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Lenses and Lessons: Using three different research perspectives in early childhood education research

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Abstract

In contemporary Western research, collaboration is held in high esteem. This developing practice is challenging particularly for researchers who follow varying theoretical approaches. However although a challenging endeavour, when viewing the one data set with different lenses, there are various lessons that can be shared. A key aspect of this paper is involved researchers' different analytical perspectives in one data set to learn more about each other's research insights, rather than become instant expert in other's approaches. The interview data reported in this paper originates from a larger study researching parents' experience of using early childhood education and care (ECEC) in Australia. Here we analyse and report on two shared interview excerpts and use three different research lenses for analysis; phenomenographic study, conversational analysis and cultural-historical theory. The finding of this paper demonstrates that applying different lenses provide different interpretations, including strengths, limitations and opportunities. In this paper we argue that collaborative research practices enhance our understanding of varying research approaches and the scope, quality, translation of research and the researchers' capacity are enhanced
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Lenses and Lessons: Using three different research
perspectives in early childhood education research
S. Irvine*,
Queensland University of Technology, Australia,
s.irvine@qut.edu.au
C. Davidson**,
Charles Sturt University, Australia,
davidson@csu.edu.au
N. Veresov***,
Monash University, Australia,
nveresov@hotmail.com
M. Adams****,
Monash University, Australia,
megan.adams@monash.edu
A. Devi*****,
Monash University, Australia,
Anamika.devi@monash.edu
Культурноисторическая психология
2015. Т. 11. № 3. С. 75—85
doi: 10.17759/chp.2015110307
ISSN: 18165435 (печатный)
ISSN: 22248935 (online)
© 2015 ГБОУ ВПО МГППУ
CulturalHistorical Psychology
2015. Vol. 11, no. 3, рр. 75—85
doi: 10.17759/chp.2015110307
ISSN: 18165435 (print)
ISSN: 22248935 (online)
© 2015 Moscow State University of Psychology & Education
For citation:
Irvine S., Davidson C., Veresov N., Adams M., Devi A. Lenses and Lessons: Using Three Different Research Perspectives in
Early Childhood Education Research. Кul'turno/istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural/historical psychology, 2015. Vol. 11,
no. 3, pp. 75—85. (In Russ., abstr. in Engl.). doi: 10.17759/chp.2015110307
* Susan Irvine, PhD, School of Early Childhood, Faculty of Education, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.
Email: s.irvine@qut.edu.au
** Christina Davidson, PhD, Senior lecturer, School of Education, Faculty of Education, Charles Sturt University, Albury,
Australia. Email: cdavidson@csu.edu.au
*** Veresov Nikolay Nikolayevich, PhD, Associate Professor in Early Childhood at the Faculty of Education, Monash University,
Melbourne, Australia. Email: nveresov@hotmail.com
**** Megan Adams, PhD student, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. Email: megan.adams@monash.edu
***** Anamika Devi, PhD student, Faculty of Education, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. Email: Anamika.devi@
monash.edu
In contemporary Western research, collaboration is held in high esteem. This developing practice is chal
lenging particularly for researchers who follow varying theoretical approaches. However although a challeng
ing endeavour, when viewing the one data set with different lenses, there are various lessons that can be shared.
A key aspect of this paper is involved researchers' different analytical perspectives in one data set to learn more
about each other's research insights, rather than become instant expert in other's approaches. The interview
data reported in this paper originates from a larger study researching parents' experience of using early child
hood education and care (ECEC) in Australia. Here we analyse and report on two shared interview excerpts
and use three different research lenses for analysis; phenomenographic study, conversational analysis and cul
turalhistorical theory. The finding of this paper demonstrates that applying different lenses provide different
interpretations, including strengths, limitations and opportunities. In this paper we argue that collaborative
research practices enhance our understanding of varying research approaches and the scope, quality, transla
tion of research and the researchers' capacity are enhanced.
Key words: early childhood, research perspectives, phenomenography, conversation analysis, culturalhis
torical theory
76
Introduction
There is increasing interest amongst qualitative
researchers in exploring the prospects and impacts of
applying different research perspectives to the one data
set to enhance understanding of the selected research
topic. This enables strengths and limitations of diverse
research perspectives to be examined. There is no doubt
that using different methodological approaches with the
same data often allows for a rich in depth interpretation
from differing perspectives [11; 6]. However, the choice
of research perspective, singular or multiple, will also
influence and shape the research findings and how these
may be used. As Honan et al., [11] concluded, the appli
cation of different theoretical and analytical approaches
can constitute the subjects quite differently and "radi
cally influence" (p. 9) findings from one data set, an
observation supported by others who have examined
multiple research perspectives [1; 30].
While the benefits are clear, it is generally recognised
that the application of multiple research perspectives
adds complexity to the research process. As Collier et al.,
[6] argue, using different lenses, the one piece of data can
be interpreted in diverse ways, which may lead to differ
ent conclusions and create additional challenges for
researchers working together to understand the phe
nomenon. However, there is also potential to learn more
about the phenomenon under investigation. Abes pro
vokes us to look beyond the differences found in analysis
to source the limitations inherent within theoretical per
spectives reminding us "all theoretical perspectives that
guide research are incomplete" [1, p. 141]. She also sug
gests that by bringing together several perspectives that
are conflicting, novel ways of understanding the data
may be presented "leading to rich new research results
and possibilities" [p. 141]. Applying this to research
training, Slaughter et al., [24] suggest interpretively
using a variety of methodological traditions might also
be useful to novice researchers and their mentors.
In Australia, a key driver for exploring multiple
research perspectives is the emphasis on collaboration in
educational and social research to address national
research priorities. This is underpinned by the belief
that interdisciplinary and multiple methodological
approaches can enhance the scope, quality and transla
tion of research while also building researcher capacity.
This is, in fact, the context for this paper. All of the
researchers involved in this paper are members of the
Excellence in Research Early Years Education
Collaborative Research Network (CRN). The CRN is a
threeyear initiative, funded by the Australian
Government, drawing together a mix of researchers and
doctoral students from Charles Sturt University,
Queensland University of Technology and Monash
University, to form Australia's largest network of
researchers in early years education. The aim of the
CRN is to build the capacity of early years education
researchers at all career stages, while progressing a
cumulative national evidence base to inform policy and
practice in Australia and internationally.
This collaborative paper is the result of a small group
of CRN researchers, coming together to learn more
about each other's research perspectives. The main pur
pose of this paper is to explore the practical application
of three qualitative research perspectives to a single data
set, to consider what each perspective offers and how
these different perspectives might work together or not
as the case may be. We seek to achieve this purpose by
applying three different research perspectives to two
shared interview excerpts; the research perspectives are:
Phenomenography [14; 17]; Conversation analysis [20]
and CulturalHistorical theory [26; 27; 28].
Three different research perspectives
1. Phenomenography: The sum of the parts
Phenomenography is most frequently described as a
research specialisation aimed at the "mapping of the
qualitatively different ways in which people experience,
conceptualise, perceive and understand various aspects
of, and various phenomena in, the world around them"
[15, p. 31]. Developed by Swedish educational
researchers in the seventies, phenomenography adopts
what is known as a 'secondorder perspective' and is
concerned with the world as it appears to people.
However, distinguishing phenomenography from other
qualitative research methods, the research aim is
twofold: (i) to identify the different meanings that peo
ple ascribe to the same object or experience and (ii) to
make visible how different conceptions, meanings or
ways of experiencing relate to each other and the phe
nomenon of interest [2; 17].
While the phenomenographic knowledge interest is
a conception or way of experiencing something, the objec
tive is to look at "collective human experience of the
phenomena holistically" [2, p. 323]; this is another dis
tinguishing feature of this research approach. The foun
dation for this is the assumption that a phenomenon is
generally experienced in a limited number of different
ways [4; 14] and that the different ways of experiencing
will be logically related through the phenomenon being
experienced [2]. To explain further, individuals are seen
to be bearers of different ways of experiencing a phe
nomenon (i.e., fragments of the phenomenon) that can
be drawn together to constitute the phenomenon of
interest. The phenomenographer's task is to discern
variation in ways of experiencing the phenomenon,
across a selected sample group, and to construct cate
gories of description to make visible all of the different
ways of experiencing that phenomenon [17].
The data set analysed in this paper using different
research perspectives has been taken from a phenom
enographic study [12]. As with all research, the aim and
context of the original study influenced the selection of
phenomenography as the research approach, which, in
turn, influenced the study design, methods and out
comes. For this reason, it is important to include a little
about the original study. The aim of this study was to
identify and describe variation in the ways that a group
Irvine S., Davidson C., Veresov N., Adams M., Devi A. Lenses and Lessons: Using...
Ирвин С., Дэвидсон К., Вересов Н., Адамс М., Деви А. Призмы концепций: опыт анализа...
77
of parents viewed and experienced their role in early
childhood education and care (ECEC1). The research
site was an integrated ECEC service located in a low
socioeconomic community. Purposeful sampling was
employed to recruit twentysix parents (mothers and
fathers) with recent and varied experience using an
ECEC service. Data was collected through semistruc
tured interviews that were audiorecorded, transcribed
in full and verified by participating parents. In this
study, the interview transcripts were analysed using
Patrick's [19] six steps of analysis, with the added step
of a phenomenographic group discussion to explore and
refine the emerging categories of description and to
explicate the logical relationship between these [4].
Throughout this process, analysis concentrated on iden
tifying what parents conceived their role to be and the
combination of features that parents focused on when
expressing a particular conception or way of experienc
ing this role [16].
Phenomenographic analysis
The outcome of the study was the identification of
five qualitatively different ways of experiencing the role
of parents in ECEC services (see Table 1). As is general
practice in phenomenographic research, each category
has been assigned a descriptive label and includes a brief
statement to highlight similarities and critical differ
ences between the conceptions or ways of experiencing.
Each of these conceptions differs in terms of what was
focal for parents (i.e. referential aspect or global mean
ing assigned by parents to the role) and through the
structural aspects that framed and delimited this role.
(i.e. how parents enacted the role). To illustrate the
nature and outcome of phenomenographic research, the
table is followed by a summary of Category 1: Service
user conception and Category 5: Member of a service
community conception, which represent the least and
most complex conceptions expressed by parents partici
pating in the study. When compared, these make visible
critical differences in the ways this group of parents
experienced their role in ECEC.
Category 1: Service user conception. In Category 1,
parents constituted their role as selecting the best service
for their child, based on a range of criteria (e.g. word of
mouth, visiting the service, parent preferences; cost and
availability) and then using that service (referential
aspect). The role of parents was defined in quite narrow
terms and their focus was confined to their child in the
service. This was evidenced in the structural aspects of this
conception that included: selecting the best service; taking
their child to and from the service; receiving information;
and leaving the service if a problem arises. Selecting the
service was arguably the most proactive aspect of the role
of parents here, whereas other role aspects may be viewed
as passive and reactive — receiving rather than providing
information, and leaving the service if a problem arises
rather than raising any problems with the service provider.
Focal in the awareness of these parents was their need to
use an ECEC service. Perhaps, not surprisingly, all of the
parents interviewed fit within this category — as service
users. However, for some, this was the full extent of their
experience of this role. Consequently, this is presented as
the base conception (i.e., the conception from which all
other conceptions emerge). This said, the majority of the
parents interviewed expressed a broader perspective on
the role of parents in ECEC.
Category 5: The member of a service community con/
ception. In Category 5, parents constituted their role as
working as a member of the ECEC service community
for the benefit of all concerned (referential aspect). This
was the most complex conception, and, as such, it incor
porated similar role aspects to those identified in the
other four categories (e. g., parents selected the best
service and used the service, wanted to know what was
happening for their child, monitored and supported
their ECEC service). However, what makes this con
ception distinctive is that these parents saw themselves
as a member of a service community. Parents expressing
this conception talked about working together and the
benefits of a sense of community and social connected
ness. Parents looked for opportunities to be involved,
were proactive in seeking information and sharing their
views, and expected to be included in service decision
making, particularly where this was likely to impact on
their child and family. This category reflects a shift in
emphasis from self (i.e. own child and family) to a wider
social context and the shared benefits of parent involve
1In this paper, early childhood education and care (ECEC) is used to refer to formal education and care services prior to school entry (e.g.
centrebased long day care, preschool, homebased family day care) and includes outside school hours care services.
No Category label What is focal for parents
(referential aspect)?
1 The service The role of parents is seen as selecting
user concep and using the best service for their child
tion (illustrated by excerpts from interview
with Parent 1)
2 The informed The role of parents is seen as knowing
user concep what's happening for their child in the
tion service
3 The consumer The role of parents is seen as paying for
conception a service, and, thereby, enacting certain
consumer rights
4 The partnership The role of parents is seen as supporting
conception the service they have selected for their
child and having some say in what hap
pens for their child in the service
5 The member of The role of parents is seen as working as
a service com a member of the service community for
munity ECEC the benefit of all concerned which
includes participating in service deci
sionmaking (illustrated by excerpts
from interview with Parent 2)
Table 1
Categories of description denoting different ways
of experiencing the role of parents in ECEC
КУЛЬТУРНОИСТОРИЧЕСКАЯ ПСИХОЛОГИЯ 2015. Т. 11. № 3
CULTURALHISTORICAL РSYCHOLOGY 2015. Vol. 11, no. 3
78
ment in ECEC for all concerned — children, families,
educators and the broader community.
In the following two sections, the same data set is
analysed, firstly through the lens of Conversation analy
sis [20], and then, through the lens of culturalhistorical
theory [26; 27; 28].
2. Conversation analysis: zooming in
Conversation analysis (CA) originated through the
work of Harvey Sacks [20] and his colleagues Emanuel
Schegloff and Gail Jefferson [21] in the field of sociolo
gy. The intellectual roots of CA include phenomenolog
ical sociology [23], ordinary language philosophy [29]
and ethnomethodology [8]. Ethnomethodology was
particularly influential; Garfinkel argued that sociology
must attend to the competent ways people bring about
their social worlds and CA provided a means for sys
tematically explicating how this is accomplished
through talk in interaction.
CA requires sequential analysis. This involves "proof
procedure" [22] whereby a single turn in a sequence is con
sidered to accomplish a social action frequently made rele
vant by a prior action and, in turn, to provide for some next
relevant action. Analysis is of the individual turn, how it
responds to a prior turn and how it occasions some next
preferred turn (that will display an interpretation of the
previous turn). Talk is normative; constructions of turns
display orientations to preferred next turns or provide dis
plays that indicate a dispreferred response will follow.
Conversation analysts approach recordings and
transcripts in specific ways. Jefferson notation system
[3] was developed for the purpose of making features of
talk "visible". The system enables transcripts to encode
particularities of talk such intonation and silences with
in and between turns. Transcription of such details are
essential for explicating how people accomplish social
actions through talk.
Transcription is regarded as part of analysis and
requires movement between a recording and the devel
oping transcript. Analysts return to recordings during
analysis, unlike in some methodological approaches
where analysis is of a transcript once it is developed.
Transcripts are cited extensively. Accordingly, the
analysis that follows draws on the transcripts, although
access to the original recordings would be necessary to
develop detailed CA transcripts.
Analysis
The interviewer's initial question (line 1) orients to
the role of Parent 1 as a user of services. This causes
interactional trouble [20].
1 I: Okay, you've used a few services FDC and
OSHC.
2 What is your role as a parent using those
services?
3 P: What do you mean, my role
The parent doesn't provide an answer but seeks clar
ification through asking a question (2). Conversation
analysts refer to this as the insertion of a question
[22] — necessary here for the parent to be able to pro
vide an answer once the meaning of "my role" is sorted.
The interviewer responds to the question as a prob
lem of not understanding the reference to "role" so pro
vides an alternative question ("Well, what do you do?").
She specifies selection of services as something the par
ent did, thus provides a concrete example and requests
that the parent talk about that.
4 I: Well, what do you do? You've selected these
5 services. Can you start by talking to me about
6 that?
7 P: Yeah, I'm just trying to remember how I actually
8 got on to FDC in the first place. Someone did
9 mention it to me. Anyhow. It was like that, and I
10 always had a bit of a thing with child care
11 centres. I'm not real keen on them. So, it just
12 seemed a better alternative at the time, and
13 it seems to have worked out.
A requst makes agreement relevant as a preferred
response. The parent provides this ("yeah") and then
takes an extended turn to describe how a particular
service was initially selected. He glosses over unremem
bered details while confirming that someone told him
about it. The parent adds additional information that
was part of the consideration a personal issue with
child care centres. Again, "bit of a thing" (10) glosses the
problem and avoids providing details other than not
being "keen on them" (11). So talk introduces a person
al consideration as to why family day care was a better
alternative. The use of "just" downplays the selection
process and then two assessments are provided; one
made in the past ("a better alternative at the time") and
the second in hindsight (13).
The interviewer accepts the parent's account formu
lating it as making a choice "in terms of that" (14—15)
with "that" indexing the parent's issue. She then shifts
her talk to the related topic of "ongoing role" (15). This
displays her understanding that what "role" means has
been clarified through discussion of the service selection
and she can pursue further talk about the parent's role.
14 I:
So you selected FDC and made a choice in terms of
15 that. Do you have an ongoing role?
16 P: Um. Oh, not really. I just pick him up and drop
17 him off and say how are you going to whoever it
18 is and that's probably really the end of it.
The question about ongoing role makes a yes/no
response relevant. The parent shows his hearing that
agreement is the preferred response. Rather than pro
viding that, the response "not really" is preceded by
"um" and "oh" (16) — harbingers of a dispreferred
response since they delay the final provision of his
answer and the words "not really" mitigate a 'baldfaced'
negative response ("no"). The description that follows
provides a matteroffact account — picking up, drop
ping off and polite greetings. The final comment again
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Ирвин С., Дэвидсон К., Вересов Н., Адамс М., Деви А. Призмы концепций: опыт анализа...
79
delays that this is "the end of it" by prefacing it with
"probably really".
The researcher's next question (19) topicalizes what
happens during the day. Thus it raises something not
considered in the parent's response. It's a direct ques
tion requiring a yes/no answer. The response "oh yeah"
(21) indicates a realization, and acceptance, that the
interviewer is suggesting that what happens during the
day is of relevance.
19 I:
Do you want to know anything about what happens
20 during the day?
21 P: Oh, yeah. Well, if something happens, the lady
22 who runs it down there would tell me anyway. So,
23 if I don't hear anything, I assume everything
25 is okay.
26 I: Can I ask you why not? (Discussing why parent
does not complete service surveys)
27 P Like I said, I'm looking after my little space and
28 unless there's a great problem with that
29 I do not see need to do anything about it.
The substance of the parent's response places the
responsibility for what happens in the day onto a staff
member who "runs it" and implies his own right to
assume that everything is okay unless he is told other
wise. In this way, the parent makes clear that the hand
ing over of his child passes responsibility to staff.
Therefore, the parent's talk indicates what happens in
the day is an aspect of the ongoing role of providers of
the service rather than of his ongoing role as user of that
service.
Overall, the sometimes matterof fact responses of
Parent 1 can be understood in relation to the interac
tional accomplishment of the interview itself. The par
ent is "heard" to engage with the interviewer's question
ing about role, not understood initially, and to resist
attempts to cast "role" as encompassing what happens
during the day. In this sense, the parent answers the ini
tial question (1) over a number of turns and presents his
use of the service as involving a clear delineation
between his role and that of staff.
In the second interview, the interviewer indicates
"selecting the service" as the topic and probes for infor
mation with a "how" question (12). The answer
describes what Parent 2 thought the selected service
would provide (46).
1 I: Let's start with selecting the service. How did
2 you go about that?
3 P: ... And, so, I chose one that I thought would
4 provide the best care, like the best experiences
5 for him, and he's in the optimal learning
6 experience...Yeah. Like mostly, wherever I've
7 gone, it seems I become good friends. Like I get
8 to know them (staff) really well, and sit down
9 and talk to them.
Expressions provide assessment of services sought
although gloss what makes for the "best experiences" or
"optimal learning experiences". The parent projects her
self as a good parent who knows and wants what is best
for her child and a parent who goes out of her way to get
to know staff.
The interviewer shifts the talk to another aspect of
service use — being able to have a say about its opera
tion. Her yes/no interrogative results in a confirmation.
10 I: In the services that you've used, have you
11 ever had opportunity to have a say on how the
12 service operated.
13 P: Yes.
14 I: Can you tell me about some of those opportu
nities?
15 P: When they were going to introduce the um, put the
16 video cameras in, and getting parent's point
17 of view.
::
20 They sent you out a survey sheet.
21 But, it actually did not give you any opportunity
to say whether you did or did not want it in
the centre.
22 We approached all the staff and let them know.
::
24 And then we had a meeting…
::
26 And then they had a meeting and put that to the
people who owned the centre.
::
::
33 ...And I've also attended, they used to have
34 parent nights and also like, P&C meeting type
35 things, and I've also gone to those. But hardly
36 any parents ever turn up.
The interviewer requests specific information and
Parent 2 provides this with a detailed description of the
installation of video cameras (omitted here for brevity's
sake) and then reference to parent nights. In describing
her attendance she produces a comparison with other par
ents categorising herself with the minority who turn up.
The interviewer asks for further information about
the meetings — the part of the parent's talk that was less
detailed and the parent elaborates on her own qualities
as a parent and user of services. Central to the interview
is talk by Parent 2 that produces her as a particular kind
of parent.
37 I: Why did you go to those meetings?
38 P: Because I like to know what's happening, and
39 I like to be involved. Because, I think if
40 you're involved, you have some sort of say in
41 how your kids...what's happening to them. And,
42 if there are problems with your kid, then, I
43 don't know. They're more likely to treat your
44 children differently if you're involved, than
45 a parent that never comes along, and I don't
know,
46 just drops her kid off and picks them up.
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80
::
49 I believe that public schools can be just as good
as private schools.
50 It's the amount of interaction that parents have
with those schools.
::
52 I think a really good P&C makes a really good
school
53 because it involves all the parents and
54 it provides a sense of community for people.
55 And I think that community then helps kids
56 I: How?
57 P: Like back in the olden days, like you had your
extended family.
58 But a lot of people don't have extended family
these days.
59 They have to rely on nextdoor neighbours or
friends they've met to provide that…
::
60: And kids grow up with the sense of belonging.
62 I: And you think that parents can provide that by
working with schools?
63: P: That's right. Because it shows to the kids that
their parents are interested in school and
64: interested in what they're doing
::
72 Summing up… Like I said, I am a parent
73 and I am trying to watch out for my kids.
74 So I want to be able to shape their world
The parent not only describes her own qualities —
likes being informed and being involved — she explains
their importance by linking being involved to having
"some sort of say". She poses the scenario of how staff
will react to problems and, although twice claiming not
to know, she asserts that staff treat children differently if
"you're involved" (44). She then provides a description
of another kind of parent — who doesn't come along,
drops her "kid" off and picks them up (4546). This
description, and use of comparison, implies that it is of a
parent who is not involved. Her description of being
involved takes account of how that involvement is inter
preted by the staff. Thus, she invokes perceptions of par
ents by staff as directly impacting on the provision of
care, and constructs herself as a particular kind of parent.
3. Culturalhistorical theory: Zooming out
In the following section the data sets have been
analysed using a culturalhistorical methodology as sug
gested by Hedegaard and Fleer [10]. This methodology
has its origins with Vygotsky [26; 27; 28], and Leontiev
[13]. Theoretical concepts developed within a cultural
historical framework are not pure abstractions. They are
analytical lenses utilised as tools which allow recon
struction of the process of cultural development in its
dynamic and complex form within sociocultural con
texts. Through utilising Culturalhistorical analytical
lenses we are provided with opportunities to analyse the
data collected from a developmental perspective and
have selected the concept of the "social situation of
development" (SSD) [28, p. 198] as the most appropri
ate analytical tool for the data provided.
The SSD is not a concrete empirical situation in
which the child exists and acts; the content of this theo
retical concept is much more complex and related to
development.
It is a unique relation between the child and their
social reality. This means that different children in the
same social situation have different social situations of
development dependent upon the social interactions
that the child is involved with.
It represents the initial moment of all dynamic
changes that occur in the child's development. This
means that the child's individual developmental trajec
tory depends on social contexts that the child actively
participates in and interacts with.
It determines wholly and completely the forms and
the path along which the child will acquire ever newer
personal characteristics, drawing them from the social,
the path along which the social becomes the individual.
This means that the social situation is the source of indi
vidual development as a dialectical process of interrela
tions of the social and the individual.
The task here is not to provide a complete analysis
using a culturalhistorical theoretical lens; an example is
provided to showcase how only one theoretical concept
(SSD) is potentially used as an analytical tool to sup
port better understanding of the positions of these two
parents as portrayed in the data provided. This presents
a zooming out from the analysis and allows an opening
of new layers and dimensions of data. In this particular
case the concept of SSD potentially allows viewing of
the child's perspective followed by the sociocultural,
socioeconomic and political contexts where the posi
tion of parents exist and finally the dialectics of change
in the social role and the position of the parents.
Culturalhistorical analysis
Hedegaard and Fleer [10] propose three levels of
analysis. The initial analysis is termed common sense
interpretation, based on the researcher's understanding
of the interactions in the specific activity settings. The
second level of analysis is situated practice where "dom
inating motives, patterns of interaction, and problems
can be explicated" [10, p. 58]. The final level is the the
matic analysis, which includes the theoretical analysis
and presupposes special analytical tools. In relation to
the data presented, the most appropriate tool for this
analysis is the concept of the SSD.
Thematic analysis
According to Hedegaard and Fleer [10] the child's
perspective is set in the social situation which includes
the setting of the ECEC service, the demands from the
educator and the intention of the child focusing on
motives, realised through conflicts. Therefore, as an ana
Irvine S., Davidson C., Veresov N., Adams M., Devi A. Lenses and Lessons: Using...
Ирвин С., Дэвидсон К., Вересов Н., Адамс М., Деви А. Призмы концепций: опыт анализа...
81
lytical tool, educators, parents and the child's data come
together to present the child's perspective. The data
provides some indication of the parent's perspective,
which potentially supports our understanding of the
significant differences between two SSD. As the SSD is
a relation of the child and social reality, this provides
the possibility to infer the type of social situation the
child lives in. Parent 1 does not show an interest in the
child's life at the ECEC service ("pick him up and drop
him off"); the child's voice is not heard ("So, if I don't
hear anything, I assume everything is okay"); the parent
is not interested in completing a service survey ("I don't
see the need to do anything about it"). So, the data pro
vides some evidence of a particular type of SSD for the
child of Parent 1. In contrast, Parent 2's interview pro
vides some evidence different type of social situation.
This parent is actively involved in activities in the
ECEC service ("if you're involved, you have some sort
of say in how your kids...what's happening to them")
and the parent believes it is beneficial to the child
("They're more likely to treat your children different
ly"). So, the SSD of Parent 2's child is different; what is
potentially beneficial for the child is taken into account
("I want to be able to shape their world").
Second, the concept of SSD allows the possibility to
consider the sociocultural, socioeconomic and politi
cal contexts. Analysing the data from this perspective, it
becomes clear that the position of the parent depends on
the context of their individual social situation, values,
beliefs and previous experiences. While there is not
enough data reflecting Parent 1's social context, it can
be inferred that this parent has difficulties in identifying
his role as a parent using the service ("What do you
mean, my role?"). The child's everyday life in the ECEC
service is not his area of interest ("I'm looking after my
little space"). Cooperation and consistent relations with
the service and educators is not the main interest ("I'm
not real keen on them"). Parent 1's vocabulary consists
of 'I' and reference to himself; it is inferred that this par
ent is basing his choice of service on what suits him,
with little mention of the child.
With Parent 2, the data provides some indication of
a different context defining the role of the parent.
Parent 2 takes responsibility for the child's learning and
development in selecting the ECEC service ("one that I
thought would provide the best care, … the optimal
learning experience"). Longterm relations with the
educators are an important component of the SSD of
the child ("I get to know them (staff) really well, and sit
down and talk to them"). It is inferred that this may be
the result of a wider context of beliefs and responsibili
ties of parenthood ("Because it shows the kids that their
parents are interested in school and interested in what
they're doing"). The importance and value of belonging
to the community as a component of the cultural and
social context is clearly indicated ("It involves all the
parents and it provides a sense of community for peo
ple… community then helps kids"). The data provides an
indication of a strong family context that informs the
position of Parent 2 ("…like you had your extended fam
ily…. [today] they have to rely on nextdoor neighbours
or friends … And kids grow up with the sense of belong
ing"). And finally, the data shows some indication of the
socioeconomic context and beliefs of Parent 2
("I believe that public schools can be just as good as pri
vate schools. It's the amount of interaction that parents
have with those schools").
The parent's position as a component of the SSD is
not stable, it has a history; it changes over time depend
ing on the changing context of the situation. The data
does not provide any individual/family histories of
Parent 1 and 2; however, there are some pieces, which
indicate the dynamics of the relationships between
these parents and their ECEC services. Thus, Parent 1
describes briefly ("I always had a bit of a thing with
child care centres"). On the other hand, Parent 2's inter
view reflects some history of the relationship ("We
approached all the staff and let them know. …And then
we had a meeting… they had a meeting and put that to
the people who owned the centre"). Parent 2's vocabu
lary included the use of a "sense of community", "the
child's sense of belonging", "extended family", "next
door neighbours" which represents the collective "we"
instead of individual "I". Participant 2 values parental
participation suggesting it will help the children to feel
the importance of attending school and respect it more
allowing the shaping of the child's world.
Findings and Discussion: Lenses
Phenomenography lens
Applying a phenomongraphic lens to the data illumi
nated five qualitatively different ways of experiencing
the role of parents in ECEC that are logically, and in
this case, hierarchically related. The categories of
description make visible all of the ways of experiencing
the role of parents in ECEC amongst this group of par
ents and similarities and critical differences between dif
ferent ways of experiencing this role. Critical differences
were related to:
whether parents perceived an ongoing role;
the motivation for parent participation (i.e. indi
vidualistic or collective benefits);
the nature of the role of parents (i.e. passive, reac
tive, proactive);
perceptions of personal responsibility and the
responsibilities of others;
perceptions of what constitutes parent participa
tion.
In phenomenography, the focus is on collective expe
rience and the sum of the parts is seen to provide deep
er insight into the whole phenomenon of interest. In
terms of practical application, the discernment of varia
tion and critical differences between ways of experienc
ing the same thing offers a foundation for learning [17].
In this instance, this could be supporting parents to
learn more about the different roles they can play in
their child's ECEC service. In addition, teacher reflec
tion on the different ways of experiencing this role may
КУЛЬТУРНОИСТОРИЧЕСКАЯ ПСИХОЛОГИЯ 2015. Т. 11. № 3
CULTURALHISTORICAL РSYCHOLOGY 2015. Vol. 11, no. 3
82
provide the basis for diverse strategies to optimise
parental participation while respecting variation in
needs and expectations.
Conversation analysis lens
The CA perspective highlights the ways that views
provided by research participants cannot be separated
from the interactional accomplishment of the research
interview itself. That is, aspects of the interview orient
ed to by interviewer and research participant are inte
grally related to the topic under discussion. In this case,
how parents talked with the interviewer about their role
as users of early childhood services produced differing
accounts of what counts as achieving quality child care
services. For one parent it was being able to takefor
granted that suitable care was being provided and for
the other it was interacting purposefully to bring about
appropriate and differentiated care for her child.
Although an analysis has been provided from the CA
perspective, to bring CA to bear more fully on data
requires closer attention to the original recordings. This
highlights then that within qualitative research,
researcher have very different ways of "working with"
recorded data to develop transcripts, and hold differing
perspectives on what are data and how to approach their
analysis [7].
Culturalhistorical lens
The first finding from the data sets shows that there
are two different parental perspectives, which provide
varied social situations for the children. Parent 1 uses
the term "I" consistently and analysis supports Irvine's
[12] finding that he is an individual consumer. Parent 2
consistently uses the term "we" and "community" and
analysis suggests she is a social activist. These different
parental perspectives afford different paths of develop
ment for each child. According to Vygotsky [26], these
two situations provide different developmental trajecto
ries where development is a dialectical process, as the
social becomes the individual. However, it is not possi
ble to provide a conclusion concerning all of the dynam
ic changes that occur in the child's development, as the
data set is limited.
The second finding provides information regarding
different parental perspectives and their personal under
standing of roles in relation to using ECEC services.
Drawing on the concept of the SSD allows considera
tion of the context of the parent's role and their position
within sociocultural, socioeconomic and political con
texts. Although the data does not provide a history of
the changing positions for each parent, taking a cultural
historical lens, it can be seen that the parent's position
as a component of the SSD changes over time depend
ing on the changing context. A culturalhistorical theo
retical framework allows the researcher to look at the
data as dynamic in order to identify the changes, turn
ing points and dramatic collisions in social relations and
between social relations [25]. Instead of the classical
"objects under study", culturalhistorical theory pro
vides the system of analytical tools as "processes under
study" [27, p. 43]. Every social position has a history of
its becoming, the dialectics of present, past and the
future.
Overall the SSD is an important concept in cultural
historical theory to analyse data in different sociocul
tural, socioeconomic contexts. The concept analysed
two parents' different social positions in order to show
their role and perspective in the same social context.
Conclusion: Lessons
The primary purpose of our research collaboration
was to learn more about each other's preferred research
perspective, while considering the benefits and chal
lenges of working with multiple research perspectives
on any given research project. So, what have we
learned? Reflective of the findings of others [11; 24], our
work together emphasises the idiosyncratic nature of
the selected research perspectives, and how each per
spective shapes and influences the research process and
outcomes. The original application of a phenomeno
graphic perspective naturally influenced the questions
asked, the nature of the data collected and the analyses
produced. The challenge and limitations of 'retrofit
ting' different research perspectives to an existing data
set became clear early in the collaboration and high
lighted the need for collaborative researchers to have a
general appreciation of each other's approach. For
example, while all of the research perspectives can work
with interview data, the lack of access to the original
audiorecorded interviews and absence of more contex
tual information impeded the application of
Conversation analysis and Cultural historical analysis.
As suggested by Abes [1], our collaboration has also
enhanced our understanding of own research perspec
tives, including strengths, limitations and opportunities
to improve our research. As Slaughter et al., [24] con
tend, collaborations such as this provide opportunity to
build researcher capacity, that is, not to become instant
experts in each other's approaches but to gain new
insights into our own. For example, the Conversation
analysis provided a finegrained analysis of the inter
view talk in interaction, emphasising the dialectic rela
tionship between the researcher and participant, inter
view questions and responses. Such analysis highlights
the way that views provided in any research interview
are influenced by the way questions are asked and
answers received — verbally and nonverbally — and
identifies opportunities for improved interview tech
niques. In addition, working with data where we were
not involved in conception of the research project and
collection of data means we do not obtain the full
nuance of what and how conversations are manifested
purely from the written form and therefore different
interpretations occur.
Irvine S., Davidson C., Veresov N., Adams M., Devi A. Lenses and Lessons: Using...
Ирвин С., Дэвидсон К., Вересов Н., Адамс М., Деви А. Призмы концепций: опыт анализа...
83
Finally, while the focus of this investigation has
been the research process rather than the research
topic, findings here demonstrate how different research
perspectives can work together to strengthen research
and to enhance understanding of a phenomenon of
interest, such as the role of parents in ECEC. While
applying different 'width' lenses, and looking into the
data in search of different things, our shared findings
make visible two different parental perspectives and
provide insight into how these parents understand
their roles, responsibilities and relationship with their
ECEC service. At the same time, different perspectives
raised new questions, for example, the influence of the
broader sociocultural context of these families on chil
dren's learning and parent participation within the
ECEC service. To realise these benefits, our experience
points to the critical need for advance planning, careful
attention to the selection of the different research per
spectives and collection of shared data that fulfils the
distinct requirements of each approach. A critical suc
cess factor here is that all researchers commence with a
general appreciation of each research perspective, and
agree to respect and preserve the distinctive aims and
features of each perspective.
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and recycling: An investigation of three analytical approaches
to qualitative data in education research. Qualitative Research,
2014, pp. 1—16. DOI: 10.1177/1468794114538896
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Childhood Education and Care: A phenomenographic study
from Queensland, Australia. Doctoral thesis, Brisbane:
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CULTURALHISTORICAL РSYCHOLOGY 2015. Vol. 11, no. 3
84
Призмы концепций: опыт анализа исследования
в области дошкольного образования с точки зрения
трех различных подходов
С. Ирвин*,
Квинслендский технологический университет, Австралия,
s.irvine@qut.edu.au
К. Дэвидсон**,
Университет Чарльза Стёрта, Австралия,
cdavidson@csu.edu.au
Н. Вересов***,
Университет Монаш, Австралия,
nveresov@hotmail.com
М. Адамс****,
Университет Монаш, Австралия
megan.adams@monash.edu
А. Деви*****,
Университет Монаш, Австралия,
Anamika.devi@monash.edu
В современных западных исследованиях сотрудничество между учеными ценится очень высоко, одна
ко для ученых, придерживающихся различных теоретических подходов, использовать эту активно разви
вающуюся в последнее время практику бывает затруднительно. Тем не менее, несмотря на все сложности,
попытка проанализировать данные одного и того же исследования сквозь призму нескольких концепций
может оказаться весьма полезным опытом. Авторы настоящей статьи, работающие в рамках разных подхо
дов, предприняли подобную попытку с тем, чтобы узнать чуть больше о научном мировоззрении и интер
претациях друг друга, нежели для того, чтобы вмиг стать экспертами по другим подходам. Анализируемые
данные представляют собой несколько интервью с родителями дошкольников, проведенных в рамках бо
лее крупного исследования, посвященного дошкольному образованию в Австралии. В статье приводится
анализ фрагментов двух интервью с точки зрения трех различных подходов: феноменографии, конверса
ционного анализа и культурноисторической теории. Результаты настоящей работы показывают, что ис
пользование сразу нескольких концептуальных «линз» для анализа данных позволяет не только поразно
му их проинтерпретировать, но и увидеть сильные и слабые стороны этих интерпретаций, а также откры
вающиеся возможности. В статье утверждается, что практика сотрудничества между учеными, придержи
вающимися разных научных взглядов, обогащает их представления о разнообразных принципах и методах
работы, расширяя возможности и повышая уровень и качество исследования.
Ключевые слова: дошкольный возраст, исследовательские позиции, феноменография, конверсаци
онный анализ, культурноисторическая теория.
*
Сьюзен Ирвин, кандидат наук (PhD), колледж дошкольного детства, факультет образования, Квинслендский техноло
гический университет, Австралия. Email: s.irvine@qut.edu.au
** Кристина Дэвидсон, кандидат наук (PhD), старший преподаватель, колледж образования, факультет образования,
Университет Чарльза Стёрта, Австралия. Email: cdavidson@csu.edu.au
*** Николай Вересов, кандидат психологических наук, доцент, факультет образования, Университет Монаш, Австралия.
Email: nveresov@hotmail.com
**** Меган Адамс, аспирантка, Университет Монаш, Австралия. Email: megan.adams@monash.edu
***** Анамика Деви, аспирантка, кафедра дошкольного образования, Университет Монаш, Австралия. Email: Anamika.
devi@monash.edu
Для цитаты:
Ирвин С., Дэвидсон К., Вересов Н., Адамс М., Деви А. Призмы концепций: опыт анализа исследования в области до
школьного образования с точки зрения трех различных подходов // Культурноисторическая психология. 2015. Т. 11.
№ 3. С. 75—85. doi: 10.17759/chp.2015110307
Irvine S., Davidson C., Veresov N., Adams M., Devi A. Lenses and Lessons: Using...
Ирвин С., Дэвидсон К., Вересов Н., Адамс М., Деви А. Призмы концепций: опыт анализа...
85
Литература
1. Abes E. Theoretical Borderlands: Using multiple theo
retical perspectives to challenge inequitable power structures
in student development theory // Journal of College Student
Development. 2009. Vol. 50 (2). P. 141—156.
2. Akerlind G.S. Variation and commonality in phenom
enographic research methods // Higher Education Research
and Development. 2005. Vol. 24(4). P. 321—334.
3. Atkinson J.M., Heritage J. Jefferson's transcript notation.
In: Jaworski A., Coupland N.(eds.). The Discourse Reader.
Routledge. London; New York, 1999. P. 158—166.
4. Bowden J.A. Experience of phenomenographic research:
A personal account. In: Bowden J. and Walsh. E. (eds.).
Phenomenography. Melbourne: RMIT, 2000. P. 47—61.
5. Burck C. Comparing qualitative research methodologies
for systematic research: the use of grounded theory. discourse
analysis and narrative analysis // Journal of Family Therapy.
2005. Vol. 27. P. 237—262.
6. Collier D.R., Moffat L. and Perry M. Talking. wrestling.
and recycling: An investigation of three analytical aProaches
to qualitative data in education research // Qualitative
Research. 2014. P. 1—16. DOI: 10.1177/1468794114538896.
7. Davidson C. Transcription: Imperatives for qualitative
research // International // Journal of Qualitative Methods.
2009. Vol. 88(2). P. 35—62.
8. Garfinkel H. Studies in ethnomethodology. Toronto:
PrenticeHall, 1967. 304 p.
9. Green J., Harker J. Multiple perspective analyses of classroom
discourse. Norwood; N.J: Ablex Publishing Corporation, 1988. 360 p.
10. Hedegaard M., Fleer M. Studying Children: A Cultural
Historical Aproach. New York: McGaw Hill Open University
Press, 2008. 232 p.
11. Honan E., Knobel M., Barker C. and Davis B. Producing
possible Hannahs: theory and the subject of research //
Qualitative Inquiry. 2000. Vol. 6(9). P. 9—32.
12. Irvine S. Parent conceptions of their role in Early
Childhood Education and Care: A phenomenographic study
from Queensland. Australia. Doctoral thesis. Brisbane:
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КУЛЬТУРНОИСТОРИЧЕСКАЯ ПСИХОЛОГИЯ 2015. Т. 11. № 3
CULTURALHISTORICAL РSYCHOLOGY 2015. Vol. 11, no. 3
... The recorded material was transcribed into electronic files. Beyond the dialogues, the transcription process involved supplementary elements such as pauses in speech, changes in voice tonality, sounds that children made (Davidson, 2009;Irvine et al., 2015). Data was also collected through the production of drawings by the children during the discussions. ...
... b) The second level of analysis involves situated practice interpretation based on the emergence of conceptual links and correlations between the results obtained from the analysis of individual cases in the first level of analysis. At this level, the analysis was conducted, to determine qualitative differences in the way in which children experienced each joint science-oriented activity (Irvine et al., 2015). Interpretations across data sets were allowed through this process. ...
... c) The third level of analysis is interpretation in a thematic level where theoretical concepts are used as analytical tools to interpret the data. At this level, a theoretical analysis based on the concept of perezhivanie was carried out to find a conceptual pattern that explains the dialectical relationship between the diverse aspects of a child's development during the process of forming the concept of clouds (Irvine et al., 2015). Interpretations in an advanced and abstract level were allowed through this process. ...
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Volume I contains the lectures of Fall 1964 through Fall 1967, in which Sacks explores a great variety of topics, from suicide to children's games to Medieval Hell as a nemonic device to pronouns and paradoxes. But two key issues emerge: rules of conversational sequencing - central to the articulation of interaction, and membership categorization devices - central to the social organization of knowledge. This volume culminates in the extensive and formal explication of turn-taking which Sacks delivered in Fall, 1967. Volume II contains the lectures of Spring 1968 through Spring 1972. Again he touches on a wide range of subjects, such as the poetics of ordinary talk, the integrative function of public tragedy, and pauses in spelling out a word. He develops a major new theme: storytelling in converstion, with an attendant focus on topic. His investigation of conversational sequencing continues, and this volume culminates in the elegant dissertation on adjacency pairs which Sacks delivered in Spring, 1972. © 1992, 1995 by The Estate of Harvey Sacks. All rights reserved.