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A Diffusion of Innovations Approach to Understand Stakeholder Perceptions of Renewable Energy Initiatives

Kami J. Silk, Allison Hurley, Kristin Pace, Erin K. Maloney, Maria Lapinski

This study uses diffusion of innovations (DOI) as a framework for formative research to understand different stakeholders’ perceptions of renewable energy initiatives (i.e., wind, solar, and biomass). Focus groups (N =12) were conducted with several different stakeholders in Michigan: farmers (n = 17), rural residents (n = 20), urban residents (n = 30), citizen activists/environmentalists (n = 13), and individuals who live in tourist-based economies (n = 7). Data were analyzed based on DOI constructs. Results suggest that farmers would be considered early adopters, while urban residents would fall in the late majority. Overall, stakeholder groups perceived renewable energy to be relatively advantageous and compatible with their values.

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Here’s another nice mess: using video in reflective dialogue research method

K. Hepplewhite

This account discusses ‘reflective dialogues’, a process utilising video to re-examine in-action decision-making with theatre practitioners who operate in community contexts. The reflexive discussions combine with observation, text and digital documentation to offer a sometimes ‘messy’ (from Schön 1987) dynamic to the research and provide multiple insights through reviewing the working processes. This account presents the method, along with examples from reflective dialogues with a selection of practitioners and critique of the processes. The account toys with this interplay of practice/research/reflection and attempts (albeit temporarily) to impose a structure to configure the mess. In seeking to re-inform the practitioners and potential practitioners in applied theatre, the reflective dialogues have generating their own web of messed up research-of-reflection-on-practice.

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From teacher-in-role to researcher-in-role: possibilities for repositioning children through role-based strategies in classroom research

V. Aitken

This article describes the drama-based research strategy ‘researcher-in-role’, developed during the two-year Connecting Curriculum, Connecting Learning project, based in New Zealand. First, a definition of researcher-in-role is offered along with a survey of relevant literature. Then the evolution and implementation of the strategy within the project is described, and the importance of clear signalling and implications for notions of ‘informed consent’ are explored. Next, the paper shares the data generated where researcher-in-role was used during learning conversations with students. Responses to the researcher-in-role are compared to data generated by a traditional researcher in the same three classrooms. It is shown how the researcher-in-role strategy resulted in data of a different, more complex discursive quality than that generated by the traditional researcher. The data arising, and the strategy itself, are considered through the lens of positioning theory. It is argued that the researcher-in-role strategy entailed a repositioning of the researcher, which in turn opened possibilities for new storylines and admissible actions – including speech acts – to be played out by children within the research relationship. It is also argued that this repositioning resulted in generation of more authentic data, with children more comfortable to reveal their emergent understandings, in the form of advice, instruction or exhortation. The article concludes by suggesting that the researcher-in-role strategy should be of interest not only to drama education researchers but also for other classroom researchers interested in repositioning children and engaging in complex dialogic exchange.

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Igniting and Sustaining Interest Among Students Who Have Grown Cold Toward Science

Brady Michael Jack, Huann-Shyang Lin

In the wake of interest-study research in science education over the past 10 years, investigators have published many articles on how to define, measure, and develop students’ interest in learning science. This present study approaches empirical investigations on students’ interest in learning science from a different perspective. We argue that when three specific instructional strategies are combined, they form the Interest Combustion Triangle (ICT), which ignites and sustains interest in learning science among students who have grown cold toward science content. A future research agenda proposing a newly modified instructional strategy called the K-W-L2-R Strategy Tool for providing science teachers and research investigators with a practical method for operationalizing and testing the ICT within the classroom context is also proposed.

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