Advertisement

Gathering Layers of Meaning in Context

  • Alice BrownEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Education Research Methods book series (PSERM)

Abstract

This chapter starts by discussing a particular mindset and considerations for selecting the right tools for the right job, so that the combination of which will support the co-construction and a rich portrayal of the multiple ‘layers of meaning’ of individuals within contexts. The chapter offers a range of tools that researchers may wish to consider, adapt, and or combine, to support their quest of inquiry focussed on young families and its members, with the intent of ‘giving flesh’ to participants’ stories. The chapter showcases a range of popular and innovative qualitative methods, the careful selection and combination of which might serve to support inquiry that seeks to gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of the idiosyncratic experiences and motivations of young families. The methods, carefully selected and shared, are particularly effective in generating ‘context-dependent knowledge’ and supporting the type of inquiry that recognises the situatedness of human behaviours.

References

  1. Alasuutari, M. (2013). Voicing the child? A case study in Finnish early childhood education. Childhood, 21(2), 1–8.Google Scholar
  2. Baird, K. (2013). Exploring a methodology with young children: Reflections on using the Mosaic and Ecocultural approaches. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 38(1), 35–40.Google Scholar
  3. Berg, B. (2016). Qualitative research methods for the social sciences (9th ed.). Boston: Pearson.Google Scholar
  4. Bessarab, D., & Ng’andu, B. (2010). Yarning about yarning as a legitimate method in indigenous research. Journal of Critical Indigenous Studies, 3(1), 37–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bjørgen, K. (2016). Physical activity in light of affordances in outdoor environments: Qualitative observation studies of 3–5 years olds in kindergarten. SpringerPlus, 5(1), 950.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bratich, J. (2017). Observation in a surveilled world. In N. Denzin & N. Lincoln (Eds.), The Sage handbook of qualitative research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  7. Bridger, L. (2013). Seeing and telling households: A case for photo elicitation and graphic elicitation in qualitative research. Graduate Journal of Social Science, 10(2), 106–131.Google Scholar
  8. Brown, A. (2012). The new frontier: A social ecological exploration of factors impacting on parental support for the active play of young children within the micro-environment of the family home. PhD, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, QLD.Google Scholar
  9. Brown, A., & Danaher, P. A. (2017). CHE principles: Facilitating authentic and dialogical semi-structured interviews in educational research. International Journal of Research & Method in Education, 1–15.  https://doi.org/10.1080/1743727X.2017.13799.
  10. Brown, J., Collins, A., & Duguid, P. (1989). Situated cognition and the culture of learning. Educational Researcher, 18(1), 32–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bryman, A. (2015). Social research methods. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Caçola, P. M., Gabbard, C., Montebelo, M., & Santos, D. C. (2015). Further development and validation of the affordances in the home environment for motor development–Infant Scale (AHEMD-IS). Physical Therapy, 9(5), 1–23.Google Scholar
  13. Chavez, C. (2008). Conceptualizing from the inside: Advantages, complications, and demands on insider positionality. The Qualitative Report, 13(3), 474–494.Google Scholar
  14. Christensen, P., & James, A. (2008a). Introduction: Researching children and childhood cultures of communication. In P. Christensen & A. James (Eds.), Research with children: Perspectives and practices (pp. 1–9). London: Routledge Flamer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Christensen, P., & James, A. (2008b). Research with children: Perspectives and practices. New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Clark, A. (2001). How to listen to very young children: The Mosaic approach. Child Care in Practice, 7(4), 333–341.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Clark, A. (2011). Breaking methodological boundaries? Exploring visual, participatory methods with adults and young children. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 19(3), 321–330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Clark, A., Kjorholt, A. T., & Moss, P. (2005). Beyond listening: Children’s perspectives on early childhood services. Briston: Policy Press.Google Scholar
  19. Clark, A., & Moss, P. (2001). Listening to young children: The Mosaic approach. London: National Children’s Bureau for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.Google Scholar
  20. Clark, A., & Moss, P. (2005). Spaces to play: More listening to young children using the Mosaic approach. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.Google Scholar
  21. Clark, A., & Moss, P. (2011). Listening to young children: The Mosaic approach (2nd ed.). London: National Children’s Bureau and Joseph Rowntree Foundation.Google Scholar
  22. Clark, A., & Statham, J. (2005). Listening to young children: Experts in their own lives. Adoption & Fostering, 29(1), 45–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2007). Research methods in education. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  24. Cosco, N., Moore, R., & Islam, M. (2010). Behavior mapping: A method for linking preschool physical activity and outdoor design. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 42(3), 513–519.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Daly, K. J. (2007). Qualitative methods for family studies and human development. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  26. Denzin, N., & Lincoln, N. (2017). The Sage handbook of qualitative research (5th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  27. Dockett, S., Perry, B., Kearney, E., Hamshire, A., Mason, J., & Schmied, V. (2009). Researching with families: Ethical issues and situations. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 10(4), 353–365.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Edwards, C., Gandini, L., & Forman, G. (1998). The hundred languages of children: The Reggio Emilia approach advanced reflections (2nd ed.). Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing.Google Scholar
  29. Egger, G., Pearson, S., Pal, S., & Swinburn, B. (2007). Dissecting obesogenic behaviours: The development and application of a test battery for targeting prescription for weight loss. Obesity Reviews, 8(6), 481–486.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Falcini, U. (2014). ‘Affordance theory’ – A valuable research tool in evaluating children’s out-door play environments. An Leanbh Óg, 8, 105–121.Google Scholar
  31. Finlay, L. (2003). The reflexive journey: Mapping multiple routes. In L. Finlay & B. Gough (Eds.), Reflexivity: A practical guide for researchers in health and social sciences (pp. 3–20). Oxford: Blackwell Science.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Fleer, M., & Ridgway, A. (2013). Visual methodologies and digital tools for researching with young children: Transforming visuality (Vol. 10). Cham: Springer Science & Business Media.Google Scholar
  33. Flyvbjerg, B. (2001). Making social science matter. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Fraser, H. (2004). Doing narrative research analysing personal stories line by line. Qualitative Social Work, 3(2), 179–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Fraser, S. (2012). Authentic childhood: Experiencing Reggio Emilia in the classroom (3rd ed.). Toronto, ON: Nelson Education.Google Scholar
  36. Gabb, J. (2009). Researching family relationships: A qualitative mixed methods approach. Methodological Innovations Online, 4(2), 37–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Gabb, J. (2010). Home truths: Ethical issues in family research. Qualitative Research, 10(4), 461–478.Google Scholar
  38. Gabb, J., & Fink, J. (2015). Telling moments and everyday experience: Multiple methods research on couple relationships and personal lives. Sociology, 49(5), 970–987.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Gabb, J., & Singh, R. (2015). The uses of emotion maps in research and clinical practice with families and couples: Methodological innovation and critical inquiry. Family Process, 54(1), 185–197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Gabbard, C., Caçola, P., & Rodrigues, L. P. (2008). A new inventory for assessing affordances in the home environment for motor development (AHEMD-SR). Early Childhood Education Journal, 36(1), 5–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Geia, L. K., Hayes, B., & Usher, K. (2013). Yarning/Aboriginal storytelling: Towards an understanding of an Indigenous perspective and its implications for research practice. Contemporary Nurse, 46(1), 13–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Gibson, J. J. (1977). The theory of affordances. In R. Shaw & J. Bransford (Eds.), Perceiving, acting, and knowing, toward an ecological psychology. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  43. Gibson, J. J. (1979). The ecological approach to visual perception. London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  44. Given, L., Cantrell Winkler, D., Willson, R., Davidson, C., Danby, S., & Thorpe, K. (2016). Parents as coresearchers at home: Using an observational method to document young children’s use of technology. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 15(1), 1609406915621403.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. González, N., Moll, L. C., & Amanti, C. (Eds.). (2005). Funds of knowledge: Theorizing practices in households, communities, and classrooms. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  46. Greenstein, T. N., & Davis, S. N. (2013). Methods of family research (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA/Los Angeles: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Guillemin, M., & Gillam, L. (2004). Ethics, reflexivity, and “Ethically important moments” in research. Qualitative Inquiry, 10(2), 261–280.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Hägglund, S. (2012). Forward. In J. Sarjeant & D. Harcourt (Eds.), Doing ethical research with children. Maidenhead: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  49. Harcourt, D. S. (2008). Constructing ideas and theories about quality: The accounts of young children in two early childhood classrooms in Singapore. Brisbane: Queensland University of Technology.Google Scholar
  50. Harden, J., Backett-Milburn, K., Hill, M., & MacLean, A. (2010). Oh, what a tangled web we weave: Experiences of doing ‘multiple perspectives’ research in families. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 13(5), 441–452.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Harding, J. (2006). Questioning the subject in biographical interviewing. Sociological Research Online, 11(3), 1–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Heft, H. (2010). Affordances and the perception of landscape: An inquiry into environmental perception and aesthetics. In C. Thompson, P. Aspinall, & S. Bell (Eds.), Innovative approaches to researching landscape and health. Open space: People space 2 (pp. 9–32). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  53. Iacono, V. L., Symonds, P., & Brown, D. H. (2016). Skype as a tool for qualitative research interviews. Sociological Research Online, 21(2), 12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Irvine, A., Drew, P., & Sainsbury, R. (2013). ‘Am I not answering your questions properly?’: Clarification, adequacy and responsiveness in semi-structured telephone and face-to-face interviews. Qualitative Research, 13(1), 87–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. James, A., & Prout, A. (2015). Constructing and reconstructing childhood: Contemporary issues in the sociological study of childhood. New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Kvale, S. (1996). Interviews: An introduction to qualitative research interviewing. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  57. Kvale, S. (2006). Dominance through interviews and dialogues. Qualitative Inquiry, 12(3), 480–500.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Kyttä, M. (2004). The extent of children’s independent mobility and the number of actualized affordances as criteria for child-friendly environments. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 24(2), 179–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Leung, D., & Lapum, J. (2005). A poetical journey: The evolution of a research questions. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 4(3), 1–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Lincoln, Y., & Guba, E. (1988, April 5–9). Criteria for assessing naturalistic inquiries as reports. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA.Google Scholar
  61. Little, H., & Sweller, N. (2015). Affordances for risk-taking and physical activity in Australian early childhood education settings. Early Childhood Education Journal, 43(4), 337–345.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Lynch, H. (2011). Infant places, spaces and objects: Exploring the physical in learning environments for infants under two. PhD, Dublin Institute of Technology.Google Scholar
  63. Macnamara, J. (2015). Creating an ‘architecture of listening’ in organizations: The basis of engagement, trust, healthy democracy, social equity, and business sustainability. Retrieved from Sydney, NSW. https://www.uts.edu.au/sites/default/files/fass-organizational-listening-report.pdf
  64. Madill, A. (2011). Interaction in the semi-structured interview: A comparative analysis of the use of and response to indirect complaints. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 8(4), 333–353.  https://doi.org/10.1080/14780880903521633.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Markwell, K. (2000). Photo-documentation and analyses as research strategies in human geography. Geographical Research, 38(1), 91–98.Google Scholar
  66. McCashen, W. (2005). The strengths approach. Bendigo, VIC: St. Luke’s Innovative Resources.Google Scholar
  67. Merewether, J., & Fleet, A. (2014). Seeking children’s perspectives: A respectful layered research approach. Early Child Development and Care, 184(6), 897–914.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Merriam, S., & Tisdall, E. (2016). Qualitative research: A guide to design and implementation (4th ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  69. Mori, S., Nakamoto, H., Mizuochi, H., Ikudome, S., & Gabbard, C. (2013). Influence of affordances in the home environment on motor development of young children in Japan. Child Development Research, 898406, 1–5.  https://doi.org/10.1155/2013/898406.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Palaiologou, I. (2014). ‘Do we hear what children want to say?’ Ethical praxis when choosing research tools with children under five. Early Child Development and Care, 184(5), 689–705.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Patton, M. Q. (2015). Qualitative research and evaluation methods (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  72. Richardson, L., & Adams St. Pierre, E. (2008). Writing: A method of inquiry. In N. Denzin & N. Lincoln (Eds.), Collecting and interpreting qualitative data materials (3rd ed., pp. 473–500). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  73. Rinaldi, C. (2005). Documentation and assessment: What is the relationship? In A. Clark, A. T. Kjorholt, & P. Moss (Eds.), Beyond listening: Children’s perspectives on early childhood services (pp. 17–28). Bristol: Policy Press.Google Scholar
  74. Rinaldi, C. (2006). In dialogue with Reggio Emilia: Listening, researching, and learning. London: Routledge Falmer.Google Scholar
  75. Rizvi, S. (2017). Treading on eggshells: ‘Doing’ feminism in educational research. International Journal of Research & Method in Education, 1–13.Google Scholar
  76. Rose, G. (2016). Visual methodologies: An introduction to researching with visual methods (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  77. Seidman, I. (2013). Interviewing as qualitative research: A guide for researchers in education and the social sciences (4th ed.). New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  78. Stake, R. (2005). Qualitative case studies. In N. Denzin & Y. Lincoln (Eds.), The Sage handbook of qualitative research (3rd ed., pp. 433–466). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  79. Stake, R. (2010). Qualitative research: Studying how things work. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  80. Stark, S., & Torrance, H. (2005). Case study. In B. Somekh & C. Lewin (Eds.), Research methods in the social sciences (pp. 33–40). London: Sage.Google Scholar
  81. Stephenson, A. (2009). Horses in the sandpit: Photography, prolonged involvement and ‘stepping back’ as strategies for listening to children’s voices. Early Child Development and Care, 179(2), 131–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Swinburn, B., Egger, G., & Raza, F. (1999). Dissecting obesogenic environments: The development and application of a framework for identifying and prioritizing environmental interventions for obesity. Preventative Medicine, 29(6), 563–570.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Torin, M., & Fisher, J. (2010). Benefits of ‘observer effects’: Lessons from the field. Qualitative Research, 10(3), 357–376.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Tudge, J. (2008). The everyday lives of young children: Culture, class, and child rearing in diverse societies. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Warr, D. (2004). Stories in the flesh and voices in the head: Reflections on the context and impact of research with disadvantaged populations. Qualitative Health Research, 14(4), 578–587.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Waters, J. (2017). Affordance theory in outdoor play. In T. Waller, E. Ärlemalm-Hagsér, E. Sandseter, L. Hammond, K. Lekies, & S. Wyver (Eds.), The Sage handbook of outdoor pay and learning (pp. 40–54). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Business, Education, Law and ArtsUniversity of Southern QueenslandSpringfield CentralAustralia

Personalised recommendations