Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Update #2

My second update is intended to not only motivate myself with the progress since the last update (blog post here) but to keep putting my current thoughts, ideas and discoveries into a coherent form.

I've managed to re-arrange my 11th interview (of twelve) for tomorrow morning. It is the only interview that will take place outside of the dance school environment so I have spent today reflecting (in my journal) about any extra ethical considerations that might be raised from this new location.

The campus session yesterday with Peter Thomas was invaluable in thinking about issues regarding my professional artifact - namely how I could include my students voices within it whilst maintaining anonymity/ confidentiality and reconcile this with the audience my artifact is aimed at - (dance) teachers. It has left me with such a renewed optimism of how these aims might be achieved that I spent most of last night trialing a template from a free website-producing company ( in an attempt to see how feasible it might be to produce what I want in the time-frame I have.
N.B. I am still not decided on the artifact, as I want the data/ analysis to come forward before I limit its direction/ format, but I know that time is going to be a major factor with an inquiry of this kind, hence trialing possible methods in a study of feasibility.

Transcribing my interviews as I have gathered them has worked really well as I feel that I haven't lost any of the nuances of the individual events - both mine and the participants. I am also glad that I 1) chose interview as a method and 2) decided to transcribe by hand, rather than let software take the strain, as I feel closer to the data already, and, given the sheer amount of what I have, it has already begun to suggest potential codes, categories and themes.

Moving forward in this, the fifth, week I am looking to begin analysis in earnest. Three things have happened in the last 24 hours to start me off:
  1. I was particularly interested in delving a little deeper into coding after reading Jessica Hay's blog post Provisional codes with initial and in vivo codes, which looked so alien to me that I felt I needed to take time to understand the concept.
  2. I took the opportunity yesterday, whilst on campus, to seek out some books in the Sheppard Library and that I thought might help me in my analysis.
  3. Having read a little deeper into the 'how to' of analysing qualitative data I took my first steps forward this afternoon with a trial of several different techniques to see whether they are appropriate to my data. I hope to blog about these techniques when I have had a little longer to reflect on them.
I have begun throwing thoughts down into a word document that may develop into the Introduction for my Critical Review. Initially I found myself drying up after less than a couple of paragraphs but, using a technique, which was suggested by Peter Thomas (and borrowed from Peter Elbow) of generative writing (see description here). I just kept forcing myself to come up with more words. It worked! However, whether any of it makes it to the final edit I don't know but I feel that just by starting the ball rolling I am more likely to continue with it over the coming weeks.

I am still on track with my original schedule but I know that the next three or four weeks are going to require a lot of self-discipline and focus to keep up with not just the data analysis but the development of the Critical Review and the Professional Artifact. I'm sure Paula Nottingham had a visual image about 'coping' - I think I might need that to be blown up, printed out and posted above my work space!


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