2004 GSE Ethnography Forum

Wed Aug 6 15:41:39 UTC 2003

The University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education and the Center
for Urban Ethnography announce the 25th Annual Ethnography in Education
Research Forum:

University of Pennsylvania
25th Annual Ethnography in Education Research Forum
"Ethnography as scientifically based research: Implications for educational
policy and practice "
In an era of a powerfully directive federal educational discourse which
seemingly equates experimental research with scientific evidence and
accountability with effectiveness, ethnographers of education are forcefully
challenged to define and defend ethnographic and qualitative research
approaches to understanding educational effectiveness.  Issues of evidence,
truth, credibility, and generalizability are at the fore in ways reminiscent
of the educational research climate which gave birth to the Forum 25 years
ago.  In this year's Forum, we seek to celebrate the accomplishments of
educational ethnography over the past quarter century while simultaneously
charting our course to meet the challenges of the next.

Dr. Michael Agar, Keynote Speaker
Dr. Frederick Erickson & Dr. Perry Gilmore, Dialogue Speakers
Dr. Nancy H. Hornberger, Convenor

The dates for the 2004 Forum are Friday, February 27 - Saturday, February 28,
2004. Participants should plan to arrive in Philadelphia on Thursday evening,
February 26, as both Friday and Saturday will offer a full program of
sessions. Registration and all sessions will be held on the University of
Pennsylvania campus in Philadelphia, PA.

Proposals are invited in areas such as:

• Multicultural and inter-ethnic issues in education.
• Practitioner research -- by teachers, administrators, students, parents, and
   school community members.
• Critical and feminist studies in education.
• Ethnography of educational policy
• Ethnographic evaluation in education.
• Language and literacy issues in education.
• Uses of ethnography in science and math education.
• Uses of microethnographic methods in research on everyday school practice.
• Ethnographies of urban education.
• Indigenous language revitalization.
• Action research in education settings.
            • and more...


I. Individual Papers
(a) Data Analysis
(b) Work-in-Progress
(c) Traditional Paper
(d) Practitioner Research
II. Group Session/Symposium
(a) Work-in-Progress
(b) Traditional Paper
(c) Practitioner Research
III. Discussant


Data Analysis Consultation – Individual submissions only.
Held on Friday only: 30 minutes for presentation and discussion.

Proposals should state questions about data analysis and identify the data to
be addressed. Please
adhere to the following guidelines for your proposal:

a). State 2 or 3 questions about data analysis that will be addressed.
should be narrowly defined and intimately tied to the data being presented.

b). Identify the specific data that will actually be used in the presentation.
Data to
be shared may include field notes (maximum 2 pages), interview transcripts
(maximum 1 page), audio and/or video tapes (maximum 1 minute), and archival
and site documents.

c). Presenters should not plan to present preliminary conclusions. Rather,
purpose should be to seek advice on data analysis.

The data analysis presentation is unique to the Forum. Presentation guidelines
are as follows:

1. 5 minutes to describe the nature of the research (1 minute), provide
context (1 minute), and present the specific data analysis questions to be
addressed (3 minutes).

2. 5 minutes for the audience to read or watch the data

3. 20 minutes for general discussion guided by a research methods consultant.
members provide insights and advice regarding emergent patterns and themes in
the data as well
as alternative methods of analysis.

Presenters must prepare 40 copies of written data sources or select a few
minutes of audio and/or
video data to share with the audience. Please note audiovisual equipment needs
in your proposal.

If you anticipate presenting preliminary conclusions submit your proposal as a

Work-in-Progress: 15 minutes per presentation.

Presentations of works-in-progress differ from both data analysis and from
traditional papers in that initial findings and tentative conclusions are
emphasized. Presenters may consult the audience about their conclusions.

Traditional Paper: 15 minutes per presentation.

These presentations should report analysis and conclusions in final form.

Practitioner Research: 15 minutes per presentation.

These presentations report research by teachers and other practitioners in
educational settings (e.g., school principals, counselors, non-teaching aides,
parents, students, and other members of school communities). Practitioner
researchers may submit proposals for data analysis consultation, as works-in-
progress, as individual papers, or in a variety of group presentation
formats. The proposal should state clearly which format you choose, in
addition to the designation "Practitioner Research".


Proposals may be submitted by individual presenters for any of the
presentation formats: Data Analysis, Work-in-Progress, Traditional Paper, or
Practitioner Research


Group session proposals may be submitted for any of the previous types of
presentation formats, except Data Analysis Consultations, which are always
individual submissions.

The proposal should describe the rationale and specific content of the
session, including a brief overview of the session topic and a paragraph on
research methods used, a summary of findings, and bibliographic citations. The
proposal should make clear the relevance of the session topic for the field of

No group session proposal will be accepted without a cover sheet containing
complete information for each proposed participant. The cover sheet should
identify the name, paper title, address, telephone number, and institutional
affiliation of the organizer and every member of the group. Please provide the
same information for a discussant.

No fewer than three, and no more than six presenters, including discussant,
should be included in a group session. These sessions may vary in
organization: a set of individual papers, a panel discussion, a plan for
interaction among members of the audience in discussion or workshop
groups are possible formats. Each group session will be allotted a time slot
of one hour and fifteen minutes.


Proposals submitted individually, if accepted, will be grouped by Forum staff
in sessions usually consisting of three presentations. Data Analysis
Consultation sessions involve more than three presenters. Soon after initial
notification of acceptance, each presenter will be given the names
and e-mail addresses of the presenters with whom they have been grouped.
Presenters are expected to e-mail one another, organize their session and
invite a discussant, if desired. The Forum office must be notified of the
discussant's name and organizational affiliation by January 30, 2004.


1. Significance for education: Presentations should address topics concerning
educational processes, formal or informal. We do not accept general
ethnographic reports on topics not directly related to educational issues.

2. Conceptual framework: The theoretical assumptions and conceptual bases
underlying the research should be briefly described.

3. Interpretation as a framing perspective: Interpretive strategies should be
utilized to identify the various points of view of the person/people/program
whose actions are being described and analyzed.

4. Method: Ethnographic research is multi-layered; the presentation should
combine evidence from a variety of data sources, i.e. more than one of the
following: participant observation, field notes, audio- or video-tapes,
interviews, site documents, demographic and historical information.

5. Description: There should be both depth and specificity in description.
Rather than strictly focusing on results, we expect a rich description of the
study context, presenting vivid narrative vignettes and quotes from
interviews. The descriptive voice should communicate specificity, "showing" as
opposed to "telling" in general terms.

6. Analysis: We are interested in both the originality of the analysis and the
adequacy of the evidence. Analytic categories should be arrived at inductively
rather than deductively. Analysis should incorporate the specific and the
general, considering details of what actual persons do and linking those
particulars to general processes of social structure and culture.


1. Go to http://www.gse.upenn.edu/cue/ and choose either “individual proposal
cover sheet” or “group proposal cover sheet”. The cover sheet, which includes
audio-visual requests, proposal checklist, and abstract, should be filled out
on the web and sent electronically by October 3, 2003.

2. Print out the completed cover sheet. (If you cannot complete steps 1 and 2,
please contact us by e-mail at cue at gse.upenn.edu and we will send you a hard
copy of the cover sheet).

3. Submit four copies of a titled abstract, no more than one-half page, on a
separate sheet. Every abstract must include the name of the presenter and
title of the presentation. Each member of a group session must submit a
separate abstract. Group sessions must also
include four copies of a group abstract for the session as a whole.

4. Submit four stapled copies of a proposal statement. Names of individual
presenter(s) should not appear in the proposal statement. All submissions,
whether individual or group, need to submit only one proposal statement. For
individually submitted proposals: limit of 2 pages. For group submitted
proposals: limit of 3 pages. The top of the first page should indicate the
type of session (Data Analysis Consultation, Work-in-Progress, Traditional
Paper, Practitioner Research), and the title of your individual presentation
or group session. The proposal should also include a brief overview of your
presentation topic and of your conceptual framework, a section on research
methods used, a summary of findings (or in the case of Data Analysis
Consultation proposals, a set of questions concerning data analysis), and a
discussion of their relevance to the field of education. Include a list of
references with full bibliographic information for any literature cited in
your proposal.

5. Attach, by paper clip, the printed cover sheet, 4 copies of the abstract
page(s) and 4 copies of the proposal statement and send by mail postmarked by
October 3, 2003

Center for Urban Ethnography
University of Pennsylvania
Graduate School of Education
3700 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6216

We will not be able to review incomplete proposals. No proposals are to be
sent by fax or e-mail,


October 3, 2003— All proposals sent by mail, postmarked by this date. All
cover sheets submitted electronically by this date (see procedures for
submitting proposals).

November 19, 2003— Notification of acceptance by e-mail. All submitters will
receive notification. Information regarding the day and time of sessions will
be provided later.

January 19, 2004 — All individuals and groups who have been accepted will be
notified by e-mail that the preliminary schedule and the presenters' contact
information are posted on the web. Using the find function on the web browser,
individuals and groups can find the day and time of their session. Individuals
who are assigned to a group session should then contact fellow presenters. The
pre-registration forms will also be posted on the website. Please fill in the
form, submit the form electronically, then print out the confirmation page.
Include the confirmation page with your check or money order.

January 30, 2004 — All requests for changes in the schedule must be submitted
via e-mail to cue at gse.upenn.edu by this date. Likewise, the name and
affiliation of nominated discussants who have agreed to serve must be
submitted via e-mail to cue at gse.upenn.edu by this date. No reimbursements for
cancelled registrations available after this date.

February 13, 2004 — Pre-registration confirmation page and payment must be
post-marked by this date. Final schedule will be posted on the web.

February 27 and 28, 2004 — 25th Ethnography in Education Research Forum

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