Searching for gems in the mud: An example of critical reflection on research in education

Abstract

This paper presents a critical autoethnographic reflection upon a study that I had previously conducted. The original study reports on research conducted in two classes at a Japanese university on the students' attitudes towards different forms of addressing a foreign teacher in a conversational English class.

The research incorporated a visualisation exercise with a free writing response in an attempt to investigate indirectly student attitudes to various forms of address. The results were inconclusive with respect to the original research objectives, because none of the proposed forms of address was found to be universally acceptable in either class. A report on the research was written, but never published. Two years later, I reflexively interrogated the text of the original report in an attempt to explore the values and beliefs that influenced the design, implementation and reporting of the original research. Thus the original research report became the data for the current study.

This paper demonstrates the process that I undertook in critically reflecting upon my own research by presenting the original report (written two years ago), providing notes on my critical reflection upon that research and then discussing the implications of this approach. The paper highlights the mutability of researcher values and beliefs.

Authors

Warren Midgley
Senior Lecturer (Curriculum and Pedagogy), Faculty of Education, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba QLD

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Keywords

educational research; EFL; researcher values

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