Field reports are set as assignments in a variety of disciplines and usually require the student to combine theory and analysis with observation and practice.
This type of report is intended to improve student understanding of key theoretical concepts of a course through observation of and reflection about real life practice. In addition, this type of report facilitates the development of data collection and observation skills and allows students to see how theory applies to real world practice. The function of field reports is to describe an observed person, place or event and to analyse that observation.
We all observe people, interactions and events in everyday life; however, your job when writing a field report is more structured. When writing a field report you need to:
systematically observe and accurately record in detail the varying aspects of a situation;
constantly analyse your observation for meaning (i.e. what's going on here?, what does this mean?, what else does this relate to?);
keep the reportís aims in mind while you are observing;
consciously observe, record and analyse what you hear and see in the context of a theoretical framework/s (Glesne & Peshkin, 1992).
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