Conducting Interviews with Elderly Informants for the Purposes of Educational Ethnography Selected Aspects of Gerontological Fieldwork

Main Article Content

Beata Borowska-Beszta
Mateusz Smieszek


The article presents the problem of conducting interviews for research and educational purposes with elderly people. It is not the purpose of the article to analyze the process of collecting interviews for clinical purposes in medical sciences. The article refers only to the epistemological issues in social sciences. The importance of proper interviewing elderly people is related to the planning of formal, informal or non-formal educational support for them (Kargul 2001) or on the other hand, for the purpose of data collection in qualitative research such as educational ethnography. In both cases, pedagogues should have deep knowledge about both the interview performance and the specificity of conducting interviews with the elderly informants, with respect and knowledge about the state of functioning of their health, cognitive skills etc. It is also particularly worth considering the problem of collecting data with informants having dementia or mental illnesses or being in need of particular sensitivity from the researchers. The article introduces the problem of educational needs of people in late adulthood, synthesizes the characteristics of elderly people as informants, taking into account their cognitive performance, health-related requirements or chronic diseases. In addition, the content includes procedural recommendations for the practice of data collection with informants in late adulthood (Tokaj 2005; Talarska & Wieczorowska-Tobis 2012) – after 60-65 years of age.

Article Details

How to Cite
Borowska-Beszta, Beata, and Mateusz Smieszek. 2018. “Conducting Interviews With Elderly Informants for the Purposes of Educational Ethnography”. International Journal of Psycho-Educational Sciences 7 (3), 19-31.
Author Biographies

Beata Borowska-Beszta, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Poland

Associate Professor, Faculty of Education; Head of Chair of Disability Studies

Mateusz Smieszek, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Poland

PhD Candidate