Typology of Analytical Errors in Qualitative Educational Research: An Analysis of the 2003-2007 Education Science Dissertations in Turkey

By Karadag, Engin | Education, Summer 2010 | Go to article overview

Typology of Analytical Errors in Qualitative Educational Research: An Analysis of the 2003-2007 Education Science Dissertations in Turkey


Karadag, Engin, Education


Introduction

The first examples of qualitative research were seen in the beginning of the twentieth century. The very first examples of qualitative research were in the fields of anthropology and sociology which examine human life, especially the social and cultural structure of the human nature. In time, the researchers started to use qualitative research in social sciences which are interested in social and cultural issues directly, such as; education science, social studies, communication etc. (Denzin & Lincoln, 1998, p.21). In the process of qualitative research, the researcher puts forth a holistic research table, using word analysis, detailed participant interview reports and organizes the research in a natural environment. In qualitative research the research method that is generally applied is from piece to whole (induction). In general means, the qualitative researcher carries out the process by observing, doing interviews and using documents to explain the concepts, meanings and relationships (Merriam, 1998, p.41).

The research method in qualitative research is defined as a strategy which determines the approach of the research and guides for various stages of it to be consistent within the framework of the approach (Yildirim & Simsek, 2005, p.69).s Since qualitative research models applied in social sciences can be affected by principles and approaches, we may come across with models reflecting different approaches and traditions (Verma & Mallinck, 1999; Mayring, 2000; Yildirim & Simsek, 2005).

It has been observed that there has been an increase in the number of qualitative research in Hsu (2005) American Education Research Journal (AERJ) and Journal of Education Research (JER) since mid 1980s. Parallel to this increase, the error types made in qualitative research have been determined by some researchers. According to the study done by Onwuegbuzie & Daniel (2003) the most common mistakes made in qualitative research are (i) to control reliability and (ii) to generalize the findings. Onwuegbuzie (2003b) also counts the most common mistakes made in qualitative research as, (i) generalizing the findings of the research, (ii) making a big generalization based on small samplings- to generalize the findings far beyond the sampling and (iii) misestimating and evaluation of the effect size. Parallel to the findings of the research, the objective of this research is to give an answer to the question 'what is the level of quality of research designs and the analytic mistake types used in qualitative research in education sciences?'

Method

Design

While doing the research, which aims to determine the qualitative research designs used and the analytic mistake types made in doctorate dissertations which were written in the field of education sciences between the years 2003-2007, the case study design has been used among the other qualitative research designs.

Universe and Sampling

The theoretical universe of this research is the doctorate dissertations written in Turkey in the field of education sciences. Yet, the theoretical universe to be worked in, which was identified by taking into consideration the improvements in the field of methodology and up to datedness, consists of 324 doctorate dissertations written in the field of education sciences between the years 2003-2007. In the research, by not choosing a sampling, the whole universe could be reached. From within the universe, 38 dissertations research samplings in each of which qualitative research design has been used have built up the sampling.

Instrument

Education Research Evaluation Form: The form developed within the scope of the research has been prepared to determine the methodological level of quality of the research done in the field of education. Having taken into consideration the results of the KMO and Bartlett Tests it has been decided that the factor analysis of the form should be interpretable. …

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