Education has continued to grow in stature and significance as an academic discipline. In addition to world renowned research studies the growth of education has been seen in the methodology and methods underpinning its research. The BERA/SAGE Handbook of Educational Research provides a cutting edge account of the research and methodology that is creating new understandings for education research, policy and practice. Over two volumes, the handbook addresses educational research in six essential components: Section 1: Understanding Research Section 2: Planning Research Section 3: Approaches to Research Section 4: Acquiring Data Section 5: Analysing Data Section 6: Reporting, Disseminating and Evaluating Research Featuring contributions from more than 50 of the biggest names in the international field, The BERA/SAGE Handbook of Educational Research represents a very significant contribution to the development of education.


Sara Delamont


The chapter defines ethnography, a variety of qualitative research, and briefly outlines the history of ethnographic research in education, contrasting the anthropological and sociological traditions. Centrally it explains the stages of an ethnographic project, with advice on key aspects of conducting it successfully, including analysis and writing up. Examples come from the whole age-range and from formal and informal educational settings. Longer and more elaborated versions of the argument can be found elsewhere (Delamont, 2012a, 2012b, 2012c, 2014, 2016a).

This chapter focuses on ‘pure’ ethnography (defined here as research based on long term immersion in a field site) and briefly on the use of ethnographic approaches in mixed method designs. Ethnography is sometimes used misleadingly to include interview-based ...

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