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Methodology on Fridays

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Location

Burwood Corporate Centre

Level 2, Building BC

221 Burwood Highway

Burwood, Victoria 3125

Australia

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Methodology on Fridays

A series of discussions for staff and HDR students interested in the practice and problems of educational research

This series aspires to be a forum for discussion and argument about research. We will focus on methodology conceived in the broad sense of the structure and process of inquiry: from questions and theory through to ethics and the techniques of data collection and analysis.

Each session will begin with a unique ‘provocation.’ The provocation is intended to set the tone of the session by identifying and articulating a research issue which the members of the group can debate. For some sessions the provocation will aim at a synthesis of issues raised in previous sessions, and may involve a reading to further the discussion.

Locations

Methodology on Fridays will be hosted at the following location:

  • Deakin Downtown: Level 12, Tower 2 Collins Square, 727 Collins Street, Docklands

If you are unable to join us at Burwood, Methodology on Fridays will be hosted at the following campuses via virtual meeting point (VMP):

  • Burwood: Burwood Corporate Centre, Level 2, Building BC
  • Geelong (Waurn Ponds) campus: Video Meeting Room IC3.108
  • Warrnambool campus: Video Meeting Room D2.30 Video

If you wish to dial in from another location using your phone or Skype, you may do so using VMP 39322. Instructions will be sent to you via email after registration.

Friday 7 December, 2.00 pm—3.30 pm - from Deakin Downtown

When the Other looks back; Coming to terms with the potentially vicious nature of curiosity in video-based research - Dr Joe Ferguson

During the data collection phase of my PhD research I made use of video to record student interactions with digital simulations at a science education centre. As I did so, I acted in the belief that while this was certainly not a normal classroom set up and the presence of the cameras certainly influenced student behaviour, it was for the most part methodologically benign.

However, when repeatedly viewing the video footage during the analysis process, I was struck by a brief moment when one of the students looked directly at the camera to address the researchers (including myself). This was not simply the student acknowledging the presence of the camera, it was much more. This encounter has stuck with me ever since.

Making use of Tarja Laine’s (2007) adaptation to film theory/philosophy of Sartre’s (1956) phenomenological explorations of the visual basis of intersubjectivity, I consider this looking-back as a moment in which the returned gaze of the student made me acutely aware of the way in which I was positioning the students as objects (the Other) to be observed by me the subject (the researchers). In this moment, I was instantly turned into the object for the student to apprehend (as they became the subject). I experienced epistemic shame, as I realised the vicious nature of my curiosity. I was instrumentally filming - using video to ‘capture’ - these students and their interactions with the digital simulations in order to satisfy my desire to understand the way in which such representations might afford reasoning. I wanted to get something specific out of this research process to fulfil my curiosity.

In becoming aware of this curiosity, I am now questioning my enactment of video-based research. Is there another way to go about it; a way that is not primarily determined by curiosity? I propose that as a video-based researcher, we (researchers, participants/co-researchers) may benefit from the embracing of wonder - as an opening up to new possibilities – and the reining in of curiosity - as the determination to know in order to achieve epistemic satisfaction. This will likely require a radical rethinking of what it means to do video-based research, and indeed more broadly what it means to do educational research, and re-evaluating curiosity as the primary driver of research.

Laine, T. (2007). Shame and desire: Emotion, intersubjectivity, cinema. Brussels: Peter Lang.
Sartre, J.P. (1956). Being and nothingness: An essay on phenomenological ontology. New York City: Philosophical Library.

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Location

Burwood Corporate Centre

Level 2, Building BC

221 Burwood Highway

Burwood, Victoria 3125

Australia

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