an ethics of analysis and writing

How do you work ethically with material generated in an interview? I’ve been pondering this question recently as part of a more general think about ethical research practice*. Research ethics are c…
Source: an ethics of analysis and writing

  • How do we record and then analyse the important sensory elements of interviews? What does it mean to leave them out?
  • Does our desire to find patterns (themes) lead us to skip over important tensions and individual idiosyncrasies? What does it mean to leave them out?
  • Does the use of particular forms of software accentuate our gaze on broad themes rather than emergent narratives and subtle underpinning metaphors? What does it mean to leave them out?
  • Do the ways in which we transcribe recordings pay sufficient attention to silences, stumbles, awkwardness, intonations, irony, sarcasm and so on? What does it mean to leave them out?

This post, in particular, the questions I have cited above, has helped my thinking process about the data analysis. I have been struggling to write what my interviewees have said in the focus groups in form of general themes. I haven’t found yet ‘themes’ that make justice to what they feel about the use of digital tools in the university. How they struggle, how they feel so upset with how this element has been addressed in the academic context. I think I fear, in words of Patt, to leave out important tensions, I don’t want to miss any ‘sensory elements of the interviews’.
I have analysed the data with such care, I have read through it so many times, but it is hard to find a sensible way, the right words to make justice to their feelings.
I think about this on a daily basis, I can not, not think about it, but every time I try to generate the themes I feel uncomfortable, not at ease with my participants and with myself, and I think it has to do with what Patt says in this post.
With this insight and the advice I recently got from a scholar to create my own categories, I will return to my data analysis, my transcriptions, the most precious bit of text I have in my whole thesis, and dare to be creative not feeling an impostor, and make justice to what I think is fundamental in any research, the inner world of the participants 🙂

Reflective Writing

Notes from: Reflective `Writing from: Kate Williams, Mary Woolliams and Jane Spiro

Longer critical review




What it is about?

25% length

  •   The author’s purpose, aim or question
  •   Main argument, central idea, findings conclusions
  •   What sort of text is it? General, specific


What do I think about it?


  • Who is it written for?
  • Points of interest
  • Simmilarities or differences with other texts I have read
  • Weaknesses or limitations


How might I use it?


  • Has the text helped you understand something better? Or see/do something differently? What? How was it useful?


Keep this short. Give enough context so the reader knows what comes next

Outline the situation

Consider you include: actions, consequences, responses, feelings and problems


Keep this short. Give enough context so the reader knows what comes next.

Outline the situation

Consider you include: actions, consequences, responses, feelings and problems

So What?

Tho most substantial part

Make the link between your personal experience and the knowledge + experience of others




Discuss what you have learnt

Examine about: yourself, relatinss, others, attitudes, practice, understanding. Show what is important

Now What?

Short section- next steps

Identify the implications

What impact could have these ideas in your work, practice? Or thinking? What do you need to improve future outcomes?

Drawing storyboard for your writings

This is taken from the little book: Doing Research from Garry Thomas Drawing storyboards:  Is like a mind map of the subject we are interested in. Its a way of exploring issues attached to your topic.  You can look at strands, areas of enquiry. It helps you to come up with fruitful avenues of inquiry on almost anything. Is like extending your thinking as much as possible. (I still couldn’t do mine). Making headway: While doing the literature review and the storyboard you think intensely about your topic. The interest of doing research in a particular idea is already there. How can we start to write about it? How will your argument proceed?  It is thinking about where the issue lies?
Do a first writing so others engage and follow your work. You need to find an angle: The so what? (in words of Thomas) You are looking at personal learning environments, so what? You are looking at technology in the class, so what? … My case: The issue lies in 2 main aspects:

  1. Regarding the technology: * Emerging trends that will transform society: Personalisation, informalisation (digitalisation), collaboration as future trends in           education. (Redecker, et al. 2011)
  2.  It is a Learn skills that will empower young learners to initiate the process of becoming life long learners in order to adapt and respond flexible to change.
  3. Regarding students and math: Disaffected students and general low achievement and poor understanding in mathematics (attitudes)