Searching for gems in the mud: An example of critical reflection on research in education
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.
Senior Lecturer (Curriculum and Pedagogy), Faculty of Education, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba QLD
Akerstrom, M., Jacobsson, K., & Wasterfors, D. (2004) Reanalysis of previously collected material. In C. Seale, G. Gobo, J. F. Gubrium & D. Silverman (Eds.), Qualitative research practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Alvesson, M., & Skoldberg, K. (2000) Reflexive methodology: New vistas for qualitative research. London: Sage.
Brown, T., & Heggs, D. (2005) From hermeneutics to poststructuralism to psychoanalysis. In B. Somekh & C. Lewin (Eds.), Research methods in the social sciences (pp. 293- 301) London: Sage.
Brutt-Griffler, J. (2002) World English: A study of its development. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
Chase, S. E. (2005) Narrative inquiry: Multiple lenses, approaches, voices. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), The Sage handbook of qualitative research (3rd ed.) Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Cook, V. (2002) Portraits of the L2 user. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
Davies, A. (2003) The native speaker: Myth and reality. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
Foley, D., & Valenzuela, A. (2005) Critical ethnography: The politics of collaboration. In N.K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), The Sage handbook of qualitative research (3rd ed.) (pp. 217-234) Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Harre, R., & van Langenhove, L. (1991) Varieties of positioning. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 21(4), 394-407.
Kachru, B. (1986) The alchemy of English: The spread, functions and models of non-native Englishes. Oxford, UK: Pergamon.
Kanpol, B. (1999) Critical pedagogy: An introduction (2nd ed.) Westport, CT: Bergin & Garvey.
Kitano, K. (2001) Anxiety in the college Japanese language classroom. The Modern Language Journal, 85(4), 549-566.
Krashen, S. D. (1987) Principles and practice in second language learning. Herfordshire, UK: Prentice Hall.
Lincoln, Y. S., & Guba, E. G. (2003) Paradigmatic controversies, contradictions, and emerging confluences. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), The landscape of qualitative research (pp. 253-291) Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Miller, L., Whalley, J., & Stronach, I. (2005) From structuralism to poststructuralism. In B. Somekh & C. Lewin (Eds.), Research methods in the social sciences. London: Sage.
Nero, S. (2005) Englishes in contact: Dialects, power and the burden of being understood [Electronic Version]. TESOL in Context, 15, 3-8. Retrieved July 11, 2007, from http://search.informit.com.au/fullText;dn=146466;res=AEIPT
Ortega, L. (2005) For what and for whom is our research? The ethical as transformative lens in instructed SLA. Modern Language Journal, 89(3), 427-443.
Oxford, R. L. (1999) Anxiety and the language learner. In J. Arnold (Ed.), Affect in language learning (pp. 58-67) Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Phillipson, R. (2000) English in the new world order: Variations on a theme of linguistic imperialism and 'World English'. In T. Ricento (Ed.), Ideology, politics and language policies: A focus on English (pp. 87-706) Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing.
Piantanida, M., Tananis, C. A., & Grubs, R. E. (2004) Generating grounded theory of/for education practice: The journey of three epistemorphs. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 17(3), 325-346.
Rosengarten, T. (1979) Stepping over cockleburs: Conversations with Ned Cobb. In M. Pachter (Ed.), Telling lives: The biographer's art (pp. 100-128) Washington, DC: New Republic Books.
Scott, D., & Morrison, M. (2005) Key ideas in educational research. London: Continuum International Publishing Group.
Seidlhofer, B. (2001) Closing a conceptual gap: The case for a description of English as a lingua franca. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 11(2), 133.
educational research; EFL; researcher values
PP: 014 - 024