Dynamic and Designed Dialogicality in a Kindergarten Classroom
3. Methods and Procedures
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Alice: “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” Cheshire Cat: “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”
(Helpful advice at a crossroads)
I began this project with a metaphor: school is an adventure. Research about school (or anything else, for that matter) is also an adventure, a journey. Early questions include, “What shall I pack?” and “How long will I be gone?” and, probably most important, “What do I want to see; what do I want to understand?” The research path forked early for me. The quantitative path was manicured with T-scores and standard deviations; the other was “an elaborate venture in…‘thick descriptions’” (Geertz, 1973, p. 6). Stashing my graphing calculator into the recesses of my research backpack, off I went down the messy (and long) path of qualitative research. Of course, the division is not as definitive as Frost’s diverging roads; some would even say that at the level of data, there is very little difference between quantitative and qualitative research methodologies (Trochim, 2001). Others have abandoned the notion of a bifurcated world of inquiry, replacing it with a continuum (Patton, 2001). Still, this fundamental choice is critical, for the axioms or basic beliefs that organize the research experience in the quantitative travel guide are decidedly different from those in the qualitative. These distinctions have procedural consequences. A researcher’s basic ← 43 | 44 → beliefs about what can be...
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