Researching in Schools: Ethical Issues

By Deslea Konza.

Published by The Humanities Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Genuine contributions to a field of knowledge usually require a methodical and considered approach to research, but strict control of variables is not possible in most educational settings. Teachers and researchers must work within a data-gathering framework that allows for the realities of schools and classrooms. This paper examines a number of ethical issues that arise when researching in schools–when the “pursuit of knowledge” comes into conflict with ethical practice in schools. This can be the result of differing expectations of teachers and researchers regarding the purpose of the research; of conflicts that arise when the time commitment to the research process begins to affect planning and teaching time; or when control of variables conflicts with the need to change pedagogical practices based on student need, and the classroom as a “research site” begins to take precedence over the classroom as a place of learning. Drawing on experiences from a number of research studies across multiple school sites, this paper concludes with a number of recommendations aimed at ensuring that the best interests of students and teachers always direct the progress of research.

Keywords: Ethics in Research, Educational Research

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 9, Issue 6, pp.77-86. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 780.824KB).

Dr. Deslea Konza

Director of the Fogarty Learning Centre, Faculty of Arts and Education, School of Education, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, WA, Australia

Deslea Konza has had experience teaching students of all ages with a range of special needs, including those associated with blindness, profound hearing impairment, intellectual disabilities, physical disabilities, and multiple disabilities. She is currently director of the Fogarty Learning Centre at Edith Cowan University and undertakes research in the areas of reading development, particularly for those children who do not develop these skills as easily as their peers. She has published in the areas of special education policy, teacher education, hearing impairment, gifted education, and dual exceptionality. Her current research interests focus on reading disability, and developing the capacity of teachers to support the literacy development of all students.


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