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

Brigitte Smit

Abstract


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

Keywords


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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