Research Paper# 5

637 Words3 Pages
For this assignment, I decided to conduct my field research at my internship since I knew it was a place where I could observe different people for a long amount of time in one sitting. This semester I am interning with the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) in the Office of Human Capital. On Friday, March 28, 2014 from 3:00pm-4:15pm, all employees at DCPS had to attend a Central Office All-Hands Meeting. Since, everyone would be together at one time and I would not have to worry about being distracted by work assignments, I figured this meeting would present the perfect opportunity to observe my fellow coworkers and their behaviors. In order to obtain maximal observations, I decided to choose the role of complete observer in which I did not have any interaction with the other employees and only observedfrom a distance. Though, I was apart of the meeting, I did not disclose to anyone that I was a researcher for the day nor did anyone realize that I was making observations of him or her. Advantages of this role are that it does not allow for much prejudgment. As a complete observer, one’s role is to merely observe what is there, which allows the researcher to be quite objective. Being that there is no interaction between the researcher and those being observed, the environment studied is natural and less controlled than in an experiment. Thus, the people observed are likely to behave normally. Finally, because field notes are taken while being a complete observer, the researcher can go back over his notes later to “double-check assumptions regarding the meaning of observations” (Hagan 201). Disadvantages of this role are that it is very time-consuming, as the researcher has to wait for interesting things to occur and has... ... middle of paper ... ...with their peers, the room was full of chatter and laughter. However, when DCPS Chancellor, Kaya Henderson, walked into the room, it got very quiet and more formal. In the middle of the meeting when various speakers discussed a variety of topics, employees became less engaging and appeared to lose attention. However, near the end of the meeting when two YouTube videos about children who attend DC public schools were shown, the audience seemed to “wake up” and were more lively and paid attention to what the videos were showing. Overall, the pattern that I observed in the meeting was to be expected and is typical of any meeting where there is a large audience and a few speakers. Works Cited Hagan, Frank E. “Participant Observation and Case Studies.” Research Methods in Criminal Justice and Criminology. 9th ed. Upper Saddle River: Pearson, 2014. 182-208. Print.
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