Can Qualitative Research Inform Policy Implementation? Evidence and Arguments from a Developing Country Context

Brigitte Smit


How can qualitative research inform policy implementation? This article hopes to shed some light on this complex yet relevant issue and locates this inquiry in a transitional South African context. I intend to qualitatively reveal the local teacher voice, in times of transition and show how such knowledge could contribute to policy implementation. That said, I argue that although teachers play an important role in our education system, more often than not, the teacher voice is a silent voice, which implies that local knowledge for policy implementation might be underplayed, discounted or simply ignored. First, I briefly discuss the development of qualitative research in policy-oriented work. Second, I work from an interpretive perspective to illuminate teacher voice as local knowledge, discussing resistant behaviour and the responses of experienced teachers. Finally, I conclude how qualitative research offers substance and deep nuanced understandings of the complexities at the levels of policy implementation.
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs030363


policy implementation and qualitative research; teacher voice; teacher experiences; teacher resistance; Atlas.ti; educational change

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Copyright (c) 2003 Brigitte Smit

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