Research Process: Reflection #1

Outside of flying, anytime I travelled to Vancouver from Alberta we would take the Trans-Canada/Coquihalla route. A beautiful trip on a great highway and even though the trip was long the sights are always so stunning that time goes by quickly. A few summers ago, we planned a trip to Victoria and needed to attend a wedding in Waterton just prior to our trip. We decided to combine the two trips and left for the coast directly from Waterton.

The people I spoke to prior to leaving gave me mixed reviews. Some talked about the beauty, some spoke of the perils of single lane traffic on the #3, some highlighted places I needed to check out and still others told me I was crazy and that I wouldn’t save any real time. In the end we decided to approach the trip with open minds. Being teachers and it being July, we also decided that we would not rush the trip at all. We would stop when we felt like stopping, if we saw something interesting we would pause to check it out. If we wanted to stay an extra night somewhere, we would.

As I embark on my research, I am reminded of this trip. I’m going down a road I haven’t travelled before; like others I’m not sure how hard the transcribing is going to be or how good I’m going to be at interviewing or whether or not my questions are any good. I’ve read lots, many people have “told” me what the experience will be like, but until I’ve been down the road, I will not truly understand.

The groundwork for me is finished. Permissions granted, consents received. This part was surprisingly easy and I feel that I have a nice cross-section of people to interview. My project is a qualitative study of four teachers engaged at various stages of a District wide professional development project. My hope is to better understand how these initiatives are perceived by teachers and to learn a bit about what they perceive “effectiveness” to mean. I certainly have some concerns about whether some of my participants have had enough time/experience to reflect on their involvement in the project, but at the same time I think this will offer an interesting contrast with those that are involved for the second year.

My first interview is on Tuesday and I am busy preparing for that: reviewing my questions, testing my recording device(s). Like others, I’m anxious to get started and to see (hopefully) some patterns emerge from my data.

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