The Ethical Significance of (Mathematically) Engaging with Students and Teachers while Collecting Qualitative Data


  • Jean-Francois Maheux Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)
  • Wolff-Michael Roth University of Victoria



data collection, classroom research, violence, responsibility, Lévinas, Bakhtin, Devereux


Qualitative research in education is organized and conducted around knowing something specific about teaching and learning: it is conducted in the search of knowledge. This attitude, LÉVINAS explains, poses an ethical challenge because it reduces the otherness of the other to sameness and negates our fundamental relation of responsibility for the other: "knowledge is still and always solitude." Although scholars articulate the significance of such ethics for teaching and learning, it is yet to be conceptualized in the perspective of conducting classroom research. In this paper, we provide an exemplifying analysis of a classroom research episode (form our content area of mathematics) to renew the concept of observing through which going into the classroom and collecting data is realized in/as ethical responsibility for the students and the teachers.



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Author Biography

Wolff-Michael Roth, University of Victoria

Wolff-Michael ROTH is a research professor in the Griffith Institute for Educational Research at Griffith University. He conducts research in numerous fields of educational research: learning communities, coteaching, cultural-historical activity theory, gesture studies, qualitative research methods and the role of language.




How to Cite

Maheux, J.-F., & Roth, W.-M. (2012). The Ethical Significance of (Mathematically) Engaging with Students and Teachers while Collecting Qualitative Data. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 13(3).

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