Designing a consequentially based study into the online support of pre-service teachers in the UK

2015-04-21T10:07:03Z (GMT) by Konstantina Kontopoulou Alison Fox
This paper reports on the design of the pilot stages of a doctoral study into the online support of pre-service teachers in the UK. It highlights the significance of a consequential, rather than deontological, perspective in guiding the development of a study’s design. The study initially aimed to explore pre-service teachers’ perceptions and use of social media on their school placements by setting up groups on Facebook and Twitter to act as platforms for pre-service teachers to interact with their peers and support each other during their placements. However, several problems occurred in relation to the recruitment of participants which challenged the direction of the study. It became increasingly clear that there was significance in the positionality of the researcher as an ‘outsider’ to the research context and the potential role for gatekeepers in understanding remote research sites. An ethical framework was used to make a more comprehensive analysis of the issues at play which helped identify ways of proceeding. A redesign of the study followed with a stronger rationale for the way consequential considerations can help address deontological concerns.