Thursday, 4 April 2013

Midnight ramble!

Students are the heart of my practice - they are my clients, my teachers, my inspiration, my motivation, my joy, my stress, my heartbreak, my laughter, my reason for being what I am and my biggest concern.
In my inquiry they must, therefore, be the heart and soul as their input and insight will provide the greatest enhancement to my understanding.

For this reason I cannot reduce them to numbers, statistics or graphs but need to give them voice and substance:

If one boy out of a hundred finds a way to get along splendidly with his parents, this is something that hardly warrants mention in a statistical description of what teenagers are like. But this one-in-one-hundred finding can be the most important fact if we wish to understand what adolescence could be like. So...we are not only concerned with proportions and averages; perhaps the most telling insight on this age of transition comes from persons and events that show how, despite widespread confusion or boredom, it is possible to create enjoyment and meaning. (1984, xv)

Csikszentmihalyi, M. and Larson, R. 1984. Being adolescent: Conflict and growth in the teenage years. NY: Basic Books.


  1. When I plan a research project in terms of the research methods I feel the kind of passion you touch on here. The tool itself becomes a statement of how you value, see, understand the world your research is entering. Sounds like you get that passion in this post.


    1. Hi Adesola,

      Thank-you for your comment.

      It was all the reflection about methods of data collection that really got me thinking about what will be at the heart of my inquiry. It really made me realise that I'm not interested in numbers or statistics but in people, particularly my students - who perhaps don't get 'heard' as much as they would like.

      I've just been reading about ownership as being a provider of inspiration and how students are more likely to be motivated when they are involved in the process and development of their learning(Fallows and Ahmet, 1999). It has made me reflect on how important it is, therefore, for my students to play a major role in my inquiry - give them the opportunity to own and develop the research I undertake - so that it not only for my benefit but theirs too.

      In a research project, about motivation and inspiration in students, how fantastic would it be if the very process of taking part could be motivational!