Today sees the first scheduled interview with one of my inquiry participants. I am both excited and a little nervous as it's the end of the practice, trial, reflection and development phase and into the actual!
I have been careful to schedule students in with as little disruption to their routine as possible, fitting most students in around their breaks down at the studio. I have also made sure to create a working planner of dates, my working hours, and names to ensure that I have incorporated everybody in the run up to half term.
I have also confirmed, or will be confirming in the next couple of days, each participants interview date and time to give them the opportunity to re-schedule if no longer convenient. And also to remind them!
There is only one student, currently, that is unable to fit in anything round her classes so I have arranged to visit her over the half term and take up residence in a quiet room for the duration of the interview.
I have taken time over the last couple of days to trial, reflect and refine my interview questions (my blog Narrowing things down shows the previous draft questions I had developed, and why). I have reduced the amount of questions from seven to six (time was a factor during trial) and created two sections with a brief explanation of the reasoning behind the questions. Here is a link to my proposed interview format:
I hope to have most of this internalised but want to keep a copy handy in case I have a moment of panic or go blank!
In Section 2 the questions 2a. and 2b. are an 'either/ or' situation. If the student is struggling to find or verbalise a response to question 1. then I hope that the fantasy nature of question 2a. might help. For those students who feel happy in their ability to answer question 1. I will give them the opportunity to attach 'teacher significance' to their responses using A4 paper and marker pens (question 2b.).
I feel particularly happy about breaking down the interview into two sections - each themed to a different aspect of motivation - as I believe this will give a structure and purpose to the interview and also provide the participants with a reason for being asked the questions.
My final preparation has been to organise my voice recorder - checking it's batteries and settings for the millionth time - and collect my notebook, pens and pencils.
I have already organised the first page of my notebook with the participant number of my first interviewee (to allow me to connect the correct diary to the interview notes) and will also add this number to the start of the recording (for the same reason). I have also added the date and will do this to the digital recording too.
Nowhere have I made any reference to name of student or anything that might link the data to the student in question.
It'll be great to see what happens after all this planning. What is the old cliche? Isn't it 'never work with children or animals'...do 13 - 16year old student participants count?!