Saturday, May 01, 2010

AERA 2010 Day 1

I was shocked to find so few blogs about the experience of AERA 2010. I'm used to NECC (now ISTE) which lists the bloggers on the home page of the conference. This allows for attendees to catch up on the sessions they missed. There are so many interesting topics here in Denver, and no one can see them all. I appreciate the effort AERA is making to create a paper repository, but it would be nice to see more blogging, webcasting and/or podcasting of sessions.

The first session I attended was tremendous - Reciprocity and Collaboration in Qualitative Research
Building a Stance of Reciprocity Into Research Designs *Audrey A. Trainor *Katherine Bouchard
Creative Nonfiction as an Experiment in Reflexivity, Vulnerability, and Meaning Making *Danielle M. Cowley
Developing Participant-Centered Research Methodologies *Heeral Mehta-Parekh
In Pursuit of Reciprocity: Researchers, Teachers, and School Reformers Engaged in Collaborative Analysis of Video Records *Marnie Curry
Reflective Processes in Qualitative Data Analysis *Luigina Mortari *Chiara Sita
Discussant: Hillevi Lenz Taguchi

Trainor and Bouchard discussed a stance of reciprocity – which means a shared design and implementation of research. Bouchard expounded on several ways of looking at providing reciprocity: as an economic negotiation, as a service/labor exchange, as a collaboration, or as giving back to the profession in general. They both challenge the idea that just disseminating results isn't a fair exchange. In addition, reciprocity should be part of the entire design, not just a part of the recruitment of participants. However, it is also a negotiation, as not all participants wish to be fully or actively involved in the project. Cowley discusses using creative non-fiction as a way to better connect or situate one's self in the research context. Although she confessed she had no idea why she was scheduled with the reciprocity group, her creative story of her as a researcher reaching back to her middle school days, did tie nicely with Mehta's idea of participant centered research. Mehta used several ways to invite active participation in generating ideas, rather than just interviews. She tried using reflexive photography and artifact centered conversations with her participants. Then, to capture the adolescents real words, she created “found poems” of their conversations. Curry provided examples of co-construction of analysis of videos of lesson studies. Not only did the participants look at the video data, but they were invited to view the researchers coding the video data, which opened the process of the research to the participants.

This session brought out a lot of interesting questions for me, when entering a research site. Should researchers strive for reciprocity? Do participants really want it? How does it change the relationship of researcher and participant? Is it really possible to have a balanced reciprocal relationship? Do and/or can both parties get what they want? What are the ethics of reciprocity?

I think this is a sign of a really great session – when one walks out with more ideas to ponder than when one walked in.

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