Some lessons learned about teaching, research, and academic disputation

Frederick Erickson


In teaching I learned the importance of student assent to learn, and the power of students to withhold that assent. In research I learned the importance of being open to surprises and changes of mind, looking closely at all your evidence and not sweeping any of it under the rug. In academic disputation I learned about tribal isolation and siloing across disciplines in the field of education, and the difficult but important matter of trying to avoid “othering” those with whom you disagree. I also learned a great deal from my early experience in Lawndale [on Chicago's West Side], recognizing over time that in trying to help kids and adults there I had received much more from them than I gave. [Download the PDF and read more]

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Erickson, F., & Shultz, J. (1982). The counselor as gatekeeper: Social interaction in interviews. New York: Academic Press.

Erickson, F. (1986). Qualitative methods in research on teaching. In M. C. Wittrock (Ed.), Handbook of Research on Teaching (3rd ed., pp. 119-161). New York: Macmillan. Republished as Quantitative Methods; Qualitative Methods (with Robert L. Linn). In Research in Teaching and Learning Volume 2. New York: Macmillan. Reprinted in M. C. Wittrock, La investigación de la enseñanza, 11, 195-301, Barcelona/Buenos Aires: Ediciones Paidos, 1989.

Erickson, F. (1987). Transformation and school success: The politics and culture of educational achievement. Anthropology and Education Quarterly, 18(4), 335-356. Reprinted in E. Jacob & C. Jordan (Eds.) Minority Education: Anthropological Perspectives. Norwood, NJ: Ablex, 1992.

Erickson, F. (2004). Talk and social theory: Ecologies of speaking and listening in everyday life. Cambridge UK: Polity Press.

Erickson, F. (2017). A history of qualitative inquiry in social and educational research. In N. Denzin & Y. Lincoln (Eds.) The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Research (5th ed., pp. 36-65). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.


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