AMERICAN JOURNAL OF QUALITATIVE RESEARCH
Whose Interpretation Matters? Centering Participants Through Observation Debrief

Sam Prough 1 *

AM J QUALITATIVE RES, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp. 60-73

https://doi.org/10.29333/ajqr/12440

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Abstract

While observation research strives to capture the diverse experiences of participants, a researcher’s interpretation is often foregrounded in the work. As a result, those observed and how they interpret the meaning of their actions can fade into the background. I argue for a shift in traditional models of observation to include an observation debrief to unite the purpose of interview and observation while centering the participant’s perspective through a more immediate reflection of a participant’s observed experience. I describe the benefit of an observation debrief through a narrative account of one participant in a study about parents’ mathematical interactions with young children.

Keywords: debrief, mathematics education, narrative, observation, parent engagement.

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