In this article the authors argue that the researcher reflective journal is a critical interpretive tool for conducting educational policy analysis. The idea for this research grew from the experiences of a doctoral candidate (Ruth) in pursuit of a policy focused dissertation and a series of on-going conversations with her qualitative methodologist (Valerie). The structure of the paper takes a dialogue form on the topic of policy analysis and the various uses of the journal, including found data poetry and photographic representations of the self as a research instrument, which may expand the findings and increase options for data presentation. Sections of the paper include a discussion on journal writing as a creative process, the reflective role of the researcher when examining policies, and the challenges of constructing a well-designed methodological framework.


Researcher Reflective Journal, Alternative Policy Analysis, Qualitative Methods

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