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Managing endings in a longitudinal study: respect for persons

By Michael Reiss


In the year 2000 a book I authored which reported the findings of a five year longitudinal study of school science teaching was published. In this paper I describe and discuss the way the book was received by the pupils and teachers it featured. By and large the pupils' reception was positive. However, one group of teachers was deeply hurt by the book. I trace this mainly to my failure to consider adequately their fears of the consequences of the book's publication and possibly to my failure to consider with them the psychological significance of my withdrawing from the school after five years of regular study. I hope that there are lessons not only for myself but for others considering longitudinal and/or ethnographic research in science education and more broadly

Year: 2005
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