Research methods in the sociology of education

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  • Created by: Bri bri
  • Created on: 16-05-13 23:59

Study: Willis ( 1977) 

Research : Working class 'lads' at school and work.

Research methods: Qualitative observation and group interviews

Strengths: High validity, close to actual social life in schools

Weakness: Small, all-male sample. May have influenced behaviour of subjects.

Study: Ball et al (1995)

Research: Study of 15 schools and education market

Research methods: Observation of meetings;interviews with teachers and 150 parents

Strengths: Triangulation of data. Mixed primary and secondary sources. Large-scale study. Able to look at links between policies and parenta ldecison-making.

Weakness: Didn't interview pupils. Didnt directly observe effects markets in schools.

Study: McKnight et al (2005)

Research:  New labour education policies

Research methods: Examined official statistics on Key Stage tests and GCSE results

Strengths: Able to do statistical analysis using reliable government statistcs

Weakness: Validity ofdata could be questioned, e.g. have standards required to pass GCSEs changed over time?

Study: Gillborn & Youdell (2001)

Research: 'Intelligence' and 'ability' in two London secondary schools

Research methods: Qualitative research using observation and interviews

Strengths: In-depth study provides detailed picture of two schools- should be high in validity

Weakness: Small, unrepresentative sample of schools. Hard to generalise from findings. Hard to know how honest and open teachers would be when interviewed.

Study: Douglas (1964, 1970)

Research: Home influence on educational attaintment

Research methods: Longitudinal study, used IQ tests, statisitcs in attainment, data on parents' evenings attendance to measure parental intrest in education.

Strengths: Able to…


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