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  • 00:00

    [MUSIC PLAYING][Approaches for Conducting ResearchWith Students With Disabilities]

  • 00:10

    SIMON HAYHOE: My name is Simon Hayhoe.[Simon Hayhoe, Lecturer in Education, University of Bath]I'm a lecturer at Bath University.I lecture in education.My research is in disability and education and philosophyof disability as well.I'm also a Centre Research Associate in the Centrefor Philosophy of Natural and Social Scienceat the London School of Economics.What I'm talking about today is fieldworkI conducted in 2000 to 2001 at Worcester New College, which

  • 00:33

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: is an RNIB, Royal National Institute for the Blind,college in the West Midlands.At that time, I did observations, diaries--participant diaries-- with my student participants,and I also did interviews with the students and teachersat the college.My aim today is to talk about that fieldwork and the datacollection, but to also mention about the ethical dilemmas

  • 00:55

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: I faced.[Grounded Methodology]For my research, I used an adapted versionof grounded theory which I call grounded methodology.And particularly, I wanted to actually keepwith the standard technical aspects of grounded theory,so I used three phases of research.My first phase of research was actually reading and developing

  • 01:20

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: my fieldwork in other places.So for example, I did adult education placements.I studied adults at Leicester Universityduring my master's degree.And I developed an understanding of whatblindness was within an art education classroom.I then did further reading and developed my PhD studyfor my second and third phases of research.

  • 01:41

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: And what I'm going to discuss todayis my second phase of research, whichis, in grounded theory terms, what we call actual coding.Grounded theory has basically three phases.The first phase is open coding, [actively listen]and that's when you go in as a complete noviceand you don't know anything about your topic.And you learn about the people within your classrooms

  • 02:01

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: and what you're actually trying to find out.Sounds a very open way of looking at it.And you're also reading as a novice as well.Even if you've understood the subject a little bit before,you read as if you've never come across a subject before.The axial phase, which is what I'm going to describe,[axial phase] is actually looking at categoriesthat you've developed during your open phase.So for example, I looked at late blindness

  • 02:23

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: versus early blindness, people who'd been born blindversus people who'd developed blindnesswhen they were older people.What I was interested in was looking at blindnessfrom people who had been to a school for the blindin the old days to people who'd beento school for the blind post 1981 Education Act, whichwas a very important act that actually included students

  • 02:45

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: with vision impairment in a fuller curriculumand gave them the ability to go to mainstream schools.And what I was particularly interested in was the adultsI discovered during my open phase of researchand the difference between their understanding of artworkswhen they never worked with art before.Some of them were 80 years old, and they'd neverseen a painting.They'd never understood a painting.

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    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: They'd never come across what artworks were.They had never been taught by it.Versus people who, even though they had a vision impairmentor were blind, they had arts educationin a school for the blind or in a mainstream classand their understanding of art and the difference the way theypracticed art.So I was interested in those two differences.The third phase of [selective phase]

  • 03:27

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: my grounded methodology research wasgoing to be interviewing teachers in other schoolsand their experiences of working with students.But as I said, in this one, I'm justgoing to talk about the axial phase.[Axial Phase]The point of the axial phase in researchis to actually discover categories of variables

  • 03:48

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: that you're actually going to research.So in my case, I was interested in, for example,the amount of art education peoplehave had before, the types of experiences they'vehad in mainstream schooling.So for example, had they been excluded from any art activity,or had they been included in a full range of art activitieswith their sighted counterparts?

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    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: And the students I was looking at, some had been to mainstreamschool before and some had just gone straightto a special school and never been to anywhere elseother than the school for the blind Yet, they'dhad a full art curriculum.So I was wanting to know the difference between peoplewho had had a full art curriculum and those who'dbeen to mainstream school.And in the end, I settled on doing an in-depth case

  • 04:30

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: study during the axial phase with two particular students.And these students had both been to a mainstream schoolpreviously.One had had a very good experience of art education,and she took part in all of the activities in her art class.And the other had been excluded during art classesin mainstream school.And when he got to a special school, school for the blind,

  • 04:51

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: he'd actually had to start all over again taking an artcurriculum as if he never had experience before.So art was relatively new to him when he was 12 years old,but he was now taking an A Level, whichis an advanced level in art, justbefore he went to university.And the two experiences of arts educationwere incredibly different.

  • 05:11

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: They were very distinct.So the student who'd had no experience of art educationwas very nervous about doing particular activities.He was actually afraid of drawing.Whereas the person who had had a full range of artsactivities was very confident in her art activity.She was very confident in her drawing and painting.

  • 05:32

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: And in my book, for example, Grounded Theoryand Disability Studies, I discuss the differencesin their behaviors during my study and things thatcame over in my field notes.[Grounded Theory vs. Grounded Methodology]There is a distinct difference between grounded theoryand grounded methodology.Grounded theory is based on very formal coding structures.

  • 05:54

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: And grounded methodology tries to move awayfrom those structures.So for example, with grounded theory,you use a program such as NUDIST or ATLAS.tito actually create links between your data and categories.Whereas, with grounded methodology, what we dois try and create a discussion.We try and actually create a dialogue

  • 06:16

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: as a form of methodology.So it's a much looser form of case study.It's a descriptive form of case study,teasing out variables and actually producinga very distinctive narrative of methodology.So you end up with case studies and interlinking case studiesand case studies on top of case studies--layered case studies we call them.So it's a very distinctive form of grounded theory which

  • 06:39

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: is actually a lot looser and doesn't have any formal codingstrategies as grounded theory does.[Categorizing in the Axial Phase]In the axial coding phase, the most important thing to dois actually define your categories.And for mine, I actually redevelopeda system that was first developed by a psychologistcalled Berthold Lowenfeld, [Berthold Lowenfeld]

  • 07:00

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: who is a psychologist who worked with blind students.He was a very big writer on blindness back in the 1950s.But I wanted to bring his understanding of blindnessup to date.So he had categories based on educational backgroundand also on psychological memory of vision.So for example, he categorized studentswho had visual memory, who had seen before

  • 07:22

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: and could remember visual images.And he made a distinction between those studentsand students who'd never had sight and students whohad no visual memory and had to comeacross a different form of visual memory,of memorizing information and also creating artworks.Now, what I wanted to do was actuallybring in a further variable, which was education.

  • 07:43

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: So on top of his layer of categorizingaccording to memory--which was visual memory, non-visual memory--I had to actually create a further layer--which was no art education at a youngerage, art education at a younger age, peoplewho are familiar with the concept of art and what it did.

  • 08:04

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: Now, there was a problem with this because, of course,we're using 1950s strategies from America because they weredeveloped in California, and I was trying to apply themto a situation in Worcestershire in the early millennium, whichwas a very difficult thing to do.I tried to understand the difference--as I'd done before from my adult case studies

  • 08:24

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: in my master's degree--the difference between adults whohad no art education whatsoever and adults who'd never seenand had arts education, and thosethat could see or had some residual visionand had art education.And another category, which was peoplewho came along later who had a vision impairment later in lifeand had a very full art education when

  • 08:45

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: they were younger as a sighted person and thenlost their vision.How can I apply those to younger people?Well, the students I chose in the end, the sample of twostudents, were people with exactly the same visionimpairment.And for me, that was very important.And they developed it roughly at the same age.They were born with nystagmus.So they had a visual impairment that

  • 09:06

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: had affected them from a very young age, from birth.However, it had given them some form of visual memory--absolutely no color memory whatsoever, so theyhad no memory of color, but they could understand the worldvisually around them through other concepts.And they had had very different experiencesat school, so that made it very interesting for me

  • 09:26

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: to understand their difference as a person who'dhad a good experience in art educationand another person who had a very bad experience in arteducation and who'd been excluded,which is the reason why I sampled those two people.[Challenges in Conducting the Research]One of the most difficult things I found in my doctoral researchwas actually getting access to a school for the blind.

  • 09:48

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: Obviously, even at that time, it was a very ethically-sensitiveissue to talk about.And in particular, there was at that timea blind Secretary of State for Educationcalled David Blunkett, and there wasa lot of sensitivity around schoolsfor the blind because he himself had had a very poor educationat a school for the blind.He had a very bad experience in school for the blind,

  • 10:09

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: and he'd written about it and was quite criticalof schools for the blind.So schools for the blind at that timewere very politically sensitive, very nervousabout letting people in, particularlyabout doing research.Luckily, there were two factors that worked in my favor.The first factor was I'd worked with blind peoplebefore in an adult education setting in Leicester.

  • 10:30

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: So I could actually say to myself and I could say to them,I've actually done this before.Here are some papers I've actuallyproduce on the art education of blindness.I'm not coming in to look at you politically.I don't get involved at the political level.What I'm interested in is purely about pedagogyand how you can teach people and the difficulties people havein the exclusion they've found within art education.

  • 10:53

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: And that's usually in mainstream settings.So in a way, I wasn't actually in a threatening situationwith them.The second thing that worked in my favorand probably the biggest thing that went to my favor,at the time I was a schoolteacher.And as a schoolteacher, I was thereforeon the level of the people I was talking to.So I was actually talking to fellow schoolteachers.So I had an in, if you like.

  • 11:14

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: I was talking to, particularly, the headof art at New College Worcester, a gentleman I calledGerard, which was a pseudonym.And I presented an ethical case study,an ethical case for actually doing the research.And that was most important to me--actually approaching them with the ethics ready.And I said to them, I would like to do this researchproject with you, and here's what I'm going to do.

  • 11:35

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: I've written a paper about it previously one of my chaptersfrom the M.Ed study, which was quite unusual in those daysbecause it was published in 1995,actually had a whole chapter on ethics which I could actuallyshow them.And so I was going to do it in a very ethical way.I wasn't going to talk about anything outside of the artclassroom or outside of pedagogy.And that reassured them slightly.

  • 11:56

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: So I was happy to do that, and theywere happy with my approach to them because of that.And you have to remember, at this timeas well, there weren't really ethics committees in the UK.There were very few people actually doingethical strategies within research.So there weren't committees actuallygoing through proposals which were written into forms

  • 12:17

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: as there are nowadays.In those days, it was a bit more laissez-faire, if you like.So we were producing our own research on our own backsas if it were ethical research, and we didn't reallyhave to go through any committeesor even go through our heads of departmentto prove it was ethical research.It was down to our own ethics.

  • 12:37

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: But luckily, because I'd studied the ethics before,it was an in to my research project.So I approached the college initiallythrough the head teacher.And because I'd done my previous researchat Leicester University with adults who were blind,I had an in at the Royal National Institutefor the Blind, at their head office and the person who

  • 12:57

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: was in charge of education there And that person thenpassed me along to the head teacherand then the head of art at Worcester New College whocould then listen to my proposal to do research at RNIB NewCollege Worcester and allow me in through that doors to dothe research with my students, my participant students.And that was the only way I could actually get in.

  • 13:20

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: If I think I'd just have written to them off the back of my handor just off pat, I don't think I'd ever got into the college.If you are going to do your own research in schoolsfor the blind or in any form of special schoolor with students with disabilities,it's very, very important that you areethically upfront with people.It's very, very important to have connections

  • 13:40

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: that you can actually talk to and reassure.In the research parlance, these people are called informers,and it's very important to make those connections,those human connections, before you actuallyget into the school.In my case, I had to negotiate with the school for almosta year before I did the fieldwork.Now, I was taking a part-time PhD,

  • 14:01

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: so it gave me a little more time within my PhD fieldwork.But that was the most difficult and most practicalissue that I had to deal with during the fieldwork.[Using an Informer]After I met Gerard for the first time--Gerard the schoolteacher who was the head of art whowas going to introduce me to the students--

  • 14:22

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: I allowed him to make contact with the studentsrather than contacting them directly.And I think this is a really important issue.You allow the people who are familiar to the studentsto introduce you.Don't go in straight away and talk to the studentsbecause that becomes a very difficult situation and almostan unethical situation.The teacher being familiar with the students

  • 14:42

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: could then pitch the proposal, my research proposal,to them on my behalf.And he could actually-- and Gerard actually--talked about what I was going to do with them.He kind of reassured them that therewould be nothing ethically unsound about the work.He was very careful to explain that thismight be published elsewhere, but their nameswould never be used.We've changed their names, which is very important to us.

  • 15:05

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: And we actually made sure to reassure the studentsemotionally as well Because, of course,we're dealing with people, even though they'revery intelligent people, they're very intelligent students whoare just about to go on to university,they were in a very emotionally sensitive positionbecause, of course, one student in particularhad had exclusion before.And recalling that during interviews

  • 15:27

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: might be a very emotional experience for him.So I made sure to get Gerard to emphasizethat all of their material would be fed back to them.If they were unhappy or uneasy with any of the material,that could be withdrawn at any time.And made sure to actually reassure themthat the data was actually a pool of datathat they could grab out as well if they

  • 15:49

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: wanted to actually see their own data as it was being collected.If they felt unhappy or uneasy halfwaythrough the recording of an interview or an observation,they could just say stop right here.Please leave.I'm unhappy with this situation.He made sure to emphasize that that was a possibility for him.So they had the greatest reassurance in a waythat they were in a powerful situation.

  • 16:09

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: They were in a situation where they had power over merather than I had power over them.And if you're working with students with disabilities,this is a very, very important aspect to actually understand.You have to change that power situationfrom you being the person in charge to youbeing the person who's following others.And in doing, so you'll get much better databecause what I found was students

  • 16:30

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: were very happy to open up given that situationand actually tell me things about other aspectsof their life to do with exclusion that actuallyenriched my data and made the data lot more interestingand the case studies a lot more interesting--that I could add little vignettes and little anecdotesthat they were happy for me to use in these publications

  • 16:51

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: later.So it actually enriches your datato be very upfront and very ethicalwith students because they will give you more.As I said, I was going to producethree forms of research data--observation, interview, and research diary or participantdiary produced by the participants themselves.I started off with interviews and observations.

  • 17:11

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: And I would just go into classes after I'dfinished teaching for the day.As I said, I was a teacher.And I would have to go from my schoolto the school for the blind and actually observe themin their private studies in the eveningbecause they were producing work for their A Level,so there's a lot of opportunity in the eveningbeyond their lessons.I also did informal interviews as part of a participant

  • 17:31

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: observation, and this helped build up a relationship.One other thing I found during my PhDwas developing that relationship between the studentsI was working with and myself is a highly important thing.It was very important that I got on well with them because theywould give me more information, but it was alsoimportant for them to feel comfortable around me.Because, if they were going to participate in this research,

  • 17:53

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: they had to be happy that I was there in their classroomwith them and sharing their artwork.Now, this fieldwork went on for a year.Their course, the A Level course, went on for two years.But because I wanted to not interfere with their examperiods or the beginning of their coursewhen they were most uneasy and nervous about doing their work,

  • 18:14

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: I wanted to make it the middle section of their exam work.So I started in around January of an academic year,and I followed them through to the following January.So I followed them through almost a full academic year.But I left before they started their exams,and I made sure not to be there at the beginning of the courseso I interfered with their setting up of the work

  • 18:36

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: and understanding of their projects in the first place.And that was very important to me.After a short while of starting the fieldwork,of this one-year fieldwork, I gave them tapesand asked them to create participant diaries.Now, I did have some practical issues with thisbecause, at first, you give them tapes and, like any otherteenager-- because of course with dealing with any otherteenager here--

  • 18:57

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: they'd lose the tapes or they'd feel nervous about doing itbecause they'd feel it was a bit like doing homework.And they would prioritize their homework,and they would prioritize going out and having fun justlike any other student would.So quite often, I'd say, could you record the diaries oncea week for me?And I go in the next week and theyhadn't recorded the diaries.Then I said, could you record them every two weeks for me?And I'd come back in two weeks later

  • 19:18

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: and they still hadn't done it but like homework theyhaven't done their homework after two weeks.So I gave them a tape and a recorder,and I asked them to do it on a monthly basis.And when that wasn't done, I decided to do it myself.So it became more of a formal interviewwhere they just described and went through their processes.So I sat down with them with my tape machine and a tape,

  • 19:39

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: as it was in those days-- in the early millennium,we still had tapes--and I recorded their monthly diaries one by one by one.Now, unfortunately, that didn't meanthe fieldwork didn't progress as fast as I wanted at that timewith the diaries, so the diaries became almost a secondary pieceof data.But the most important thing was I had the interviews,

  • 20:00

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: and I had the backup of the observations I was doing.And another part of the observationthat was very important was takingphotographs of their artwork.I was very, very sure not to take pictures of thembecause, of course, the whole research work with themwas anonymous.But what I wanted to do was make sure Ihad pictures of the progression of their artwork--

  • 20:21

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: so how they developed their artwork--and it almost told a story through their case studiesof how these were developed.So this came across in my book Arts, Culture, and Blindness,how their work developed from one month to the next,and those photographs became very important.[Advantages and Disadvantages of Grounded Methodology]

  • 20:42

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: One of the good things about grounded methodologyis it's very flexible in the data that you can collect.And so you don't have to start having a rigid idea about whatdata is.You don't have to say, I'm only goingto participant observation, I'm only going to interviewing,I'm only going to do photography,I'm only going to participant diaries.Because, if one of those things doesn't come off, you're lost.

  • 21:03

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: You haven't got that data, and your whole projectis it stymied, if you like.So it's very, very important to get multiple sources of data,and the most important thing is to be flexiblebecause that flexibility gives you a greaterin to the research.It allows you to drop one part of your researchthat you had really been clinging on toand go with another part if you actually need to do it.

  • 21:25

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: Data collection becomes a problem in itselfbecause you have to actually be very flexible in the waythat you analyze your data but also in the wayyou collect your data.And you just be prepared for thingsto go wrong because they will do, because you will be askedto leave a classroom at one point because it happens,because people feel nervous at some point.

  • 21:47

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: You will ask people to do participant diariesand they won't do them.You will ask to do an interview and the daybefore people feel nervous about doing that interviewand ask not to be part of that interviewor part of that study.Be careful to actually be in a positionwhere you can resample if necessary.Be in a flexible position where you don't say,I'm going to do this part of my Gantt chart of research today,

  • 22:09

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: or I'm going to do that part of fieldworkover the next three months, and that's it.Because it won't work out like that.If you're doing a full-time PhD, youhave to build in that extra time.If you're doing a part-time PhD, you have to be super flexible.You have to be able to shift to another schoolif it means you have to do that.So don't go out with an idea of what your data will

  • 22:29

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: be in the first place.Actually be very flexible and understandthat what you start off as a study may notend up to be the study that you want to produce.[Conclusion]In conclusion, I found that grounded theory and groundedmethodology, and particularly grounded methodology,gave me a sense of ownership of the research.

  • 22:51

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: The thing about grounded theory and grounded methodologyis you're a beginner.Even if you've got tens and tens of years of experiencein research, every research projectyou start will be like starting from the beginning again.It's very important to actually feela sense of flexibility in your research to actually make surethat you don't go in with a strict sense,

  • 23:11

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: a blinkered vision about what your research will be.Be open minded.Be reflective.Be flexible.And understand, just like Glaser and Straussand their methodology and their first study in understandingof dying, that the ownership of the research projectactually has to be with the participants.Let them guide your research.

  • 23:31

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: And if they don't do exactly what you want them to do,that's fantastic because it's a human form of researchand humans aren't exactly as we're supposed to be.We are these disparate beings.We're trying to be very different from whoother people are.So you will never get a sense of perfect research projects.You'll never get a perfect sense of fieldwork.

  • 23:53

    SIMON HAYHOE [continued]: You'll always be negotiating with people at one pointbecause it is a human activity.[MUSIC PLAYING]

Video Info

Publisher: SAGE Publications Ltd

Publication Year: 2018

Video Type:Case Study

Methods: Fieldwork

Keywords: blind students; challenges, issues, and controversies; developing relationships; education for the blind; educational equity; impact and inequalities in arts in education; practices, strategies, and tools; qualitative software; Students with special health care needs ... Show More

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Segment Num.: 1

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Simon Hayhoe explains how to utilize an adjusted grounded theory model for research. Hayhoe also explores ethical practices surrounding research with disabled students.

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Publication Info

SAGE Publications Ltd
Publication Year:
SAGE Research Methods Video: Practical Research and Academic Skills
Publication Place:
London, United Kingdom
SAGE Original Production Type:
SAGE Case Studies
Copyright Statement:
© SAGE Publications Ltd, 2018


Simon Hayhoe

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Segment Num: 1


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Methods Map


An experiment conducted in a natural setting as opposed to a laboratory.
Approaches for Conducting Research with Disabled Students

Simon Hayhoe explains how to utilize an adjusted grounded theory model for research. Hayhoe also explores ethical practices surrounding research with disabled students.

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