrmnt. prediction. and controlled experimental intervention. This is research hy means of the design and testing of "treatments" whose effects can be monitored and 1i'tthoi'ie 1ivorlting can be explained by references to a lheotettml apparatus of covering laws. in the Ilrst Hand- book of Research on Teaching it was just such theory and re- search design that was called for in the introductory chapter by Gage (I963) —the positivist model of science borrowed from the natural scienms cipsychology, with Hempet providing the fundamental rationale in philosophy of science [see the discus— sion in Smith, Islet The first Hormonal: contained what since became the classic article on experimental design {Campbell Jr Stanley. 1965}. according to which an agricultural kind of no secret! and development could be conducted. Campbell ex- tended these recommendations in later proposals for large-scale program development. These were interventions that could be studied as quasi-experiments [Cook 3:. Campbell. 1919]. Twenty years later it seems that there is so much variation across classrooms, and so much variation in the implementa- tion of "treatments" themselves that large-scale program eval- uation hy quasi-experimental methods is very problematic. As that became apparent in study after study lCampbell himself {19TH} and Cronbach {19?5} called for the use of more natural- istic observational methods —case studies done by participant observers, or “documentation” studies, which would give a die tailed view of the actual structure and process of program im- plementation. At the same time. Bronfenbrenner (I???) was QUALITATIVE METHODS IN RESEARCH ON TEACHING 13] calling for an "ecological" approach to the study of child devel— opment. considering the child in the context oftamily and com— munity lite. Thais approaches. while advocating the use of methods other than those oftlle experiment or the social survey {testing and measurement in education are considered here as one form of survey research}, still did not consider going be yond the bounds of the fundamental natural science paradigm for educational research, with its underlying assumption of the uniformity ofnature in social life. A story similar to that for attempts at large-scale program evaluation can be seen in recent research on teacher effective- ness, in which the classroom was the unit of analysis. rather than the program This so-ealled “process product" research (the term is that of Dunkin dl: Biddle, IEFM] developed during the late [960s and early l‘ll‘fls (ace the review ctmajor studies in Brophy & Good, tltis volume]. The last fifteen years of this work mm be seen as a search for an increasingly specific look at causal linkages between teacher BEBC’ll'h’ellE-B. as measured by end-ot—the-year student gain scores on standardized achievement tests. and particular teach- in g practicm. The teaching practices were monitored firsthand by observ- ers who noted the occurrence of various types of predetermined teacher behaviors and student behaviors (cg. teacher ques- tions. teacher praise. teacher reprimand. student “on-tins " be havior. student “oh-task" bohavior}. In this approach. called systemtt'c classroom observation. the types of behavior of inter- eat for observation were chosen according to their theoretical significance—Mat was "systematic" was the use of predeter- mined meant-ice themselves. This was to assure uniformity of observation {reliability} across times ofobservation in the same classroom and across different classrooms. The concern for re- liability of measurement reflected the positivist assumptions behind the research. As the work has progressed, coding categories for a while became more specific and differentiated. Then as certain vari— ables {such as student on-taslt behavior} seemed to correlate highly with gains in student test scores across multiple studies. the observational systams focused more and more on theoreti- catty salient types ofstudent and teacher behavior. which were generalized functions. Subsequent experimental “treatment” studies indicated that when teachers increased certain behaviors that were found in the correlations] studies to be asscociated with increased stu- dent achievement gains1 these gains occurred in the experimen- tal classrooms [See the review in Brophy St Good. this volume. Students in the classrooms receiving the experimental treat- ments in some cases achieved higher scores on standardired tests than did children in control group classrooms in which the frequency of the reconunended teacher behaviors was much less. This is hopeful news tor educators. It suggests that an agri- cultural model for inquiry into educational productivity is an appropriate one In the model the teacher. as Mother Nature. provides the fertilizer. tight. and water that enable the students. as plants. to grow tall and strong. All this seems quite straightlbrward. Why then might any other {one at research on teaching be necessary? Interpretive participant observational research is very labor intensive, while observation by use of predetermined coding categories is much 132 less so. It would seem that there is no need for interpretive re- search. or any other. The findings on teacher effectiveness seem to be all in. That would be a premature conclusion, however. The case for interpretive research is pointed to by some interesting anomalies in the process-product work, One such anomaly lies in the corpus of proocss—product data itsclfi Apparently, in correlational studies of the same teacher across school years, the stability of teacher clients on student achievement is not high {see the discussion in Brophy and Good, this volume. This could be due to a number oi'influences, for which there is no evidence in the col-relational data sets, for example, teachers teaching somewhat difl'erentiy with each new set of students, stress in the teacher‘s life outside school {birth of child, deatlt in family. divorce. remarriagcl, stress or change in the school itself (introduction of new reading series, change of principal}. The process—product data do not indicate why teacher influence seems to vary From year to year. Another anomaly is that in spite of evidence that indicates that certain teacher behaviors can influence s1uttents to learn more, and in spite of experience that shows that teachers can be trained to use those behaviors more frequently. teachers do not always persist in using the recommended behaviors. Sometimes they do. but sometimes they do not. An example of this is Rowe’s finding {19?4} that waiting longer for student answers produces more reflective answers by students. Teachers can be told this, and trained to pause for a longer “wait-Lime,“ yet after a few months they go back to using shorter wait-time in lesson dia- logue with students. flue wonders if waitrtirne might not have negative meaning to teachers in the concrete circumstances of conducting classroom discussion. Such a concrete, enacted meaning might override whatever more abstract and decon— tcittualizcd meaning that 1wait-time behavior might have as gen— erally correlated positiver with student teaming. How do teachers make sense such that a behavior like wait—time seems sociolinguistically inappropriate? What are the intuitions about interaction against which doing wait—time behavior runs counter? How might thesc intuitions be changed—or is there another behavioral means that might provide a less countean tuitive route to the same ends? those are questions about the specifics of practice that derive from the perspectives of inter- prelim-e research. These ltinds of anomalies suggest that while the standard work has produced some insights about general characteristics of effective training, we may have learned about all that is possi- ble by proceeding with that theoretical frame of reference, and the methods that derive from it. An Interprett'ttc Perspective on Thacher Eflrctitwnesv The use of predetermined coding categories by process—product researchers presupposes uniformity of relationships between the form ofa behavior and its meaning, such that the observer can recognize the meaning of a behavior time alter time. Imagine a student sitting at a desk, looking out the window. 1|t‘i’hat does this mean? Is the student tin-task or off-tacit? We must infer meaning from the observed behavior. 1|t‘ilhat are the FREDERICK ERICKSUN grounds for such inferences? When they must be made in split- second judgments by coders, what evidence do we have that such inferences about. meaning are valid? The fundamental problem With the standard approach to observational research on teacher effectiveness. from an interpretive perspective. is that its evidence base is invalid. Surface appearances are taken as valid indicators of intended meaning. In consequence, what are claimed to he low-inference observationaljudgmeots are in fact highly inferential. Once the data are coded there is no way to retrieve the original behavioral evidence to test the validity of the inierenees made about the beliavior‘s meaning {see the db.— cussion on this point by Mebart, lil'lilj. No matter how strong the correlations appear to be in such data setsI a good [Kissibilly always caists that such correlations are spurioua if relation- ships bctwcen behavioral form and social meaning are as vari- able as interpretive researchers claim them to be. Moreover. if such variability is inherent in social life and thus omnipresent in classrooms, experiments that purport to manipulate teacher and student behaviors, so globally defined, are likely to be shot through with confounding relationships between putative “treatment” conditions. “control” conditions, and “outcomes” that invalidate the causal inferences that are made. The standard research on teacher effectiveness could only proceed as it has done on the presupposition: of uniformity of nature in social life that follows from adopting natural science models for social scientific inquiry. Interpretive research makes very different assumptions. It looks for variability in relation- ships between hehavioral form and intended meaning in class- room interaction. Moreover. interpretive rescareh on teaching repeatedly discovers locally distinctive patterns of performed social identity—of enacted statuses and their attendant role re- lationships. such that a phenomenon like time—on-taslt is locally meaningful in terms of the particular performed social identities of the actual students spending time on the academic tasks as- signed to them. If Mary, a high achiever, is observed by the teacher to be oil-task at a given moment. this may mean some— thing quite dill‘crent frotn Sam, a problem student, being ob- served as elf-task in the same moment fine of Sam‘s obligations as a problem student (who is perceived as often be- ing oil-task} may be to be constantly on-taslt {since this will be “good for him”). Mary. on the other band, who as a high achiever is perceived as (by definition} being on—task most of the time, does not have Sam’s obligation to be constantly on— task. Indeed Mary has earned the right to take occasional “breaks”—time cit-task. One is rescinded of the ditterenoes in work rights and obligations between hourly wage employees, who punch a time clock, and salaried workers, who do not. Yet even the role distinction between Earn and Mary is not entirely absolute. Some mornings. if Sam is having an unusually good day fie, if he appears to be working diligently and constantij he may have earned, [or that morning, the right to taltc a break, like Mary, the salaried worker. The contrast between the interpretive and the standard per- spectives can be further illustrated by considering classroom social organization in terms of the metaphor of a chess game. Standard research on teacher effectiveness presupposes a stan- dard board teurn'eulurn and aims], at standard set of chess pieces [statuses of teacher and student}, and a standard set of rules of procedure that govern the relations among the pieces QU ALITATIVE METHODS IN (roles of teacher and student] that are appropriate, that is, pos- sible within the game. Interpretive researchers presume that the board itself, the number and shapes ofits “squares"— places to be in the curriculum — will vary from one classroom to the next. although on the one hand, with the publication oftextbooks for reading and arithmetic with teacher's manuals and accompany- ing worksheets for students, and on the other hand, with ac- countability systems for management by objectives and continual achievement testing, there seems to be more pressure for uniformity ofcnrriculum and aims than there was a genera- tion ago. Even if one game a superficial uniformity of the board itself. when one comes to the direct observation of actual piayings of the game observation that is unmediated by pre- detenuincd coding categories — one finds that the types of [nieces vary from game to game. in one game there are many pail-ms. few knights. and no bishops. In another game there are no pawns. many knights, and many bishops. Since each type of piece is allowed to move differently on the board, the system of possible movements —thc system of serial relations — changes from game to game. Moreover, some interpretive re- searchers would argue that the differencm among games, as they are actually played, are even more profound than the dif— ferences that would obtain if it were only a matter of having a different board or different pieces from one game to the next. If within a given game, neither the board nor the pieces are them- selves entirely fired —ifthe definitions of aims. curriculum. and the social identities and roles of teachers and students are con- stantly emergent in negotiation within the action of teaching and learning itself— then the school classroom is indeed a fun- damentally different ltintl of social universe than the stable. fixed, and unidimensional one presupposed by positivist re- search on teaching. It is as ifin the chess game. the white bishop has a mistress. the red icing knows this but the white king doesn’t. and the red lting chooses at some times to take advan- tage of his knowledge to pressure the 1ttvhite bishop through blackmail. while at other times the red king chooses to ignore the 1white bishop‘s secret. To see the school clamroom as a chess game that is multidimensional, filled with paradox and contra— diction from moment to moment and from day to day, is to see the school classroom, and teaching, as a game of real life. The study ofclassrooms, interpretive researchers would argue, is a matter of soci at topology rather than social geometry. a central task for interpretive. participant—observational re- search on teaching is to enable researchers and practitioners to become much more specific in their understanding of the inher- ent variation from classroom to classroom. This means building better theory about the social and cognitive organisation of pattintlar forms of classroom life as immediate environments for student learning. Conclusions drawn from process—product research can sug-- gest in general terms what to do to improve student achieve- meat, but these general recommendations give neither the researcher nor the practitioner any information about how, Specifically, to do what is called for. Some examples of recom— mended teaching behaviors are found in a recent revietv article by Rosenshine (Whip. 333]: I Proceed in smaIl steps ornament] but at a rapid pace. * Use high frequency of questions and overt student practice. RESEA RCH DH TEACHING I33 I' Give feedback to students, particularly when they are cor- rect but hesitant I Make corrections by simplifying questions, giving clues, ex- plaining or reviewing steps, or reteaching lost steps. 1' Ensure student engagement during seatworl: tie. teacher or aide monitoringt The teaching functions called for by Rosenshine are global; for example, give feedback, simplify questions to correct, insure student engagement during seatworlr fie, insure time-on-taslr}. The functions could be performed in a myriad of difl‘erent ways, appropriately and. inappropriately, on differing occasions. How to understand what might be appropriate and what not. in spe- cific cases, goes beyond the hounds of standard research on teacher elfeetiveness. In considering issues of teacher effectiveness interpretive re- searchers might ask, “How is time—on-taslt manifested in dili‘er— ent classroolns and at different times by dili'erent students within a given room? What it clear feedback. from differing stu- dent points of view and teacher points of view? Does any one of the possible ways of giving clear feedback actually take place in the concrete circumstances of face-to-face communication or in writing between teacher and student? For that matter, if rela- tionships between teacher and student are fully interactional (i.e.. reciprocal}. how do students give teachers clear fecdbaclr'iI How do student actions influence teacher productivity — the teacher's timewon-tas}: T" To conclude. there are three very serious problems with stan- dard process—product research on relationships between class- room interaction and student achievement. The first problem is that the work proceeds from an inadequate notion of interac- tion — one-way causal influence as a behavioral phenomenon - — rather than reciprocal exchange of phenomenologicme meaninfiul action. The second problem is that the stande work gives an extremely reduced view of class-room process. [ts use of predetermined coding categories as a means of primary data collection gives no clear detailed evidence about the spe- cific classroom processes that are claimed to lead to desired outcomes. The third problem is that the product studied is too narrowly defined — usually as end-of-thc-year achievement test scores. I|With the standard approach to the study of teacher &- fectiveness having provided so reduced and one-dimensional a view of classroom processes, classroom products, and doses room interamion itself. it is not unreasonable to claim that the final word has not been spoken on this issue in research on teaching. From an interpretive point of view, teacher efi‘ectiveness is a matter of the nature of the social organization of classmom life —What we have called the enacted curriculum — whose con— struction is largely. but not exclusively, the responsibility of the teacher as instructional leader. This is a matter of local meaning and local politicsI of teaching as rhetoric {persuasion}, and of student assent as the grounds of legitimacy for such persuasion and leadership by a teacher. alts Doy'te {will} puts it in a felicia tious phrase, students in classrooms are not the “passive recip- ients of instructional treatments" {p 2113]. In sum. issues of local politics at the classroom level seem to be at The heart of educational decision making by teachers and by students. Moreover, one can use the notions of politics and 134 persuasion to consider an essential activity ofschools as institu- tions, that of social sorting, Power, Politics, and the Sorting Functions of Teaching The soning, activities of schools ottcupy central interest in inter- pretive research on teaching In developed countries the avail- ability of universal public schooling is a means justifying the allocation ofirrdividuals across generations across the range of occupational slots available in the society. Conservative sociol- ogists, such as Parsons (1959‘), liberals such as Clignet and Foster {196-6}, and radical sociologists such as Willis (till?) and Bourdien and Passeron (19??) agree on the importance of this sorting inaction til/pinion differs over whether or not a particu- lar society's school sorting procedures are justifiable or not, on grounds of fairness to individuals and groups. According to lib- eral social theory. school sorting procedures would be fair if they were nniversalistic, that is, it‘sortlng criteria applied to in— dividuals as individuals, along dimensions of comparison that apply universally to all persons regardlem otsueh attributes of status as gender. race, social class, or religious preference. From the early work {e.g., Henry, [963] through the recent work of Willistlllm much fieldwork research in education has been concerned with identifying the particularistie bias inherent in the putatively universalistic standard operating procedures of schools. At the classroom level, fieldwork has investigated the particularistic bias that is implicit in the kinds of environ- ments that are established by teachers. The presumption is that the low school achievement of social and cultural minority stu- dents is better explained by considering the character of the classroom learning environment than by attributing the typical pattern of school failure of those children to deficiencies in individual intelligence and motivation. For anthropologists especially it has seemed odd that in de- veloped societies the school failure rate is so high among the majority of the population. who are of working-class or under— class status. This pattern stands in sharp contrast to that found in various nonlitecratc societies, in which almost everyone in the society acquires the knowledge and skills necessary for survival according to the pattern of adaptation developed in the particu- lar society. That may have been true in nonliterate soci- eties for the five million years of human evolution. Wolcott {1932} quotes Gearing in a questio'n to modern societies: “It‘s something ola wonder that anyone ever learns anything But given that they do, then we can also ask why everybody doesn't learn everything?" [See also Gearing 3e Sangrec, 19?}, p. l.) ls this beenuse socialization oftltc young is done more eliectively it‘ll nonliterate societies? Is the apparent difference in the success of teaching and learning somehow due to the difference in scale between large developed societies and small nonliterate one}? Gunfight this diifercnce also have to do with something about the institutionalization ofteaching and! learning in the school as a formal organization? (it, because the sdrool failure rate is highest among the Iowcr classes, is there something wrong with them? One possibility is that lower clan» and minority populations are genetically inferior; that across generations gene pools have developed in these populations that produce, on the average, an FREDERICK ERICKSDN Dvmmmtfllifln of individuals of lower intelligence than those found in populations of white, upper—middIe—dass Ameri— cans. This genetr‘c deficit theory was proposed in the late “Shim by Jensen {1969]. Another possible explanation lies in a family socialization deficit hypothesis. ll the life circumstances of the po-orgare dil- ficult and if their vision of life possibilities is limited, lamilies of the poor may not provide children with the amounts cfintellec- tual stimulation and motivation for achievement that middle- class families provide. Socialization deficit hypothmes were proposed during the [grills under the labels of"cultura1 de- privation" “linguistic deprivation," and “iamin disorganizav lion” (cg. Riessman, 1945-2}. it was argued that school subjects and intelligence tests required abstract thought and that lower- class families developcd only concrete reasoning skills in their children. Numerous studies were conducted by child develop- ment researchers in which invidious comparisons were made- between the child—rearing patterns of lower class and middle— class families {e.g.. Hess dc Shipmal‘t. Hod). ln the United States and Great Britain a large body of litera- ture developed that criticized the genetic and socialization defi- cit hypotheses, characterizing them as “blaming the victim“ [see Keddie, IEITS}. The argument over socialization deficit hypotheses tended to be conducted aeross disciplinary lines. lviueh ofthe deficit-oriented research and the prescriptions for teaching practice that followed from it were done by psycholo- gists in the fields ofeducatiort and child development Much of the critique of the deficit hypotheses came from anthropolo- gists, sociologists, and linguists. (State, a notable exception, was a cognitive psychologist who conducted cross-cultural research that showed that nonschooled people often simply did not know the point oischoot-Iitre tasks used in intelligence tests, by which they could be assessed as mentally deficient when in fact they were just using a difi'ercnt way of making sense {Cole Sr Scribner, till-4; Scribner Se Cole, 193i]. Anthropologists and sociologists with linguistic training i'ou nd the school failure rate among low-SEE and minority pop- ulations in developed societies especially add, in light of what was coming to be irrtown about the cognitive demands of first- language acquisition by children. It was apparent that virtually every child who is not severely impaired physically or neurolog- ically comes to school at age 5 having mastered the basic struc- ture of the language slat}ka at home, its grammar and sound system. Linguists had contended that less prestigious regional, social class, and racial dialects were no less cognitiwa complex than the standard language spoken in school (cf. Labov, 19?; and Erickson. I‘lfictl. Modern language-acquisition theory viewed mastering the grammar and sound system of a language as necessarily req uir— irig complex, abstract, cognitive abilities, even though the. thinking that toot: place was outside conscious awareness. Given that mastery of the speaking knowledge of a language. was far more otgnitively complex than beginning to learn to read the Written form of that language, how was it that many children appeared to have great dimeulty with simple. begin- ning reading? ILlhildren of low SES and of ethnic, racial, and cultural minority background could be seen, in school and out- side it in the home and local community. to be able to speak much better than they could read. What might account for this“;" ..,- '-z'. "Ml "P'?1r_-.:f’l'm:fix ' , __,.r_r___ _,_,.,,_., _.,, .....__—_ ._-_.J _|.-.— QUALlTATl‘v'E METHODS IN RESEARCH ON TEACHING 135 One line of explanation, proposed by anthropologists, lin— guists, and by some sociologists, was that subtle subcultural diliet‘ences between the community and the school led to inter— actional difficulties. misunderstanding, and negative attribu- tions. between teachers and students in the classroom. The preponderance of this work identified specific cultural dill'er- ences between teachers of majority group background and low- SFS, minority group children. The cultural dilfcrenoes consisted principally in implicit assumptions, learned outside conscious awareness in everyday life in the horns and in the community, about the appropriate eond act of face-to-face interaction. Some of the basic propertics in the organisation of interaction that were investigated [often through comparative studies of chil- dren‘s lives at home and at school} were phonological and grem- maticcrf dialect features in children’s speech that teachers had difficulty understanding fPieslrup, 19H}, children‘s means of showing attention and understanding through nonverbal ho- havior such as gaze and nodding (Erickson, tilts}, and differ- ences in the organization of turn-taking in conversation that lead to overlapping of speakers or to long pauses between turns [Watson-Gcgeo 3r. Boggs. 19W; Shulltc. Florin, 8.: Erickson, 195.2}. Mehan (I???) published a study of question—answer se- quences in school lessons that revealed the tremendous com- plexity involved in managing such conversation. His analysis suggested the possibility of miscornmunication due to different cultural expectations for the fine tuning of classroom discourse. More global aspects of interaction patterns that differed be- tween home and school were also identified. These had to do with the cultural organisation of social relationships in coma munication, that is, with foundational definitions of appropri- ateness in leadership and followership, in adult roles and in child roles. Among the topics investigated were differing cul- tural assumptions about the appropriateness of indirscmess and directness {a} in the exercise of soda! control and in tilt: use ofa “spotlight” of public attention by asking content questions ofnanted individuals (Philips, 1982; Erickson «Er. Mohatt, 1932', {h} in the very situation of an adult asking “teacher-like" ques- tions ofa child —questions the child can presume the adult slr ready knows the answer to (Heath, 1932}; {cl in the differences in assumptions about the appropriateness of competitiveness and in cultural definitions of students offering and receiving help from one another as showing tonsil-Lille concchth others. or as cheering; and {de in cultural notions of appropriateness of humor and mock aggression in discourse (Loin, 19H}. Taken together, cultural diherences between home and school that have been identified at the level of basic structural properties in the organization of interaction, and at the level of global differences in assumptions about appropriate role rela- tionships between adults and children, involve fundamental building blocks, as it were. of the conduct of Classroom interac- tion as a medium for subject matter instruction and for the in- eulcation of culturally specific values—definitions of hoot-Sty, seriousness of purpose, respect, initiative, achievement. kindli- ness. reasonableness When students act in ways that do not match the classroom teacher's cultural expectations, the chil- dren's behavior can be perceived by teachers as frustrating. con— fusing, and sometimes frightening. {liven the teachers‘ and the students' recurring difficulties in interacting together front day to day, an adversarial relationship is likely to be set up between the teacher and the student. This would inhibit the teacher’s ability to learn from the students— to assess accurately what the students know, what they want educationally, and what they intend interpersonally in social relations with the teacher. Recent work in Alaska and Hawaii appears to support the cultural difference hypothesis. in both cases, as teachers have interacted with students in the classroom in ways that resemble those that are culturally appropriate in the home and commun- ity, student achievement on standardized tests increases dra— matically. The Alaskan study (Earnhardt. 1982} reports the situation in a small village school in the Alaskan interior. Achievement by Athabaskan Alaskan native children of the vil— lage was low until Alaskan native teachers began to teach in the three classrooms ol' the school: Grades [—2, 3- 4, and 5—6. After thc native ieachers arrived student achievement rosc dramati- cally in all three classrooms. Subsequent participant observa- tion and videotape analysis revealed that the teachers organized instruction and interacted with students in ways that were culturally appropriate. Exercise of social contml was for the most part very indirect and the teachers usually avoided public reinforcement not only avoiding negative reinforce- ment of children's actions, but avoiding overt positive reinforec-. ment as well. These patterns are typical of child—rearing in the community. and resemble those reported in lEli-egon and North- ern Ontario by Philips {"932} and by Erickson and lvlohatt {HEEL The patterns found in the Athabaskan classrooms resemble patterns documented in Alaskan Eskimo classrooms by Collier “WEI-l. From this study it is not absolutely clear that the cultural patterns of instruction were the main influence on increased student achievement, since the native teachers at the school were also lifelong residents of the village, and their presence in the role oftcacher may have increased rapport with parents and changed the climate of family and community expectations for children’s school achievement. Still the evidence is highly sug- gestive that. not only were the new teachers local natives, but they also taught children in forms ofinteraction that resembled those that were appropriate in family and community life out— side the school. in the Hawaiian case, evidenoe supporting the cultural dill'crv ence hypothesis is even tnore clear than in the Alaskan case. In an innovative school program developed for native Hawaiian children researchers discovered that when the children were al- lowed to use overlapping speech while discussing reading sto- ries in reading groups, their reading achievement rose Previous ethnographic research had mtahlished that overlapping speak- ing turns was characteristic of certain kinds of conversations in ' the community [An do Jordan. [930}. In subsequent experimen- tal research (Au Sr Mason, 1931], material of equivalent diffi— culty was taught under two different conditions of social organization of discourse. in one condition the teacher allowed the students to overlap one another‘s speaking turns while dis— cussing the reading story. in the other condition the teacher did not allow overlapping speech during the discussion of the story. The children‘s achievement was clearly higher under the first condition, in terms of proximal indices of achicvernent, such as error rates during the lesson, and in scores on tests admin- istered directly after the lesson. In subsequent development 136 FREDERICK salcxson worlr this alternative procedure for teaching reading. w'ltl'Ch incorporates culturally congruent discourse pattern-s into the overall design for reading pedagogy, is now being implemented in public school classrooms with native Hawaiian children. Sflnjlur positive results in student achievement have occurred. as indicated both by proximal indioes of achievement and in end-of-the-year scores on standardised tests. 1|iltihat might account for these results. theoretically? UI‘IB line of explanation concerns the nature of [acorn-face interaction as a learning task environment. In interaction in school lessons a dimension ofculturally patterned social organization {patterns for turn-taking, listening behavior. and the like} always coexists with the dimension of the logical organization of the infome- tion content of the Subject matter. The two diruensions —- social organization and Subject matter organization are always rc— lleirively intertwined in the enactment ofa lesson. [For full dis- cussion. see Erickson, [932th [931e,] Cine mascn that cultural congruence in the social organization of interaction in lessons seems to lead to higher student achievement may be that when the social organization of lesson interaction happens in ways that are culturally customary — already mastered through over— Idarning in daily life outside school this simplifies the taslr en- vironment of the lesson. allowing children to concentrate more fully on the subject matter content. In other words. lessons may be easier for children when their social organization dimension is clear and familiar. This theory of lesson interaction as a social and cognitive task environment may provide an alternative explanation to the finding that highly ritualized lesson interaction formats ap- pear to lead to higher achievement by cultural minority chil- dren even if the lesson formats are not congruent with cultural patterns for the social organization of interaction that are found in the student‘s horns and community. Stallings and Kaslrowitz {WM} report this tlnding in the evaluation of alter- native models for Follow Through. The DISTAR instruction format, highly ritualized and not culture-specific, seems to result in higher student achievement, even for cultural minority populations for which the lesson format is quite culturally alien. as in the ease of native Americans. The DISTAR format may have this result. not because it happens to lit a direct instruction model. but bwause the format by its very riluali'eation is so clear and easy to learn that it is soon mastered by children. Once learned, the ritual format would simplify the lesson as a task environment. Indeed. the comm unication ofa teacher's es pectatio ns for the conduct of interaction in ways that are clear and predictable. and the establishment ofirnpliuit or explicit consensus between the teacher and students that these ways of interacting urejust, may he the funds me ntut feature that eha racterices both the cut— tumlly incongruent teaching strategies. such as DISTAR. and the culturally congtumlt ones. such as the Kamehameha read- ing program in Hawaii. lfclarity is of the essence. and if clarity can be achieved by instructional means that are culture-specific and culturally congruent. as well as hy means that are culturally incongrnent. then a wider range of policy options becomes available for improving the academic performance of cultural minority students. The cultural difference hypothesis assumes that dificrenecs in expectation for the conduct of interaction are a systematic source of breakdowns in interaction that is analogous to the notion of linguistic interference in second-language acquisition 1ti'tihen features of the grammar and sound system of two lan- guages differ, one can. predict the likely recurrence of certain types of structural errors. For example. it in some language other than English the fthJ soqu does not occur. but the Edyr sound does occur, one can predict that a Speaker will con- sistently say “dis” for "this" when speaking English. Dr ifin some language other than English gender reference is signaled by some means other than alternative pronouns, one can pro- diet that the speaker will substitute "he" for “site“and vice versa when speaking English. Analogously. one can predict that a teacher who is not used to overlapping speech in conversation {such as that found among working-class native Hawaiia us and Italian-Americans} will interpret the overlapping talk as inter- ruption, even though the children do not interpret the behavior ofoverlapping tall: as an interruption. It follows, then, that cut— turally congruent social organization of instruction can reduce the situations of interactionat into-fetches that occur in the claoroom. and that the reduction of these inleraclional diluent- ties inoeascs student opportunity to team and decreases mis- understanding belween teacher and student. But if interactional interference, by itself, is the chief factor that inhibits student learning. honr can one explain the results of the Follow Through Evaluation? How does one explain reports of other instances ofculturally incongnlent instruction that ap- pear to raise student achievement“.I| One such instance is re- ported in a case study ofa residential school for Alaskan natives in which instruction was conducted in culturally incongruent ways and yet in which student motivation and achievement were high lief. Kleinfeld, 19W]. 11 would seem that interactioual difficulty and miscommunication are not simply a matter of structural interference between cultural patterns of the com- munity and of the school ' A possible explanation lies in considering as a politiml phe- nomenon the local microculture and social organization of classroom life and its relation to student learning. If we think of classroom teaching and learning as a matter of local politics, some relationships between cultural difi‘eremm or similarity, social relationships among teachers and students. and student learning begin to appear. These relationships are much less clear when we think of teaching and teaming as a matter of individual psychology (whether behaviorist. cognitive. or so- cial}. or even in terms of the sociology and anthropology of the classroom as an ecosystem. 1rill-“hen we consider individual lunc- tioning in the context of a sociocultural ecosystem, we have a framework for an anatomy of dossroom teaching and learning. When we consider the dynamic operation of the ecosystem as a politiml process we have a physiology of teaching and learning. lCentral to such a framework are the concepts of power. au— thority. influence, competing interest, legitimacy. assent. and dissent. Power. us the ability to coerce the actions ofothers, is poten— tially possessed both by teachers and by students in the class- room. Authority. the legitimate exercise of power and focus of socially sanctioned knowledge and judgment, resides officially with the teacher. influence, the unsanctioned capacity to exerv cisc power, resides with students. Every person who has atr tempted to teach fares the reality ofstudent influence in relation 1h: .. sign-Kr... ... -__,[.-—- ——\.'\r'\ll__'-ll. _ __ ...,l_._ .. .. __.__-._ ...... IQUALlTiltTi‘ttl:'. METHODS IN RESEARCH ON TEACHING 13'? to teacher authority. Even in institutional arrangtnents of schooling that vest the teacher with virtually unchecked au- thority [traditional religious instruction being a vivid cvtse in point}, the exercise of that authority in the absence ofstudent assent can at best lead to outward conformity to the teacher‘s will. that is. in a teaching situation the student always possesses the ability to resLst by refusing to learn what the teacher intends should be learned. The teaching—lea rning transaction, then, can be seen as an inherently political and rhetorical situation, in which at least the implicit consent of the governed must he gained by the governor through persuasion. The teacher must somehow persuade the followers that his or her guidance is legitimate and in the student‘s own interest lfthe student per- ceives his or her inteicst to be fundamentally I'u contlict with that of the teacher. and it the student resists the teacher by with- holding learning. the teacher is unable to teach. Thus in the classroom social system as a political economy. the power to withhold the currency that is essential to the system—student learning — ultimately resides with the student. This is true even ifstudent resistance is covert and the student does not engage in more overt forms of protest The interactional sabotage we call “distal-tune problems" can be seen as a form of interactions] judo —controt or the ostensiny stronger party by the ostensibly weaker one. A crucial question for educational research then becomes: What are the conditions of micropolitics in the social organiza— tion of classroom life that set off a contest of wills between roadie-r and students in which the students refuse to team what the teacher intends to teach? Some student failure may indeed be due to lack ofstudent ability or motivation that lies outside the Weber's ability to change it as the conventional wisdom of educators and educational psychologists suggests. But some student failure may be more accurately seen as a matter of mi- cropolitical resistance. The overrepresentation of student fail- ure to learn simple knowledge and skill among lowaSES and cultural minority populations of students is suggestive in this regard. The interpretation of school failure as evidence of self-defeat— ing rmlstartce rather than as evidence of inadequacy on the part of students has been most consistently maintained by British sociologists of education. who see the production of student failure in schools as necessary for the maintenance of the exist- ing class structure in society. In a recent review {1933} Giroult surveys this work. He makes the critical point that it is impor- tant to restrict the notion of resistance and not use the term loosely to refer to any sort of inappropriate or sclfdcfcatiug action by a student or by a. teacher. In the United States this position has been asserted in a series of papers by McDermott (BM, 19??) and lvlclJerrnott and Gospodinoffflgtll} that criticise both the family socialization deficit hypothesis and the cultural difference hypothesis as ex- plauations for school failure. His argument derives in part from psychialrLsLs‘ theories accounting for the generation of psychov pathology In family relationships. lClue of McDermott's princi- pal sourcm was Scheflen's adaptation {i960} of Bateson, Jackson. Haley. and Weakland‘s tics-snare} theory of the in- teractional “double bind"as the cause of schizophrenia in chil- dren. Au analogue to Sche'flen‘s position is found in the work of Laing {19TH}. [n the pathological family certain family members become locked in patterns of regressive relations with other family members. The situation is not caused by the action of any single individual. The entire family system —its locally ne— gotiated and maintained system of statuses and roles-—sup— ports and maintains the adversarial relationship between the patties who are manifestly at odds. To return to the chess meta— phor for the social organization of face-towfaoe relations. pawns. knights, and kings by their patterned actions enable each other to act in concert We see similar situations in which individuals become locked into relationships that are mutually punitive or are mutually destructive in other ways: in bad marriages, in alcoholic or abusive families. in recurrent difliculties in relations between a supervisor and a subordinate to a work group. {liver time, interpersonal conflict develops a history. it rantifies throughout the whole social unit of interacting individuals. lv'fcflermott contends that this is what happens in school class- rooms. among teachers and students who. for the most part unwittingly, are mutually failing one another. The student can be seen as playing an active role in this as student and teacher collaborate in producing a situation in which the student achieves school failure {McDermotL 1911}. Another source of McDermott’s position entities from recent work on interetbnie relations in two-person interview situations (Erickson. JETS, Erickson St Shulta. 1932}. Shultz and [found that in interethnjc and interracial interview between junior co1lcge counselors and students, certain kinds ofculturat differences in communi— cation bchavior leg. differences in signaling attention and un— derstanding through nonverbal listening behavior} were associated IItI-I‘itl't other kinds of littoraetional trouble and nega— tivc interpersonal attribution in some interviews, mnducted by a given counselor. yet in other interviews conducted by that counselor with students whose ethnic or racial background and cultural communication style matched that of the students with whom the counselor had had trouble, the same features ofcul— turally dill'eting communication behavior that had led to trouv ble with one student did not lead to serious, ramifying interactional difficulty with another student. Even though mo~ mentary dificulty due to culturally differing behavior styles could be observed. the trouble that occurred was soon recov- ered from. It did not escalate the way it did in other interethnic or interracial interviews conducted by the same counselor. This suggested a micropolitics of cultural dtlterenoe in interaction. (For a disscussion of the role ofculture difference in the larger- scale politics of interethnic relations sec llarth, 1969.] Under some circumstances, cultural difierences in cornmunimtion pat— terns became a resource for interpersonal conflict while in other circumstances the same kinds of behaviors were not reacted to and made use of as a resource for conflict. A simple interference explanation for the negative effects of cultural dif- ference on the conduct ofinteraction was inadequate to explain our data. , The significance of cultural difference as an inhibiting factor in classroom teaching and learning may be that cultural dlfl‘er- en's can function as a risk factor. As a source of rclati vety small interactional difficulties. cultural differences can beormte re- sources for the construction of much more largo-awe and wide- spread conflict between teachers and students It is in this sentsc that cultural differences along the lines of social class. cthn icity. race, gender, and handicapping conditions can play a role in thc ...
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Erickson_Pt._I - 5. Qualitative Methods in Research on...

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