The observer observed, the researcher researched: The reflexive nature of phenomena

Danby, Susan J. (1997) The observer observed, the researcher researched: The reflexive nature of phenomena. In Australian Association for Research in Education Annual Conference, 30 November - 4 December 1997, Brisbane, Australia.


This paper explores how one researcher, observing and video-recording young children in their natural everyday play situations, found some children also observing her. The preschool aged children tried to identify the relevant category to which she belonged, asking such questions as, 'Are you a mummy?' or 'Are you a teacher?' They also tried to establish the researcher's category by asking her to do certain things e.g. to arbitrate in their disputes. In addition, during some videoed sequences, they appear to orient to the researcher as observer, making her a player in their scene. This paper presents instances of young children observing the researcher while the researcher is observing (and videorecording) their play interactions. It uses video data obtained from these interactions to explicate through close scrutiny how and where their work of observing the researcher was visible. These understandings demonstrate the nature of reflexive phenomena, so that the activities of observation and being observed are realised as texts to be examined as much as the scenes that are videotaped.

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ID Code: 1257
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: reflexivity, preschool, videorecording, early childhood, research methodology
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified (130399)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 1997 AARE
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Deposited On: 10 May 2005 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 12:24

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