"... There's so much going on unspoken in the back of the mind ..." —The Use of Repertory Grid Technique as a Qualitative Heuristic Research Design to Understand Teachers' Perceptions of Parents
Studying subjective attitudes has to answer the question about the possibilities of expressing personal systems of meanings and about the possibilities of reconstructing the verbalized meanings by the researchers. Investigating teachers' perceptions of parents leads to two additional problems: teachers' rule of neutrality—which demands not making emotional and degrading statements—, and the normative orientation of "partnership" with parents—which is currently being increasingly discussed in the context of school-development and which makes teachers justify their working together with parents. The Repertory Grid Technique as a method of interview design supports the teachers who have been questioned in verbalizing individual perceptions of parents without using common phrases in their statements. But explicitly integrating the method in a qualitative design raises new questions: According to the currently prevailing orientation towards the typical quantitative Grid-data, qualitative designs are of little interest, so one cannot rely on proven procedures. The procedure described in this article is characterized by using the complete transcription of the interviews with teachers and the analysis of them as texts. The quantitative grid data are only collected for heuristic purposes. This article is a contribution to the discussion of the possibilities of realizing the qualitative potentials of Repertory Grid Technique.
Repertory Grid Technique; school development; perceptions of parents; teachers' awareness; subjective attitudes; qualitative Repertory Grid interviews; analyses in dialogue