Publication Details

Baker, A. A. & Lee, J. (2011). Mind the gap: Unexpected pitfalls in doing classroom research. The Qualitative Report, 16 (5), 1435-1447.


unanticipated, challenges experienced by researchers. This article moves beyond the main issues highlighted in the literature and identifies some of the problems the authors encountered when conducting two common methodological procedures, classroom observations and stimulated recall interviews (SRIs), as part of our dissertation research investigations. The paper first surveys what the literature describes as the main areas of concern with these two procedures. It then pulls away from these resources to explore actual difficulties we experienced that we believe are inadequately addressed in the literature. Using illustrations from our dissertation projects, we examined several recurring challenges we faced, including participant discomfort with specific types of SRI questions and different forms of participant-researcher interaction during non-participatory classroom observations. For each of these problems, we provide a series of recommendations for researchers who plan to use similar methodological protocols in classroom research.

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