These reflections modify both how a teacher conceives teaching, as well as the orientations for teaching themselves. Personal educational knowledge consequently incorporates strategies for teaching as well as strategies for reflection. How personal educational knowledge of teachers is structured and used in and out of teaching has been an ongoing topic of educational research. However, empirical research yet struggles to illustrate patterns in which personal educational knowledge is mobilised for teaching.
An illustration of such patterns requires fieldwork to focus on practices of distancing from classroom interaction, and see how teachers relate to teaching in reflection and in planning. Thus, orientations for teaching continually transform by moving in and out of teaching to adapt to a specific class context. Empirical fieldwork can trace these transformations. Fieldwork on classroom interaction may employ videography to enable us to systematically review and analyse situated practice and reconstruct practical orientations.
Fieldwork that follows personal practices in which a teacher distances herself from classroom and thinks about events may reach out to personal technologies, and these technologies can support fieldwork and enable us to make sense of how a teacher scaffolds teaching in reflection. The distinction of personal and practical educational knowledge outlined here puts two kinds of practices into the focus of fieldwork on knowledge transformation: On the one side, fieldwork should attend to practices of involvement of teachers and practical educational knowledge in classroom interaction.
On the other side, fieldwork should attend to practices of detachment and reflective educational knowing embedded in teacher narratives. Both fieldwork domains document figurations of knowledge transformation. The subsequent main body of this article gives an outline of these domains and explores technological possibilities for fieldwork on knowledge transformations.
The fieldwork domains outlined could result in fields expanded through classical ethnographic fieldwork. Direct participation and observation are personal technologies used by a researcher to develop situated understandings. However, direct participation and subsequent field notes and considerations entail situated attention and discrimination and might lead to unwanted bias.
This is one reason to use technological tools into fieldwork strategies: Technology allows video and audio recordings, which were largely unavailable during the initial development of ethnographic fieldwork strategies. Audio and video recording tools enrich the construction of a data set, and one data set may now include field notes as well as audio and video recordings and transcripts. Technological possibilities complement classical ethnographic fieldwork and provide an augmented focus on practices of involved teaching and practices of detached reflection on teaching: Practices of involved teaching are what we can observe in class, and we can accompany observations with videographies to augment the situated attention of the researcher with video recordings that document teacher actions, statements and attentions.
Practices of detached reflection on teaching become the focus in interviews in which we can involve with teachers who may then elaborate on their teaching. Videographies allow us to recall events together with teachers and enable them to revisit what happened. Fieldwork can also include video diaries, as video diaries can provide a bridge between the sphere of working at school and the sphere of working at home. While fieldwork on practices of involvement discretely link to the stage of classroom interactions, fieldwork that focuses on practices of detachment may encompass a broader array of stages.
Each of these stages may provide different reflections in which teachers elaborate on their teaching and introduce orientations they draw on. The following sections explore possible stages of fieldwork, reflect on the fields established through them, point out knowledge documented within them, and locate it in the process of knowledge transformation. Involved teaching in class relies on situated performance. Practical educational knowledge maintains this performance, and teachers draw on this practical knowledge continually to act in respect to the situation, events and student actions.
A teacher cannot predict events due to the contingency of classroom interaction and the contexts in which this interaction takes place. Consequently, teachers learn to deal with insecurity and unpredictability and to act flexibly. Reflection in action is characterised as episodic step back from the natural state of knowing because the situation requires additional attention. It takes place when routine patterns seem inappropriate to achieve a goal. The process of reflection in action starts with an experience of surprise and confusion in respect to a tacit aspect of a situation and gives attention to situational peculiarities in order to comprehend this aspect and handle it.
In the process of reflection in action, teacher do not separate aims and ways for teaching but set them up reciprocally to define a tacit aspect. Explicative assessment of an action as appropriate would require a teacher to reflect how to act professionally, which requires her to reflect the mode of reflection and enter regress. Reflection in action is immune to regress because it accommodates the singularity of a situated event and integrates subsidiary awareness into a focal awareness in order to experiment within in a situation.
Reflection in action establishes a tentative framing of the situation and openness for situated responses. This post-critical perspective locates professionalism in the ability of a teacher to act within a personal framing, to break out of this framing, and to reframe the situation. Expressions of that practical sense can be found in authentic classroom interactions that document situational attention and discriminations of teachers.
Participant observation enables a researcher to co-experience events and become sensitive to the implications of situated attention and action, and field notes enable researchers to document these observations. Thus, the effort to enter classroom culture by attendance and observation allows sensitisation to the emergence of orientations and shifts between knowing in action and reflecting in action. However, orientations for teaching tacitly guide attention, and these orientations are fundamentally distinct from practical educational knowledge.
These orientations are documented in action, and videography can provide the means to revisit review and reconstruct orientations for teaching. Being in the field, listening to participants, and experiencing events and interaction provide first-person experiences of forces within a field. These forces in a field are impossible to reconstruct from documents, as illustrated by Dreyfus, who gives an example of mastery in chess.
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In this connection, we can learn from [chess Grandmaster] Vladimir Nabokov. As Nabokov spells out brilliantly in The Defense, a chess master does not see the board as a propositional structure no matter how specific and contextual. This example illustrates the necessity of experience in the field, an argument backed by a conceptual consideration of Polanyi , p. Practitioners evidently believe more than they can prove, and know more than they can say. When we endorse this statement, we need to take a fiduciary approach to research: An experienced teacher can be trusted because she tacitly knows what she is doing, and similarly an ethnographer can be trusted because she knows what to look out for when doing participant observation.
However, ethnographers can use videography to revisit and reread data of naturally occurring discourse, and reconstruct tacit orientations of teachers embedded in their action. Videography provides data of authentic classroom interaction, conveys the synchronicity of actions and sequences of talk. Data collection with two camcorders set up at opposing corners of a classroom creates two perspectives on the classroom as a public sphere: One camcorder takes a frontal perspective on classroom interaction.
This perspective is similar to the acting teacher perspective and documents student actions in class. A second camcorder at the back of the classroom records teacher actions cf. Camcorders can be set up before the start of a lesson to sustain a regular order of events, and furthermore include initial interactions in the recording. Intrusion into the field can be minimised when both camcorders are set up stationary, and when they are set up before the start of a lesson.
Videographies can also be a resource for stimulated recalls to re-view classroom events together with teachers. Detached reflection on teaching reflects in stimulated recalls and narrative interviewing with teachers. Stimulated recall and interviewing both focus on the personal orientation framework for teaching, a framework that enables situated judgements of events in class. These personal orientations are documented in narrative attempts to order experience, and complement pragmatic attempts to order experience through practical orientation Messmer , p.
Bruner , p.
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The two though complementary are irreducible to one another". Personal orientations for teaching are cultivated in detached reflection on teaching — this may include thinking about previous classroom events, discussing events and perspectives with others, or reading about teaching, i. While teacher orientations used tacitly in classroom interaction can be analysed with data from videographies, classroom interaction itself does not allow a teacher to comment on her actions and introduce reflections in which she perceives classroom events.
Interviewing explores perceptions of events, since it provides communicative opportunity for a teacher to reflect on classroom events and actions. Such reflections provide time for a teacher to elaborate her understanding of an event, to reveal how she personally embeds an event within her horizon of orientations for teaching, and to explain how she delineates similarity and difference of events and experience in order to find an orientation appropriate for a specific classroom context.
A teacher can articulate perceptions as a narration on classroom events that introduces plausible ex-post explanations of situated knowing, and these explanations introduce personal orientations that also point to situated practical orientations. Ex-post explications document the educational horizon in which a teacher reflects and the analytical skills that scaffold classroom practice.
Narrative interviews on classroom events elicit personal educational knowledge because narrations oblige a teacher to complete, condense and detail lived experiences. Narrations in personal spontaneous language preserve form and syntax native to the personal culture of teaching in which teaching practice takes place.
These narrations also reflect personal patterns of knowledge, as well as acquired cultural norms of communication on teaching. Narrations help us to overcome barriers that can arise in data collection on tacit practical as well as personal knowledge, because a narrative approach levels the communicative field and creates shared meanings between the researcher and participant who may have difficulty to respond to more formal and rigid questioning.
Narrations provide a plot that reveals moral orientations, perceptions and motives for action in relation to classroom events, and thus are no mere lists of events, but an attempt to link events in time and meaning, perform ordering, and provide context for events, actions, and goals.
Penn Anthropology Colloquium: Kamari Clarke, 'Transforming Ethnographic Knowledge' (11/26/2012)
With respect to the transformation of educational knowledge, narrative interviews provide the opportunity to ask teachers to recount unusual situations and events. These unusual situations and events are likely to induce a switch between knowing and reflecting in action, and elicit narrations of experiences in which a teacher switched one orientation for another one. However, narrative interviewing needs to provide flexibility to accommodate new aspects of events that may emerge in a teacher narrative and connect them to an actual event in class. Stimulated recall supports this connection.
Stimulated recall provides the possibility to revisit classroom events, look at videographies collected in class, and talk about them with the teacher. Recalling classroom events allows teachers to explore these events again, describe aspects that they found relevant with respect to this situation, and elaborate on them. In stimulated recall, teachers may also revisit and discuss aspects that became relevant for the researcher in observations.
Such a recall will, with respect to the conceptual difference of personal knowledge and practical knowledge, not result in an explication of the situated judgement that a teacher relies on in teaching, but much rather generate retrospections. Retrospections provide differentiated descriptions of personal comprehension in situations, especially in professional fields that demand reflection on personal actions.
Such ex-post explanations document personal knowledge of a teacher with respect to the process in which she compares experiences and events, considers relevant contexts, and eliminates alternatives in order to find a suitable orientation for a specific situation. The relevance of narrations in stimulated recall highlighted here underlines that a narrative approach to fieldwork may sensibly embed stimulated recall. A narrative approach allows teachers to participate in selection and control of additional resources to recall events, and this cooperative approach reinforces the explanatory structuring of teachers as interview partners, which will itself point to personal orientations for teaching.
So, without a stimulated recall, interviews with teachers would only encompass events and strategies in the way that the teacher wants to talk about it. A review of events, actions and verbatim statements in class would be excluded, which would result in a retrospection with strong focus on the subjectivity of the teacher. Without embedding it in an elaborate narrative fieldwork strategy, stimulated recalls are in risk of strong structuring. This would jeopardise an opportunity for teachers to disclose personal knowledge, elaborate on contexts of interaction they consider as relevant, and outline strategies in which they performed ordering in a situation.
In this respect, technology may support, but cannot replace, classical strategies for ethnographic fieldwork. Reflection on teaching takes place in spaces within schools, and these reflections happen rather soon after teaching in a class — during a coffee break, in a chat with a colleague, or during a break in teaching. Interviews in schools capture teacher reflections soon after teaching, and provide an opportunity to sit down with a teacher and talk about their experience.
Interviews offer a field that allows discussion of these experiences. However, teachers do not limit their reflection to interviews.
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Teacher reflection reaches far beyond their work in school, for example when working at home to follow up the previous lesson and prepare for the next one. Fieldwork can address teacher reflection out of school by opening up another field, and diaries are one opportunity to do so.
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The areas of fieldwork outlined this far are temporally and spatially restricted to the classroom and to school, where researchers conventionally do their recording and interviewing. Fieldwork in school provides data on involved performance. It also provides data on detached practice and reflection on action — but this data is limited, as reflection does not necessarily take place in schools.
Reflection on classroom events and actions regularly take place when teachers are out of class and school, for instance when they are at home or at other places that provide an environment appropriate for reflection from a teacher perspective. Video diaries give access to personal reflections that take place out of school.
They shift attention to personal places of work and professional reflection, which allows for a new area of fieldwork. Murray , p. Video diaries permit participants to make their private practice public, which always includes acts of explanation and self-representation. Participants reveal how they manage and present their identity, and draw on their identity and self to reflect on and prepare for their teaching Holliday, , p.
Participants also control how much they want to reveal, and the possibility of self-regulation provides benefits similar to that of narrative interviewing: It empowers the participant to frame experiences in a way that she finds relevant, and thus convey the personal orientations she draw on for practice.
Similar to narrative interviewing, performances on video convey personal spontaneous language, and this personal spontaneous language reflects the personal knowledge and concepts of a teacher. Video diaries document reflection on action itself as situated practice, that is, technology allows us to record aspects of time and space in which teachers re-produce and alter their personal orientations for teaching.
Video diaries thus indicate how a teacher shapes her personal knowledge in preparation for teaching, and reflects a part of the process of knowledge transformation. This conceptual framing of knowledge transformation points to some issues we can look out for in fieldwork: The teacher as a subject resists inconclusive threats for teaching that may arise from these contexts by drawing on both private experiences and public experiences.
They also enable a teacher to align practice with personal educational aims. Educational aims point to the moral dimension of schooling, a morality that sets an ideal of effects personal educational practice should have. These educational aims of a teacher provide orientations for educational practice.
A teacher accommodates such personal educational aims in reflection on action and aligns them with her situated action in class, a horizon that makes morality ubiquitous in the interactions between teachers and students. Much rather, researchers may look for strategies in which teachers negotiate personal educational aims with their educational practice.
Video diaries may contain traces of these strategies and may be analysed jointly with data from other areas of fieldwork to trace and illustrate the process of knowledge transformation. Each area of fieldwork outlined above provides a unique field that documents a link between involved teaching and detached reflection.
Orientations of teachers reflect in involved teaching, are maintained and transformed in detached reflection, and are organised in patterns that refer to specific challenges in teaching. An account of these orientation patterns may reveal three fundaments teachers draw on: 1 Resources that teachers use to perform teaching; 2 Strategies in which teachers maintain their teaching; and 3 how teaching takes place as dynamic adaption that is rooted in the teacher self that provides a personal horizon for teaching.
Orientation patterns of teachers build coherence between the areas of fieldwork and allow for integrative analysis. However, drawing connections between fieldwork areas remains a challenge for research, and this is where ethnographic strategies can provide a key link. Ethnographic data analysis may employ Documentary Method strategies to reconstruct orientation patterns for teaching. Methodological concepts from Documentary Method align with a topical focus on knowledge transformation because they explicitly point to the difference of tacit and explicit knowledge.
This dual focus aligns analysis of personal orientations and social structure documented in practical orientations. It also methodologically addresses the criticism that analysis neglects social structure. Social structure as reflected in natural speech and action documents in video and audio data, which is why this data is transcribed for analysis. Analysis of these documents follows Documentary Method strategies for interpretation and focuses on how teachers maintain and transform their orientations.
Documentary Method provides strategies to reconstruct orientation patterns in situated and reflective practice. These strategies reflect in several methodical stages: Formulating interpretation focuses on what is said, the immanent and literal meaning of data, to document issues and topics narrated and described by a participant. Reflective interpretation focuses on how these topics and issues appear in teaching, and respectively how teachers introduce them in narratives, stimulated recalls, and video diaries.
If interested in the Collaboratory for Ethnographic Experimentation — Colleex, you may read our manifesto here. This discussion resonates with recent reflections contending the need to readdress fieldwork and reformulate its practice Faubion and Marcus, ; Fabian, We echo debates on the place of ethnography in the production of anthropological knowledge Ingold, and the transformation of the norm and form of fieldwork in a series of projects that have injected an experimental drive Rabinow et al. In these ethnographic sites, collaboration would be the cornerstone from which to undertake fieldwork.
Their argument has been posed for those anthropologists working side by side with scientists, activists, public servants or artists: Sites leading anthropologists to engage with different forms of expertise and problematize their conventional practices of knowledge production. The observational stance is then replaced with an experimental approach deeply rooted in these para-sitical collaborations.
One of the broadest explorations of experimentation in ethnography in recent years has been undertaken by Paul Rabinow and his collaborators Rabinow and Stavrianakis, , as part of his wider reflection on what he refers to as the anthropology of the contemporary. His most recent project on synthetic biology has been described as an experiment unfolding a twofold collaboration: between anthropology and biology; and between Rabinow and his co-researchers PhD students and postdoctoral researchers.
The increasing incorporation of digital platforms in anthropology—at times as spaces for collaboration, at others as repositories for exploring the formats of empirical data—have often been accompanied by appeals for experimentation. Digital platforms in the form of archives and co-ordinating tools have also been the locus for experiments with ethnographic writing genres Fabian, Digital platforms certainly serve a different purpose than that of publicizing projects or the presentation of results; they are essential pieces of equipment in the production of records, concepts and interpretations during fieldwork.
Nevertheless, the key point is their status as infrastructures for inquiry, an integral part of ethnographic forms of engagement. This is fundamental for arguments advocating experimentation in ethnography: it allows anthropologists to put in practice forms of inquiry that make the forging of new anthropological problematizations possible.
Although appeals for experimentation are sometimes vague and attribute diverse meanings to the process, the use of this figure is not a mere metaphorical flourish. Descriptive accounts of experimentation bring to life new ethnographic imaginations that either transform field informants into epistemic partners Holmes and Marcus, , remediate the form of ethnography in the company of others Rabinow, , or even trade the traditional comparative project of anthropology for one of collaboration Riles, The experimental becomes a distinctive articulation of the empirical work of anthropologists shaping their relationships in the field collaboratively.
We take this invocation of the figure of experimentation in fieldwork seriously because we believe it constitutes attempts to describe distinctive forms of knowledge production. Despite the innovative formulation of experimentation in various contemporary projects, the trope of participant observation often remains the cornerstone for fieldwork and figure for its descriptions. Experimentation, hence, is conceived as a kind of deviation from participant observation, where the experiment sets the stage for the expansion of limits and possibilities Rabinow and Stavrianakis, While these considerations provide fruitful insights to experimental practices in fieldwork, we contend that the ethnographic experiment should not be seen merely as a deviation but as a distinctive ethnographic modality for the production of anthropological knowledge.
Put differently,. We do not intend to set this ethnographic modality against participant observation. On the contrary, the ethnographic experimentation is usually and this has been our experience intimately entangled with observation: at times they alternate, at others experimentation replaces participant observation, and very often they coexist in intricate alliances. As the history of science has demonstrated, the epistemic practices of observation and experimentation have historically been intimately related, it was only at the end of the nineteenth century that they were interpreted as two detached and differentiated epistemic categories.
Only since the second half of the nineteenth century have they been interpreted as two detached and differentiated epistemic categories Daston and Lunbeck, This historical process characterized the experiment as an active activity demanding ideas and ingenuity, while reducing observation to a passive instance restricted to the mere recollection of data Daston, Each practice was then located in a specific space: the laboratory for experimentation, the field for observation. Robert Kohler , for instance, has described biologists practicing experiments in the wild during the last decades of the nineteenth century.
The laboratory may be the paradigmatic spatial organization of experimentation, but it is not the only one. This literature is a source of inspiration for our take on ethnographic experimentation. Photo by Kari Shea unsplash. Less established is the claim that these experiences were influenced by forms of self-experimentation by medical and psychological practitioners Schaffer, Hocart and W.
Our intention in highlighting this is neither to bestow contemporary projects with a halo of radical methodological novelty nor to posit an absolute rupture with the conventions of ethnography. On the contrary, we suggest that the experimental nature of many ethnographic projects connects with and continues a prolonged history of creative exploration within the discipline.
As George E. Marcus and Michael J. Yet, while this epistemic reorientation in the discipline focused on the space of representation particularly the written form as the locus for creative reinvention of the ethnographic norm and form, we are now witnessing a shift that identifies the empirical site of fieldwork as the locus for devising modalities of ethnographic experimentation Marcus, We are even tempted to say that our evocation of experimentation does not signal a new form of engagement in the field but a common practice, an ethnographic modality that despite its presence has rarely been noted and recounted in our tales of the field.
This is why it is so important to explore the descriptive vocabularies that can account for these ethnographic modalities. Ethnographic exploration of the specific sites we have portrayed is certainly not new: the anthropology of organizations, for instance, has a long tradition of studying these kinds of corporative and institutional environments populated by technicians and experts. Therefore, the reflections on epistemic practices and forms of engagement provoked when studying these sites are not simply a result of their nature.
We believe they bear witness to an emerging sensibility that takes shape in these encounters and seeks to device other forms of field engagement. Invoking the trope of ethnographic experimentation we aim at describing how anthropologists creatively venture into the production of venues of knowledge creation through processes of material and social interventions that turn the field into a site for epistemic collaboration: a site for the construction of joint anthropological problematizations.
In these situations, the traditional tropes of the fieldwork encounter i. Building on this, we propose the concept of ethnographic experimentation to describe and conceptualize what we consider is a distinctive ethnographic modality, an effort to produce new tales of the field.
Clifford, J. Writing Culture. The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography. Berkeley: California University Press. Daston, L. The Empire of Observation: — Lunbeck Eds. Chicago: Chicago University Press. Histories of Scientific Observation. Fabian, J.