A Case for Contrast as a Catalyst for Change

By Louise Young and Lynne Freeman.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This is a qualitative, largely reflective, interpretive case study of our evolution from teachers of market research to educational collaborators who work with students to co-develop qualitative researchers. This case both explores the ways to extend and improve qualitative research and researchers and presents a more general, interpretivist approach to problem-solving. The case is mixed method. It reports the combination and interpretation of reflective elements including articulating our individual memories and inter-relating these in a series of discussions where we also considered the nature and meaning of our educational approaches and the effectiveness of what we are doing. It also reports elements of the document analysis of our separate and collective teaching materials and the texts and the literature associated with qualitative research and teaching. The case illustrates the effectiveness of using “contrast” as a mechanism for the development of teaching, learning and research skills. The particular relevance of contrast in teaching qualitative research methods generally and interpretivist qualitative approaches in particular is also addressed. The reporting of this case relies on the interpretation of events that occur through time. In addition to simply reporting and interpreting our reflections, narrative event sequence analysis methods (Abbott 2001, Abell 1998, 1993) are used to evaluate the evolution of expertise and approach that are at the heart of this case. These analytical approaches allow us to move beyond the reporting of history to consideration of key factors that drive it. This in turn allows insights of this to be utlized in other contexts. This case also highlights the substantial contribution of the contributions the commercial sector into our teaching (and research). The case concludes with reflection on the nature of qualitative discovery within our teaching that has emerged. It is spontaneous, messy, conflicting and surprising. We attempt to communicate this to students and to engineer situations where we are messy, conflicted and conflicting and surprised! It suits us.

Keywords: Case Study, Qualitative Research, Ontology

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp.295-304. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 759.685KB).

Dr. Louise Young

Professor, School of Marketing, University of Western Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Louise has had a very successful career both as a teacher, and as a researcher, as is reflected in the awards she has received, most recently as a co- recipient of a Carrick Citation for “for sustained development of student inspiration, achievement and curiosity through their engagement in a practice-based, research-led group project” and her position as Professor in the School of Marketing at the University of Technology, Sydney. She regularly runs workshops, both in Australia and overseas, on a variety of topics including qualitative research methods Louise’s many publications reflect the breadth of her research interests; from the nature of teaching to the nature of complex systems. She is widely recognized as an expert on the nature and role of trust in relationships and is involved in a number of international projects in this area Current research focuses on the evolution and management of relationships and networks in a range of contexts including business to business, tourism and CSR.. Research methods used include deep qualitative interview and lexicographic analysis and agent-based modeling.

Lynne Freeman

Lecturer, School of Marketing, University of Technology, Sydney, NSW, Australia

After completing a master’s degree in Marketing Education, from the University of Lancaster, Lynne gained several years experience in the market research industry in the UK, where she specialised in retail and panel research. Lynne moved to Australia in the mid 1980’s and since her arrival has taught at both the graduate and undergraduate level, run workshops and training courses on amongst other topics qualitative research techniques, small business governance and market research skills, given seminars both here and overseas on communication and Government policy. She has received awards for her teaching, most recently being co-awarded a Carrick Citation for “outstanding commitment to student learning” She also runs a consultancy specialising in qualitative market research. Research interests include qualitative research, education, compliance, marketing communications, small business management and taxation.

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