During the final quarter of the 20th century, ethnographic research methods became widely accepted in a number of fields, including the field of curriculum studies. In curriculum studies, for instance, acceptance of ethnographic methods permitted researchers to study the so-called hidden curriculum phenomenon empirically and conceptually. Ethnographic methods also served as a foundation for a range of other qualitative research strategies that segments of the curriculum studies field enthusiastically embraced. One example would be curriculum theorist Elliot Eisner's educational criticism approach to inquiry. To be sure, Eisner based his educational criticism approach to inquiry on criticism in the arts, but at least in the early years, educational critics often borrowed and adapted their empirical research strategies from ethnographic research.

Historically, the term ethnographic research referred to ...

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