chapter  11
16 Pages

Interpreting Meaning

Although completing the written report of your fi ndings tends to feel like closing the curtain on a fi ve-act play (complete with an expectation of joyous applause), there is more to be done before the interpretive description is complete. As with all research, the fi ndings from your study require thoughtful examination, refl ection, and reinterpretation within the context of what else is known about the phenomenon before you can legitimately report what it is that the study “means” in the larger scheme of things. In this chapter, we’ll consider the processes of working with your fi ndings: “discussing” them in the context of other literature, drawing conclusions on the basis of them, and considering what (if any) implications might derive from what you can conclude. Each of these requires an understanding of the nature of the practice knowledge world into which you hope your fi ndings will gain entry. The extent to which that is achievable will depend in no small measure on your capacity to step back and appreciate the nature and limits of your fi ndings within that wider context.