Validity as an issue in student interview data

Year: 1998

Author: Partington, Gary

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The credibility of informants is a contentious issue in qualitative research, particularly when it involves reporting events that might cast the informant in a negative light. In this paper the validity of Aboriginal student reports of classroom discipline incidents is examined through a comparison with teacher and administrator reports. This comparative analysis reveals a high level of accuracy of reporting the basic facts of discipline incidents, leading the researcher to infer that the reports of events, and the attitudes to the events, provided by students are as accurate as those provided by teachers. These findings are discussed in relation to issues of knowledge and power.