This book is a follow-up to Inside Schools. It reviews the position of ethnography in educational research in the light of current issues and of the author's own research over the past ten years. Starting from an analysis of teaching as science and as art, Peter Woods goes on to review the general interactionist framework in which his own work is situated, and how this relates to postmodernist trends in qualitative research. The approach is illustrated through reference to the author's own personal history and research career, and his recent research on creative teaching, critical events, and his teachers reactions to school inspections. How to represent such research is a central feature, and includes a consideration of the tools used in that task and how they relate to the ethnographer's self, whatever forms of representation are selected, however, the audiences' own concerns will guide them in their interpretation of the work.
Prominent themes include:
* the person of the ethnographer in research
* the art of teaching and new ways of representing it, while not forgetting the science of teaching and of research
* research for educational use, and the uses of educational research
* collaborative work between researchers and teachers
The issues covered include such matters as research purposes, research design, research careers, access, data collection, data analysis, truth criteria, the relationship between theory and research methods, writing-up, and dissemination.
'Researching the Art of Teaching is a potent and practical account of how ethnographic enquiry continues to develop for educational use' - Sheila Galloway, British Educational Research Journal