College Essay Examples

Exercise 4 Examples

Exercise 4 Examples

Question 1

The problem being investigated in this ethnographic study is the effectiveness of recitation as a learning strategy in rural schools. Swidler (2000) examines how recitation is used as an individual learning strategy in rural schools and how it can impact students’ learning outcomes. Also, Swidler (2000) notes that recitation has a long-standing tradition in rural schools and is often used to teach reading, memorization, and public speaking skills.

Question 2

In Swidler’s study, the textbook was the primary source of content and instruction for students and teachers. It was used to teach a variety of subjects, including reading, language arts, social studies, science, and math. The textbooks were comprehensive and covered a range of subject areas, incorporating text-based and visual materials. In addition to being a mode of education, they were also used for assessment wherein teachers assigned tests based on the textbook content.

Question 3

The parents of children attending Bigham School might report several social benefits for their children. This might include a strong sense of community, personalized attention, respect for traditional values, enhanced social skills, and an improved self-confidence. The small class size and rural location of the school creates a supportive, nurturing learning environment where children can develop important social skills and interact with students of different ages and from different backgrounds. Also, the school’s emphasis on recitation and memorization reinforces traditional values and helps students develop self-confidence. This is because it gives them opportunities to practice public speaking and oral communication. Through these activities, students gain confidence in their ability to express themselves and present ideas to others.

Question 4

Swidler relied on participant observation, interviews, and document analysis as the data collection methods in this study. Swidler spent a significant amount of time at the school, observing and taking notes on classroom activities, teacher-student interactions, and school events. He also conducted informal interviews with teachers, parents, and students to gather information about their experiences and perspectives on the school. Also, Swidler (2000) analyzed documents such as school curricula, student work, and other school materials to gain insight into the school’s academic and cultural practices.

Question 5

Swidler’s study uses multiple data collection methods, which allowed him to collect rich, detailed data. This also increased the study’s validity and reliability. Also, Swidler’s study used detailed descriptions and contextual information about about the social and cultural practices at Bighand School. This approach helps readers to understand the complex social and cultural phenomena that is needed in ethnographic research. On the other hand, there was a limited sample size since it focused on only one school. Another limitation is the potential for bias, since Swidler’s role as a participant-observer may have influenced his interpretations of the data. However, Swidler took steps to mitigate this bias by engaging in reflexivity and acknowledging his own biases and assumptions throughout the study.




Swidler, S.A. (2000). Notes on a country school tradition: Recitation as an individual strategy. Journal of Research in Rural Education, 16(1), 8-21.




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By Hanna Robinson

Hanna has won numerous writing awards. She specializes in academic writing, copywriting, business plans and resumes. After graduating from the Comosun College's journalism program, she went on to work at community newspapers throughout Atlantic Canada, before embarking on her freelancing journey.

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