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.



An Analysis of the Narrative-Building Features of Interactive Sea Level Rise Viewers

Sonia H. Stephens, Denise E. DeLorme, Scott C. Hagen

Interactive sea level rise viewers (ISLRVs) are map-based visualization tools that display projections of sea level rise scenarios to communicate their impacts on coastal areas. Information visualization research suggests that as users interact with such tools they construct personalized narratives of their experience. We argue that attention to narrative-building features in ISLRVs can improve communication effectiveness by promoting user engagement and discovery. A content analysis that focuses on the presence and characteristics of narrative-building features in a purposive sample of 20 ISLRVs is conducted. We also identify particular areas where these ISLRVs could be improved as narrative-building tools.


Mapping the hinterland: Data issues in open science

Ann Grand, Clare Wilkinson, Karen Bultitude, Alan F. T. Winfield

Open science is a practice in which the scientific process is shared completely and in real time. It offers the potential to support information flow, collaboration and dialogue among professional and non-professional participants. Using semi-structured interviews and case studies, this research investigated the relationship between open science and public engagement. This article concentrates on three particular areas of concern that emerged: first, how to effectively contextualise and narrate information to render it accessible, as opposed to simply available; second, concerns about data quantity and quality; and third, concerns about the skills required for effective contextualisation, mapping and interpretation of information.


Folk performances: reading the cultural history of the Thiyya community in Kerala

M. Zahira

This essay explores the ritual performance called Theyyam Vayanadan Kulavan and its traditions in Malabar, Kerala, India. Drawing on an analysis of the performance text and the myth that informs it, I present how the ritual mirrors the shifting desires and experiences of a marginalised community. In conclusion, I explore how the structures of the ritual are interpellated in a globalised world where images of the theyyam are used as icons to promote commercial products or as symbols of Kerala culture in the tourism industry.