Beginning Qualitative Research: A Philosophic and Practical Guide

Beginning Qualitative Research: A Philosophic and Practical Guide

Beginning Qualitative Research: A Philosophic and Practical Guide

Beginning Qualitative Research: A Philosophic and Practical Guide

Synopsis

The authors have focused this book on the serious, beginning, qualitative researcher - theoretically rigorous, yet with an understandable perspective.; The book has three main features. First, it provides a strong theoretical base for the understanding of competing research paradigms. Secondly, it features a "methods" section consistent with the non-linear nature of naturalistic inquiry, yet it allows the beginner to see direction. Thirdly, the authors include examples of actual research studies conducted (and completed) in a single year.

Excerpt

Qualitative research is a growing enterprise worldwide. It is perhaps most widely accepted in England, Australia, and the Scandinavian countries. It is growing but less well accepted in the United States and Canada. Qualitative research methods are particularly well developed in the sociology and anthropology of education. In the United States, and to some degree Canada, educational research is dominated by a psychological agenda and by experimental methods. Psychologists in North America are beginning to use qualitative methods in their research as it relates to educational issues and the understanding of learning and cognition. However, the psychology of learning, with its roots in behaviorism and the experimental method, has resisted or perhaps more accurately ignored, any examination of qualitative research methods. Teacher preparation in the United States continues to have a psychological approach and to value quantitative research studies and to undervalue qualitative research methods. While it is true that the American Educational Research Association (AERA) has made a place for qualitative research, an unsystematic look at AERA journals and convention programs over the last ten years continues to demonstrate the dominance of quantitative studies. An interesting observation is that AERA conventions and journals appear to have more papers, panels and articles about qualitative methods than they do papers, panels and articles that report research using qualitative methods. This may be an indication that qualitative research methods, at least in the United States, are still fighting for an equal footing with quantitative research methods. On the other hand, articles on quantitative methods tend to be about new statistical methods and meta-analysis, not articles that defend or examine basic points regarding quantitative methods.

It is within this context that Beginning Qualitative Research: A Philosophic and Practical Guide is written. We found that our students in psychology and education understood the orientation, the approach, the modus operandi of quantitative methods but not those used by qualitative researchers. Typical students in psychology or education or working teachers at an inservice meeting have a comfort level with . . .

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