The purpose of this study was to reexamine the principle of researcher-as-instrument to provide insights on methodological ways of engaging critically and reflexively. There are few published pieces that have given attention to the complexities of the educational researcher’s identities through the method of critical self-analysis. The researcher’s nine published case studies were critically reanalyzed by using the criteria of excellent qualitative research such as rich rigor to examine the relationship between the researcher’s identities and the quality of qualitative research. The findings suggest that the researcher’s published studies lack sincerity most among other criteria. The layered identities of the researcher, specifically her theoretical knowledge and linguistic orientation, influenced the data interpretation and subsequent reports. The field of educational research tends to view researchers as one homogenous group; this study redefines that notion as the findings uncover that the researcher’s positionality affects data interpretation. The findings suggest that a more rigorous method of reexamining the concept of researcher-as instrument is vital for the improvement of the educational practice. A suggestion for future publications is to include a “complexities” section to share researchers’ complex identities in their qualitative research reporting.


researcher-as-instrument, self-reflexivity, researcher identity, qualitative educational research, quality of educational research

Author Bio(s)

Bogum Yoon, Ph.D., is a Professor of Literacy Education at the State University of New York at Binghamton. Please direct correspondence to byoon@binghamton.edu.

Christine Uliassi, Ed.D. is an Instructor at the State University of New York at Cortland. Please direct correspondence to Christine.Uliassi@cortland.edu.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





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