Activity 6

Triangulation

The concept of TRIANGULATION is a helpful one in the research process. Triangulation means cross-checking.

"The key to triangulation is to see the same thing from different perspectives and thus to be able to confirm or challenge the findings of one method with those of another".

REFLECT: Consider the following case study: An educational researcher interviewed 20 teachers in four local schools about their experiences of consulting pupils about their lessons. She drew the conclusion from this interview data that two particular experienced teachers were very ‘managerial' in their approach to consultation, seeing it primarily as a way of controlling their pupils rather than as an important educational principle.

To triangulate, she sent out a questionnaire to all 20 participating teachers six months after the project had finished to ask them about their current uses of pupil consultation. The first teachers to return their questionnaires were these two but what they wrote was anything but managerial in approach. This new evidence undermined the researcher's initial analysis.

WRITE: What conclusions might the researcher have drawn from this experience? What, in your opinion, might she do next?

(Allow 15 minutes)