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Documentary Research

  • By: Brian D. Schultz
  • In: Encyclopedia of Curriculum Studies
  • Edited by: Craig Kridel
  • Subject:Cultural Studies (general), Curriculum & Content (general), Curriculum Studies

The methodological research approach termed documentary research has multiple meanings and different usages within the broad research landscape across disciplines. Although the term is commonly used within the field of sociology—even cited as one of the most common forms of research conducted by sociologists—for research that leverages archival documentation including texts, documents, newspapers, films, photographs, governmental publications, census data, paintings, diaries, journals, and books, its meaning within the field of curriculum studies, albeit related, is different. Whereas sociologists focus on these various documents as sources of data and as reliable artifacts when conducting their research, the field of curriculum studies sees documentary research as the art and science of producing the documentation itself. This act of doing documentary research can be conducted through producing written ...

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