Participant observation Brief illustrations from cycle 1 of my PhD study
Analytic memos • Very brief notes taken to record teacher impressions of lesson events. • Limited focus on what is significant to your hypothesis / research question. • In my case, usually had to be written down straight after teaching. • I tried to record what happened during periods of strong student motivation. • My constructions of events would later be placed alongside students’ constructions of those events (questionnaire and interview data).
September 24 2003 Lesson sequence: • List questions on zakah. • Form small groups, select question to explore. • Devise and rehearse drama sketch. • Perform and discuss sketches. • During discussion, draw out perspectives on zakah and related issues e.g. wealth and poverty.
September 24 2003 Observed motivation factors: • Drama is a natural stimulus to good discussion (the teacher just has to organise this). • Religious beliefs give interesting perspectives on the students’ moral concerns (selfishness and zakah). • Face-to-face dialogue is powerfully educative.
Analytic memos: their use in framing interview questions • Questionnaires later confirmed students ‘enthusiasm for the ‘drama on zakah’ lessons. • Interview questions designed to explore their enthusiasm in more depth. • Analytic memos introduced themes to include in interview discussions, e.g.: • What’s enjoyable about drama activities? • What is the relationship between thinking about religious concepts, and thinking about your own self?