My contribution to the Faculty of Education Student Research Association (FERSA) blog.

FERSA University of Cambridge Blog

By Aline Frederico, Catholic University of São Paulo, Brazil

When investigating how learning takes place, observation is a common method, often accompanied by some sort of recording, which is then transcribed. As a result, often the rich and dynamic environment of a classroom, of parents and children reading together, etc., is reduced to a series of verbal entries, a transcript which is then analyzed and coded.

In my doctoral research, I studied 4-year-olds’ meaning-making processes when reading digital literature with their parents where observation was the central method of data collection. So what could I learn about meaning-making (and learning in general) bylooking at these reading events? The answer, I found, can be significantly different depending on the methods employed for recording and analyzing these observations.

Let’s consider three different scenarios of data collection and analysis. In the first, the data is audio-recorded and transcribed, two methods widely practiced in…

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