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Denis Vuka

This article explores history teaching in Albania, with particular emphasis on educational and methodological aspects of new history textbooks published after the liberalization of the school textbook market in 2008. National history textbooks serve as a basis for the assessment of changing educational principles and methodologies in history teaching in terms of five qualitative factors: educational aims, teaching techniques and methodologies, historical narratives, visual materials, and sources. The article thus assesses the degree to which textbooks fulfill their educational function and help to put learning theories into practice. The author also places the revision and reevaluation of national history textbooks in Albania in context by comparing them to the progress of Kosovo's recently established educational system.

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John R. Campbell

This article explores the relation between theory and method in three methodologically innovative studies of rural poverty. The issue is pertinent because the nature of research on poverty has shifted from small-scale qualitative studies to large surveys, and to national-scale studies that combine qualitative and quantitative methods in an effort to inform policy makers on appropriate poverty reduction strategies. The interest in combined methods holds considerable promise for poverty research because it links a search for 'objective' economic concerns to the analysis of 'subjective' and context-specific issues. It is instructive to examine recent studies of poverty that have pursued different theoretical and methodological choices with a view to understand how 'theory' influenced methodological choices, and whether and how such choices influenced their understanding of poverty.

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Qualitative Research Synthesis

How the Whole Can Be Greater than the Sum of Its Parts

Hanne Riese, Benedicte Carlsen and Claire Glenton

The rise of the knowledge society has led to an increase in the amount of research that is produced and an increased demand from decision makers for summaries of this research. As a result, research syntheses have become increasingly important in applied research, especially within the health sciences. However, this methodology has not been adopted with the same enthusiasm in the field of anthropology. In this article, we describe the main principles of this approach and the history of its development and discuss whether qualitative research synthesis can be seen as compatible with (the goal of) anthropological methodology. Finally, we argue for a greater adoption of research synthesis within applied anthropology and call for a greater engagement from anthropologists in the further development of this methodology.

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Collective Biography

An Introduction

Marnina Gonick and Susanne Gannon

In June 2011, seven feminist academics gathered to spend a week working together on a collective biography workshop in a small resort town, called Hawk’s Nest, in New South Wales, Australia. Some of us were senior faculty with prior experience with the methodology of collective biography, others were freshly minted or about to be minted PhDs who were totally new to the research methodology. Some of us knew each other from other contexts, and others were meeting for the first time. We were from five different university institutions, working in a range of fields in schools of Education.

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Crossing Divides

An Argument Catalogue of Submissions to the 2000 Australian Government Inquiry into the Education of Boys

Deborah Hartman

This article describes a study of a sample of submissions to an Australian government Inquiry into the Education of Boys, using a relatively new methodology for reviewing literature, called an argument catalogue. The study examines the usefulness of the methodology to an analysis of the complex field of boys’ education. The author argues that the argument catalogue approach offers a way of including and analysing all voices within the field, particularly the previously under-represented views of parents and practitioners and that despite complexities, there are commonalities that can be built on, which are critical to any positive change in this field.

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Sandra H. Dudley and Kylie Message

Museum Worlds: Advances in Research represents trends in museum-related research and practice. It builds a profile of various approaches to the expanding discipline of museum studies and to work in the growing number of museums throughout the world. It traces major regional, theoretical, methodological, and topical themes and debates, and encourages comparison of museum theories, practices, and developments in different global settings.

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European University at St. Petersburg

New Program on Arctic/Siberian Studies

Nikolai Vakhtin

This report describes the status of Severovedenie (Arctic/Siberian social sciences) in today's Russia in the context of the worldwide growing interest in the Arctic region. It also presents a new educational program in Severovedenie launched in 2011 by the European University at St. Petersburg. The article discusses theoretical and methodological issues of contemporary approach to Arctic/Siberian studies.

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Rogers Goodman

This article looks at current university reforms in Japan through two slightly different social science prisms: how social science methodologies and theories can help us understand those reforms better and how social science teaching in universities will be affected by the current reform processes.

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Todd Samuel Presner

In this article, I will discuss how my own work on a project called "Hypermedia Berlin"—a Web-based study of Berlin's "cultural geography"—can be situated in a lineage that goes back to Hoffmann's reflection on media and represents another instantiation of what Hinrich Seeba has called "Berlin" as a site for the development of new cultural-critical methodologies for interdisciplinary German Studies.

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Afterword

Dangerous Mobilities

Mimi Sheller

The articles in this special issue show how a theoretical approach informed by the mobilities turn can reveal new facets of the history of dangerous mobility. This afterword draws together some of these lessons concerning materialities, bodily sensations, and performativity, and then considers how we might study these aspects of danger and mobility from an international, comparative, and historical methodological perspective.