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EDU 8603 Educational Research Richard M. Jacobs, OSA, Ph.D.
Commonly called “interpretive research” …its methods rely heavily on “thick” verbal descriptions of a particular social context being studied
Is useful for describing or answering questions about particular, localized occurrences or contexts and the perspectives of a participant group toward events, beliefs, or practices …a helpful process for exploring a complex research area about which little is known
more examined. and better understood . Illuminates the “invisibility of everyday life” …by making the familiar strange.
Qualitative methods.. historical research grounded theory ethnography phenomenology case study symbolic interaction ethology action research ethnomethodology ..
and interpret past events . historical research …studies available data to study. understand.
ethnography …studies cultural patterns and perspectives of participants in their natural settings .
phenomenon. or person . case study …examines the characteristics of a particular entity.
characteristics. and culture of different societies . ethology …compares the origins.
ethnomethodology …studies how people make sense of their everyday activities in order to behave in socially accepted ways .
grounded theory …investigates how inductively-derived theory about phenomenon is grounded in the data of a particular setting .
phenomenology …considers how the experience of particular participants exhibits a unique perspective .
symbolic interaction …investigates how people construct meaning and shared perspectives by interacting with others .
school-based research used to improve the practitioner’s practice by doing or changing something . action research …teacher-initiated.
qualitative researchers…. …spend a great deal of time in the settings being studied (fieldwork) …rely on themselves as the main instrument of data collection (subjectivity. intersubjectivity) …analyze data using interpretative lenses .Generally speaking.
and the logic underlying researcher’s interpretations .…employ expressive language and voice in descriptions and explanations …seek depth of perspective through ongoing analysis (i.. trustworthiness.e. “waves of data”) …judged in terms of believability. coherence.
.. Data sources are real-world situations Data are descriptive Emphasizes a holistic approach (processes and outcomes) Data analysis is inductive Describes the meaning(s) of research finding(s) from the perspective of the research participants .The general characteristics of qualitative research.
Uses inductive reasoning… …involves developing generalizations from a limited number of specific observations or experiences …highly dependent on the number and representativeness of the specific observations used to make the generalization .
leaving the field . a. selecting participants d. contacting potential research participants c.. enhancing validity and reducing bias e..• Issues in qualitative research. gaining entry b.
a. gaining entry.. not given . access is very much dependent upon the researcher’s personal characteristics and how others perceive the researcher may require considerable negotiation and compromise with a gatekeeper trust is earned..
b.. contacting participants.. gaining access dealing with gatekeeper(s) issues of building trust and ensuring confidentiality and anonymity .
the goal is to get the deepest possible understanding of the setting being studied requires identifying participants who can provide information about the particular topic and setting being studied . selecting participants..c..
is fraught with difficulties in identifying and selecting an appropriate number of participants who can provide useful information about the particular topic and setting being studied utilizes purposive sampling .
types of purposive sampling… …maximum variation …homogeneous …critical case …theory-based …(dis)confirming case …snowball (chain) .
…extreme (deviant) case …typical case …intensity …politically important case …random purposeful .
…stratified purposeful …criterion …opportunistic …combination (mixed) …convenience .
two general guidelines: the number of participants is sufficient when… …the extent to which the selected participants represent the range of potential participants in the setting …the point at which the data gathered begins to be redundant (“data saturation”) .
The threats to validity in qualitative studies... observer bias… …invalid information resulting from the perspective the researcher brings to the study and imposes upon it observer effects… …the impact of the observer’s participation on the setting or the participants being studied .
extend the time for observing the setting include more participants to make the study more representative focus upon building participant trust in order to access more detailed and honest data .d... strategies to enhance validity and to reduce bias.
offer participants an opportunity to validate accuracy of the verbatims . identify biases and preferences. seek them out by asking others work with another researcher and compare field notes and impressions from independent observations after observations are completed.
and uncertainties during the study and refer to them when examining the data carefully examine unusual or contradictory results for explanations (“outliers”) . concerns. journalize one’s own reflections.
utilize a variety of data sources to confirm one another to corroborate participant information (“triangulation”) .
leaving the field… The question is when and how to exit …the bonds formed with study participants complicate leaving the setting …time constraints …when the amount of accessible data is sufficient .e.
Write a tentative research proposal 2.. Collect detailed data from field activities 4. Intensive participation in a field setting 3.. Write the research report .The basic steps of qualitative research. 1. Synthesize and interpret the meanings of the field data 5.
.1.. defines area of study identifies setting or context of study specifies the kinds of data to be collected describes methods to be used provides the researcher’s rationale for undertaking the study identifies the study’s potential contribution(s) . The qualitative research proposal.
.2.. Intensive participation in a field setting. participation: as a participant (“participant observer”) or nonparticipant approach to participation: overt or covert requires experiencing the situation from the perspective of both an observer and a participant .
photographs. primary tools include observations and interviews but can also include personal and official documents. drawings.3.. recordings. and informal conversations multiple data sources are normative . Collecting and analyzing data.. emails.
the researcher records descriptive as well as reflective notes about what one has seen, heard, experienced, and thought about a during an observation session
regarding field notes… …put aside assumptions, experience context first …see phenomena through participants’ perspective …write up notes immediately following an observation
…detail is critical: include date, site, time, and topic on every set of field notes; leave wide margins for writing impressions; use only one side of a page of paper; draw diagram of site (if necessary) …list key words first, then outline one’s observations
…keep the descriptive and reflective sections separate …use memos to record hunches. questions. and insights after each observation …number the lines or paragraphs for easy access .
and values as these relate to the context being studied . concerns. regarding interviews… …the purpose is to explore and to probe the interviewee’s responses in order to gather in-depth data …the interviewer inquires into the interviewees’ attitudes. feelings. interests.
meaning is not just a construction on the part of the interviewee .…meaning is jointly constructed between the interviewer and the interviewee.
starting with mundane questions and gradually easing into more sensitive and more complex questions .…be alert for openings in responses to probe more deeply.
writing notes after the interview. or tape recording and transcribing the interview (the transcript is a “verbatim”) .…interview data collection techniques include taking notes during the interview.
.Interview do’s and don’ts.. do wait . Do listen more and talk less Do follow up on what is not clear and probe more deeply into what is revealed Don’t use leading questions. do use open-ended questions (“probes”) Don’t interrupt.
Do keep interviewee(s) focused Do ask for concrete details Do tolerate silence and space between interviewee’s responses. or beliefs . do allow the interviewee time to think Don’t be judgmental about or react to an interviewee’s opinions. views.
Don’t engage in debate with an interviewee Do record everything the interviewee says and note impressions of interviewee’s nonverbal behavior .
.. Synthesis and interpretation of the meanings of field data. a formidable task because data are thick and deep as well as voluminous and unorganized (“field notes”) involves a systematic and iterative process of searching. and integrating data (“managing data”) understanding emerges as data are integrated . categorizing.4.
Analyzing field data… data pieces data categories data patterns .
a. examining data to develop detailed descriptions of the setting.• four-step iterative process of data management.. and activities . reading and memoing to become familiar with data and to identify main themes b.. participants.
classifying the data. interpreting and synthesizing the organized data into general conclusions or understandings .c. including categorization. coding. and grouping into thematic units d.
and interpretation . Involves working with field notes… …deconstructing data into pieces …reconstructing the data pieces into categories …identifying patterns for understanding. synthesis.
a. transferability c. credibility or plausibility b.. including a methods section ..• Criteria suitable for qualitative data analysis.
credibility or plausibility …to demonstrate that the study was conducted in such a manner as to ensure that the subject was accurately identified and described .
transferability …to demonstrate that the results of the study are generalizable to others in the original research context or to contexts beyond the original study .
including a methods section …to provide an in-depth description of the processes and methods used in the study .
analytic induction .. constant comparison method b.• Strategies for analyzing qualitative data. negative case and discrepant data methods c. a..
constant comparison method …compares new evidence to prior evidence to identify similarities and differences between observations .
variant. negative case and discrepant data methods …the search for contradictory. or disconfirming data within the body of data collected that provides an alternative perspective on an emerging category or pattern .
analytic induction …a process concerned with developing and testing a theory in order to generalize a study’s findings .
.. Writing the research report. provide a setting where the data were collected identify characters who provide information describe the social action in which the characters are engaged offers an interpretation of what the social action means to the characters .5.
offers an interpretation of what the social action means to the characters follow all APA Publication Manual guidelines .
True . anthropology.Mini-Quiz… True and false… …Qualitative research methods are rooted in the disciplines of sociology. and history rather than in mathematics.
True and false… …The central focus of qualitative research is to provide understanding of a social setting or activity from the perspective of the research participants True .
True and false… …Empathic neutrality requires a researcher to include one’s personal experience and empathic insight as part of the relevant data True .
True and false… …An interviewer constructs the meaning of the content of an interview False .
True and false… …One of the first issues in qualitative research is to gain entry to a site True .
True and false… …One indicator that an adequate number of participants has been selected is the extent to which the selected participants represent the range of potential participants in the setting True .
True and false… …Purposive sampling strategies are especially useful in qualitative research
True and false… …A qualitative researcher should be wary of potential participants who are extremely eager to be included in the study
True and false… …A covert participant observer participates as well as collects data during an observation session
True and false… …Each observation session has its unique focus and interactions but is guided by a protocol or list of issues that frame the observation True .
True and false… …In qualitative research. data analysis begins as the researcher initiates data management False .
True and false… …An interviewer will almost always meet face-to-face with an interviewee while some observers will not. True .
True and false… …Transcripts are the field notes of an interview session True .
True and false… …Data analysis and interpretation are based on induction as the qualitative researcher discovers patterns emerging from the data and makes sense of them True .
True and false… …There are no predefined variables to focus qualitative analysis of the data True .
True and false… …Credibility or plausibility demonstrates that the study was conducted in such a manner that the subject was accurately identified and described True .
True and false… …The process of analyzing qualitative research data follows a sequential four-step process False .
True and false… …The ability of the researcher to induce or construct meaning from the data greatly influences the duration and quality of the data analysis True .
True and false… …Implicitly or explicitly. a researcher interprets data whenever the researcher uses a conceptual basis or understanding to cluster a variety of data pieces into a category True .
open to whatever emerges due to a lack of predetermined constraints on outcomes naturalistic inquiry . and noncontrolling. Fill in the blank… …Studying real-world situations as they unfold naturally. unobtrusive. nonmanipulative.
dimensions. begins by exploring genuinely open questions rather than testing theoretically derived hypotheses inductive analysis . and interrelationships. Fill in the blank… …Immersion in the details and specifics of the data to discover important categories.
the focus is upon complex interdependencies not meaningfully reduced to a few discrete variables and linear. cause-effect relationships holistic perspective . Fill in the blank… …The entire phenomenon is understood as a complex system more than the sum of its parts.
inquiry in depth. Fill in the blank… …A detailed. thick description. direct quotations capturing people’s personal perspectives and experiences qualitative data .
assumes change is constant and ongoing whether the focus is upon an individual or an entire culture dynamic systems . Fill in the blank… …Attention to process.
and to capture the essential details of the individual context being studied unique case orientation . respectful of. Fill in the blank… …The first level of qualitative inquiry requires the researcher to be true to.
dubious about the possibility or meaningfulness of generalizations across time and space context sensitivity . and temporal context. historical. Fill in the blank… …To place findings in a social.
not advancing personal agendas. Fill in the blank… …The researcher’s passion is understanding the world in all its complexity. not proving something. but understanding empathic neutrality . not advocating.
Fill in the blank… …The researcher resides in the study context but disguises his or her identity from the other participants covert participation .
the willingness to pursue new paths of discovery as they emerge design flexibility . Fill in the blank… …The researcher’s openness to adapting one’s research as understanding deepens and/or situations change.
Fill in the blank… …The point at which the researcher begins to hear similar thoughts. and responses from more or all of the participants data saturation . perspectives.
Fill in the blank… …Providing information to a participant about the nature and purpose of the study informed consent .
Fill in the blank… …The process of qualitative data collection fieldwork .
Fill in the blank… …The observer’s record about what has been seen. heard. experienced. and thought about during an observation session field notes .
Fill in the blank… …Evolving data analysis involves a form of thinking on paper through which the researcher describes one’s mental explorations of ideas. hunches. themes. and reflections about the research topic memo writing .
Fill in the blank… …An extensive. partially influenced by what the researcher sees but mainly by the detail and language the researcher uses in constructing the report thick description . descriptive. and lucid report of the researcher’s observations.
usually between two people. focused upon one person attempting to access information from another person interview . Fill in the blank… …An purposeful interaction.
Fill in the blank… …The word-for-word transcript of an interview session verbatim .
Fill in the blank… …Unusual or contradictory results from an observation or interview outlier .
Fill in the blank… …The point at which the data gathered becomes redundant data saturation .
Fill in the blank… …Creating and organizing qualitative data collected during the study data management .
Fill in the blank… …The process of recording the researcher’s initial thoughts and early impressions of the data memoing .
Fill in the blank… …The process where the qualitative researcher provides an accurate depiction of the settings and events that took place in it which yields an understanding of the context in which the study took place description .
Fill in the blank… …The process of breaking down the data into smaller units. determining the import of the units. and organizing the units together again in an interpreted form classifying .
Fill in the blank… …A qualitative method for classifying data where the researcher begins with a preliminary hypothesis and continuously refines it until there are no examples of the revised hypothesis not being upheld analytic induction .
Fill in the blank… …A form of cross-validation that seeks regularities in the data by comparing different participants. settings. and methods to identify recurring results triangulation .
Analogies… content : method as characteristics of a single person or phenomenon : _______________ case study .
Analogies… content : method as a group’s cultural patterns and perspectives : _______________ ethnography .
Analogies… content : method as the link between a group’s everyday activities and its social structure : _______________ ethnomethodology .
Analogies… content : method as the link between participants’ perspectives and social science theory : _______________ grounded theory .
Analogies… content : method as the meanings and perspectives gained by interactions : _______________ symbolic interactionism .
Analogies… content : method as How participants experience a variety of things : _______________ phenomenology .
Analogies… content : method as A change in student learning : _______________ action research .
Analogies… quantitative : qualitative as population : _______________ setting .
Analogies… quantitative : qualitative as generalizability : _______________ transferability .
or practices ..This module has focused on. localized occurrences or contexts and the perspectives of a participant group toward events. qualitative research methods …which describe or answer questions about particular.. beliefs.
action research .. school-based research used to improve the practitioner’s practice by doing or changing something ....The next module will focus on.teacher-initiated.
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