High School Students “Talk Back” to the Anonymous Researcher behind the Questionnaire

Tova Hartman, Elli Schachter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper discusses high-school students' perspectives on their participation in educational survey research. Students responded to a Likert-style questionnaire about their school’s social-educational portrait and were invited at its end to briefly comment on the survey itself. Qualitative analysis showed that a sizable proportion of students crafted emotionally laden relational responses addressed to the researchers, spanning a broad spectrum ranging from gratitude through skepticism to angry suspicion. For some students, interest in their school experience was very empowering, giving students a sense of recognition and of being heard. Other students showed discomfort with the quantitative survey as a research tool. The study argues for the existence of relational stances in quantitative research and suggests that these be taken into account in planning the research and interpreting the results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-208
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Experimental Education
Issue number1
Early online date19 Apr 2019
StatePublished - 2021


  • Assessment
  • evaluation
  • relational stances
  • secondary education
  • survey research

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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