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Kirsch, Gesa E., and Peter Mortensen. “Toward an Ethics of Research.” Ethical Dilemmas in Feminist Research: The Politics of Location, Interpretation, and Publication. Ed. Gesa E. Kirsch. Albany: State U of New York P, 1999. 87-103.

  • The authors aim is to “map out significant problems and opportunities that await researchers who want their inquiries to be a resource for individual and group expressions of self-determination” (87).
  • The authors claim there are a couple of benefits to feminist research.  1) critical reflection tends to refine the translation of theory into practice, 2) reflection also makes the research process more accountable by exposing it to colleagues, and participants; 3) the conclusion that making knowledge in research is not epistemologically different from its construction in other parts of our lives is also key.
  • The authors discuss ethics in terms of 1) collaborative work with others, 2) work within institutions, 3) work within the profession, 4) work that entails multiple roles (researcher, teacher, learner), and 5) work toward sharing what we know with our various publics (89).
  • Collaboration – The inclusion of all stakeholders – teachers, parents, admins, community members, etc., – in the case of an education study – must be identified and included in all stages of inquiry.
  • Institutions – This is where feminist research ethics intersects with the institution via places/forums like the IRBs and federal legislation on human subject research.
  • Paul Anderson – you’ve already read for this assignment – is identified for bringing IRBs into the composition discussion.
  • Privacy is considered in the context of consent in this section.  The conversation on consent and privacy should answer some fundamental questions: 1) consent should be renegotiated if a research project changes dramatically, 2) consent should be recognized if participants or researchers feel uncomfortable with relations or arrangements as they evolve, 3) the task of securing participants’ informed consent, should be handled by a third party, 4) the status of participants’ consent, should not be disclosed to teacher-researchers as long as students are no longer subject to teacher evaluation, and 5) information collected from consenting participants should be scrutinized for its potential to humiliate, embarrass or otherwise harm participants if published (92).
  • Alcoff is a big source here.
  • The national organizations (CCCC, NTCE) need to also articulate a ethical research framework.
  • The authors hope that folks can respect one another’s ideological and methodological differences within the discipline cordially.
  • For the authors, critical reflection is central to the researcher/teacher position.  In fact, “critical reflection monitors research and teaching and learning as they evolve, opening new paths of inquiry as needed” 9607).  Reciprocity is also key for the researcher/teacher – student relationship.  Both have a lot to learn from one another.
  • The authors are really adamant that “qualitative research on literacy provide ample reflection on all significant ethical dilemmas encountered in the field and at the desk” (99).  These reflections should be a central feature of the text.

One Response to “CCR601 – FP – 3rd Gen – Kirsch and Mortensen”

  1. Kate

    Thanks, Justin! I know I’ve read this but couldn’t find my notes on it.

    Also: I haven’t been to your blog in awhile, but it looks great 🙂 I especially love the background.

    Looking forward to catching up!

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