L. to M.
Head to Head
This last snippet, L, probably best characterizes a split between teacher and researcher that we have been talking about for the last half year as we've worked on this project.
I find it very interesting that the teacher/researcher responding in this paragraph blames his poor student evaluations on himself...he didn't teach them how to respond given that particular rhetorical situation and their intended audience.
Perhaps, they saw their audience more in terms of researcher rather than teacher...in that case, such an audience would welcome any response as long as it was sincere...But the teacher had different expectations about the rhetorical situation...it was still grounded in a more personal way...the way, perhaps, some of us are entrenched in when we are flesh and blood teachers standing in front of 20 or more flesh and blood students.
As a researcher, my first reaction is to spank the teacher/researcher in this passage. After all, his students are responding to a prompt requesting their feelings in the context of a study that is being done within that class. This teacher laments not being able to alter that data before it was collected by eliciting a different set of responses.
My second reaction is to take a deep breath and acknowledge that this snippet problematizes our research in other ways. It also surfaces the tension this teacher may have felt towards the IRB process in general and the way it prescribes research and affects our classrooms...How does a positivist construction of research create a researcher/teacher that muddles with those personal connections that exist between the stakeholders outside of the realm of the formal research project?
Ruth Ray, in "Composition from the Teacher-Researcher Point of View," writes "teacher-researchers […] proceed on the alternative premise that teaching and researching are interactive—that they form a dialectic relationship in which they continually inform each other” (184). This episode makes me want to further consider what that dialectic relationship entails, on both ends.
Perhaps I am obsessed with control and authority. The more control I have over a situation, the easier I am able to view the parameters of authority and influence. Perhaps I focused more quickly on what the students might have learned than on what actually happened. Yes, I agree - this is a problem.