Monday, January 30, 2012

As part of a class I'm currently taking from Yong Zhao on globalization and education, my colleague Jordan and I are conducting a series of interviews with local resident for analysis.  The goal of this interview process is to get a snapshot - an admittedly small sample size - of contemporary opinions regarding issues related to education and globalization.

Our plan is to ask each interviewer a battery of questions, which I have included below, and post their responses in a blog, along with reactions and further questions inspired by the interviewees' responses to the questions.  Finally, we will look at the collective of the responses and analyze them as a whole, taking a critical look at the commonalities of response and what they might say about our society's understanding of the issues confronted at the intersection of education and globalization.

Below are some questions I quickly jotted down during the first day of class that I envision as tools to query individual understanding of globalization and education, which are big terms that mean lots of things to lots of people.  I appreciate any feedback on questions that might be added, taken away, or tweaked.
  1. What does globalization mean to you?
  2. How do you think globalization impacts education?
  3. What is your perception of American education?
  4. Should teachers and/or parents concern themselves with globalization?
  5. Is globalization a good thing?
  6. Has globalization impacted you?  Your family?  Your community?  How and in what ways?
  7. What does globalization mean to you?
Obviously, anytime conclusions are to be drawn from data that consist largely of interviewee response, one has to consider how questions may cloud or color responses.  Just as I typed these up, I was struck by how the order of the questions could significantly impact a person's response.  That's something that I think can be addressed in the interviewer review and assessment of the interviewed subject.  Rather than trying to be overly scientific about definitions and categories, we are intending the questions to be a starting point for a discussion about the issues of globalization and education.  If questions are given in varying order and questions are added or subtracted, that's okay.  The real goods will be in the interviewee responses that are prompted by these questions.

Also, I intentionally repeated the first question, just as a kind of processing device to see how the prior discussion elicited new thoughts or reactions to the idea of globalization that were not evinced at the beginning of the interview.  I also hope that, rhetorically, the recognized repetition of the question will prompt the interviewee to take the opportunity to give a sort of final statement or conclusion concerning whatever they deem important about the topics discussed.

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