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School Field Trip

Field-based research design and methods are experiential, embodied, and interpretive.

The purpose of creating this open-access learning space is to share content and support a deeper understanding of qualitative methodology generally, and more specifically, field-based research design and methods. This learning space also allows students to return to these materials even after coursework has ended.

We hope this reflects the relational, collaborative, and participatory nature of field-based research methods.

Thoughts to get started...

Take a moment to consider each of these quotes. Do these challenge any of your notions about research methods in general, or qualitative research specifically?

“The fact that scientists do not consciously practice a formal methodology is very poor evidence that no such methodology exists. It could be said—has been said—that there is a distinctive methodology of science which scientists practice unwittingly, like the chap in Molière who found that all his life, unknowingly, he had been speaking prose.”

― Peter B. Medawar, Induction & Intuition in Scientific Thought

We must revisit the idea that science is a methodology and not an ontology.

― Deepak Chopra

“If you want to understand what a science is, you should look in the first in­stance not at its theories or its findings, and certainly not at what its apologists say about it; you should look at what the practitioners of it do.”

― Clifford Geertz, The Interpretation of Cultures

“As always in life, people want a simple answer . . . and it’s always wrong.”


— Susan Greenfield


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