Understanding, Designing, and Conducting Qualitative Research in Education: Framing the Project

Understanding, Designing, and Conducting Qualitative Research in Education: Framing the Project

Understanding, Designing, and Conducting Qualitative Research in Education: Framing the Project

Understanding, Designing, and Conducting Qualitative Research in Education: Framing the Project

Synopsis

  • How do I get my research off the ground and ensure that it is 'new', 'novel' and 'important'?
  • How do I make sense of data, build theories and write a compelling thesis?
  • How can my research bring about change?
This book is more than an introduction to doing research - it helps readers identify what is new and important about their project, how their research relates to previous work and how it may be used to bring about change at individual, community, national or even international levels. A total strategy is offered focussing on the notion of the 'project' as an organising framework that ensures that the methods chosen are appropriate to the subject and aim of the study. The intention throughout is to help readers move from being able to apply methods to being able to interrogate the theoretical underpinnings of particular perspectives so that they can feel confident about the particular kinds of knowledge claim they are making. The book is important reading for students at Masters and doctoral level and will be particularly helpful for professionals from education, health, social work, criminal justice and business who carry out research in their workplace and who need to reflect upon the consequences and possibilities for action and change.

Excerpt

A doctoral student writes:

The aim of this thesis is to go beyond seeking pupils' views on
curriculum and to look at some implications of pupils' views for
curriculum reform. in this way, we might learn about the educa
tional values held by these pupils that may be able to inform prac
tical and reliable indicators for curriculum theorising. Thus, I hope
to generate several criteria for curriculum theorising. Although these
criteria are not exhaustive, they will provide an analytical frame
work for thinking about curriculum change and development. The
primary justification for this study is social justice in that it hopes to
provide a forum for pupils as a marginalised group to express their
views on curriculum. This is advanced as a form of distributive
justice based on Rawls's theory of justice, for the academically weak
pupils who become a disadvantaged group and, therefore, rarely
have their points of view taken into consideration,

(Meng 1999: 3)

In a few words the writer's ambition to contribute to social justice in relation to curriculum reform and theory, and the specific focus on pupils as a marginalized group, is clearly outlined. Like others doing doctoral research, the project themes were something he cared greatly about. the thesis was the outcome of a personal journey drawing on, for example, philosophies of knowledge and understanding; ethical, political, social, cultural, historical and psychological critiques; data collection methods; and the intentions, hopes, ambitions of the individual and/or group carrying out the project.

This book is also the outcome of my own experience in doing numerous projects, being a supervisor and working with colleagues and students as they accomplished their own personal journeys. Based on this experience . . .

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