This concise, applied, and very clearly written introduction to qualitative research methods can be used effectively in a semester, or year-long course. The purpose of this introductory-level text is to provide the reader with a background for understanding the uses of qualitative research in education to examine its theoretical and historical underpinnings, and to provide the “how-to's” of doing qualitative research. This new edition places qualitative research within current debates about research methods and alternative ways of knowing. While the authors approach the subject from a sociological perspective, they also take care to reflect the many changes in conceptualization of qualitative research brought by post-structural and feminist thought.
Table of Contents
1. Foundations of Qualitative Research in Education: An Introduction.
Characteristics of Qualitative Research.
Traditions of Qualitative Research.
Ten Common Questions About Qualitative Research.
What Is to Come.
2. Research Design.
Choosing a Study.
Additional Issues Related to Design.
First Days in the Field.
The Participant/Observer Continuum.
Doing Fieldwork in Another Culture.
Researcher Characteristics and Special Problems with Rapport.
Research in Politically Charged and Conflict-Ridden Settings.
How Long Should an Observation Session Be?
Visual Recording and Fieldwork.
Leaving the Field.
4. Qualitative Data.
Some Friendly Advice.
The Process of Writing Fieldnotes.
Transcripts from Taped Interviews.
Official Statistics and Other Quantitative Data.
5. Data Analysis.
Analysis in the Field.
Analysis After Data Collection.
The Mechanics of Working with Data.
6. Writing It Up.
More Writing Tips.
Criteria for Evaluating Writing.
A Final Point About Getting Started.
7. Applied Qualitative Research for Education.
Evaluation and Policy Research.
Practitioner Uses of Qualitative Research.
Appendix A. Examples of Observational Questions for Educational Settings.
Appendix B. Examples of Fieldnotes.