Middle Grades Ethnographies in Theory and Practice

Authored by: Boni Wozolek , Walter S. Gershon

International Handbook of Middle Level Education Theory, Research, and Policy

Print publication date:  October  2019
Online publication date:  August  2019

Print ISBN: 9780815358619
eBook ISBN: 9781351122115
Adobe ISBN:


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The authors present an overview of ethnography as a research methodology and its application in middle grades settings. The purpose of ethnography is to understand what is sensible within local contexts, how local interactions and relationships fit into broader culture, and the ways in which each place and space is nonetheless unique in spite of commonalities across ecologies. Ethnographies that focus on schooling are central to understanding how sociocultural norms and values operate in and between classrooms, corridors, and communities, understandings that, in turn, impact young people’s ways of being and knowing. Such information—along with how ideas and ideals influence all people in schools, including staff, teachers, and administrators—is significant because more deeply understanding complex relations between people, places, and ideas, is a strong foundation for more just and equitable schooling.

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