Ethical Issues in Literacy Research: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Ethical Issues in Literacy Research

1st Edition

Edited by Carole S. Rhodes, Kenneth J. Weiss


168 pages

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Literacy educators and researchers at all stages of their careers face ethical issues whenever they embark on research studies. In this book experienced literacy researchers identify and address multi-faceted, multi-dimensional ethical issues related to conducting studies in school, home, community, and virtual settings and share actions taken when faced with ethical dilemmas in their own investigations. Each chapter addresses a specific literacy research ethical issue. Part I focuses on conducting research in settings such as schools or literacy clinics. Part Two addresses research with pre-service teachers in college/university and school settings. Part Three looks at research in virtual worlds and online environments. Pedagogical features in each chapter engage readers in making connections between what they are reading and their own teaching and learning situations: A vignette to help readers understand the issue; pre-reading questions ; background information drawn from current research literature; suggested engagement activities; chapter summary. Additional resources (PowerPoint Presentations; Case Studies; Website Links; Interactive "Ask the Researcher Websites/Blogs/Tweets") are available on a website linked to the book:


"The editors and authors of Ethical Issues in Literacy Research have produced a text that will be insightful and beneficial to emerging literacy scholars and their instructors/mentors. Furthermore, the text will serve as a valuable resource to more seasoned researchers. It addresses a range of research contexts and ethical dilemmas that even veteran scholars may find unfamiliar. The authors effectively compel readers to question aspects of literacy research previously assumed to be unproblematic." —Teachers College Record

Table of Contents


P. David Pearson


Chapter 1 – Introduction: The Advancement and Significance of Protecting Human Subjects

Carole S. Rhodes and Kenneth J. Weiss

PART I - Research with Teachers and Students

Chapter 2 - Becoming Answerable to our Participants:

A Methodological Essay on Life History

Amy Johnson Lachuk and Mary Louise Gomez

Chapter 3 – Victims or Free Agents? Constructing Ethical Representations

of “At Risk” Youth

Heidi L. Hallman

Chapter 4 – “You Don’t Have to Tell Anybody About It; You Just Write it Down”: The Dilemma of Using Secrets as Data in Research

Involving “At Risk” Adolescent Girls’ Writing Practices

Mellinee Lesley

Chapter 5 – Ethical Issues in Conducting Research with Bilingual/Dual

Language Learners

Cynthia B. Leung and Alejandro E. Brice

Chapter 6 – Assessment for Research Among Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students

Rachael Gabriel and Hannah Dostal

PART II: Research with Preservice and In-service Teachers in

College/University and School Settings

Chapter 7 – What Happens to the Teachers and Students Who “Fail”: The Ethics of “Proving” the Effectiveness

of an Academic Intervention

Richard M. Oldrieve

Chapter 8 – Yes, I Take It Personally: Examining the Unexplained Life of a Literacy Ethnographer

Stacie L. Tate x

Chapter 9 – Caring for Whom? Ethical Dilemmas in Doing Research on and

With Teachers in Schools

Nancy Flanagan Knapp

PART III: Research in Virtual Worlds and Online Environments

Chapter 10 – “I Tweet, I Blog, I Post Responses Online, I Text Message,

All for Class”: Issues of Ethics When Dealing with University

Students Who Use New Technologies as Part of Literacy Course Requirements

Kenneth J. Weiss

Chapter 11 – I Want What I Want When I Want It: Ethical Issues of Teaching and Research in Online Classes

Carole S. Rhodes

Chapter 12 – Ethical Issues in Second Life: Do They Matter? Carol J. Delaney and Barbara Guzzetti

Chapter 13 – Anonymity and Confidentiality in the Conduct of Online Surveys Cynthia B. Leung and Zafer Unal

List of Contributors

About the Editors

Carole S. Rhodes, Ph.D., a professor of Literacy Education at Queens College, City University of New York, has won numerous awards and grants for her teaching and research to promote the literacy of children and adolescents. A consultant to many school districts, she works with students, their parents, teachers and administrators to design curriculum and implement strategies for reading success. Her "reality based, humorous and highly informative" workshops result in her being much sought after as a speaker by teachers, and administrators who recognize and value the experience she brings as a classroom teacher and researcher. Carole serves on the Advisory Board of Sunrise Day Camp for children with cancer.

Dr. Kenneth J. Weiss is Professor Emeritus of Reading and Language Arts, in the School of Education and Professional Studies at Central State University in New Britain, Connecticut, teaching both undergraduate and graduate level reading education courses. Ken is a frequent presenter at international, regional, state and local professional conferences. Ken serves as a member of the Board of Examiners of NCATE and served as a former president and conference chair for the Connecticut Reading Association. Ken’s research interests center around the use technology as it relates to 21st century learners as well as in areas of children’s literature and content area reading instruction.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Teaching Methods & Materials / Reading & Phonics
EDUCATION / Research