Longitudinal Studies and Literacy Studies

Authored by: C. Compton-Lilly

The Routledge Handbook of Literacy Studies

Print publication date:  May  2015
Online publication date:  May  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415816243
eBook ISBN: 9781315717647
Adobe ISBN: 9781317510611


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Longitudinal studies are generally considered hallmark accomplishments for researchers. They entail a significant amount of time, the management of shifting personnel, and notable funding sources as well as the courage to plan a study that extends into an uncharted and unpredictable future. While the idea of conducting longitudinal studies, qualitative or qualitative, is respected and valued, it is essential to look beyond the surface appeal of these studies to consider what they offer and afford the research community. In this chapter, I identify four general purposes for longitudinal research: (1) research that provides a depth of information about a particular site, community, or issue; (2) research that explores change over time; (3) research that documents and examines trajectories; and (4) research that focuses on the construction of ways of being over time (e.g., resilience, literate identities, social responsibility, affiliation, literate practices).

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