Monday, October 20, 2008

Toward an Afrafeminist Teacher-Research Methodology

Last week I met with Grabill to talk about the methodologies I'm trying to use in my dissertation. Grabill always gives me a sense of clarity when I'm trying to flesh out research (and gets REALLY geeked when having any conversation that has to do with methdology. Huge shout-out to him). I say methodologies because I am doing three different teacher-research studies in three different chapters of my diss. One chapter focuses on the literacy histories and linguistic practices of African American students (male and female). Another focuses exclusively on those practices employed by African American female students, and the other focuses on how all students understand Ebonics in Composition Studies. The conversation Grabill and I had about methodology and my proposed chapters went somethin' like this (I'm paraphrasing):

Grabill: Where's your methodology chapter?

Me: what?

Grabill: Your methodology chpater?

Me: I have several -- Each study is a different methodology, therefore I can't just have one methodology chapter.

Grabill: Why is that?

Me: Because how can I describe one methodology with 3 different studies?

Grabill: You're thinking about the methods used in each of these studies. Look at it not in terms of the different studies, but in terms of the methodology under which these 3 studies fall.

Me: Oh?

Grabill: You talk about Afrafeminist methods in your studies, and you define teacher-research a particular way, so that's your methodology.

Me: Oh. Since teacher-research typically (if it is at all) talked about in the context of Afrafeminism, then I need to define what Afrafeminst teacher-research looks like.

Grabill: That's where I see your work contributing to the field.

Me. Now the challenge will be to explain coherently what that looks like.

Grabill: Yep. That's your methodology chapter.

Me: so I have to add a chapter.

Grabill: Yes. You'll have six chapters instead of five.


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