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Educational Research


Educational Research Chapter 14 Overview of Qualitative Research Gay, Mills, and Airasian 8th Edition (Electronic Reserves) – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Educational Research

Educational Research
  • Chapter 14
  • Overview of Qualitative Research
  • Gay, Mills, and Airasian
  • 8th Edition (Electronic Reserves)

Topics Discussed in this Chapter
  • Definition and purpose of qualitative research
  • General steps involved in qualitative research
  • Qualitative research approaches
  • Characteristics of qualitative research
  • Validity, reliability, and generalizability
  • Ethics

The Nature of Qualitative Research
  • Qualitative research is the collection, analysis,
    and interpretation of comprehensive narrative
    data in order to gain insights into a particular
    phenomenon of interest
  • Useful for describing and answering questions
    about participants and contexts

Objective 1.1
The Nature of Qualitative Research
  • Purpose of qualitative research
  • Promote a deep, holistic understanding of a
    particular phenomenon
  • Importance of exploring qualitative topics
  • Provide insight into the complexity of common
  • Provide specific concrete details to guide
    understanding in a particular setting

Objectives 1.2 and 1.3
The Nature of Qualitative Research
  • The importance of exploring qualitative topics
  • Provide insight into the local meanings that
    activities and practices have for participants
  • Develop a comparative understanding of phenomena
    as experienced by different participants in
    different settings

Objective 1.3
The Nature of Qualitative Research
  • Six General Steps
  • Identify the research topic
  • Review the literature
  • Select the participants
  • Collect data
  • Analyze the data
  • Report the results
  • These are the same steps as those used in
    quantitative research (Figure 14.1, pg. 400)
  • Objectives 2.1 and 2.2

Range of Qualitative Approaches
  • Nine approaches
  • Case study
  • An effort to seek an understanding of a single
    person or entity
  • Ethnography
  • An effort to describe and analyze all or part of
    the culture of a community by identifying and
    describing participants practices and beliefs
  • Ethology
  • An effort to compare several cultures with one
  • Objective 3.2

Range of Qualitative Approaches
  • Nine approaches (continued)
  • Ethnomethodology
  • An effort to examine peoples understanding of
    their daily activities
  • Grounded theory
  • An effort to derive or substantiate a general
    social science theory grounded in the
    perspectives of the participants
  • Phenomenology
  • An effort to understand the meaning of an
    individuals experiences from that individuals
    point of view
  • Objective 3.2

Range of Qualitative Approaches
  • Nine approaches (continued)
  • Symbolic interaction
  • An effort to seek common understandings that
    emerge to give meaning to participants
  • Language development
  • Interactions b/w people through social norms
  • Action research
  • An effort to seek a solution or improvement to a
    practical problem in the setting in which it is
  • Historical research
  • An effort to seek to understand the past by
    studying documents, relics, and interviews
  • Objective 3.2

Features of Qualitative Approaches
  • Differences between approaches
  • Different social contexts are being studied in
    each approach
  • The participants are selected for different
    reasons in each approach
  • Objective 3.1

Features of Qualitative Approaches
  • Eight unique characteristics
  • Researchers immerse themselves in the situation
  • The data reflects the participants perspectives
  • Sources of data are real-world situations or
    natural contexts
  • Data is narrative in nature
  • Researchers focus on personal interactions with
  • Objective 4.1

Features of Qualitative Approaches
  • Eight unique characteristics (continued)
  • Researchers avoid early decisions or assumptions
    about the study
  • Data are analyzed inductively
  • Reasoning from the specific to the general
  • Methods provide clear, detailed information
    reflecting participants voices
  • Objective 4.1

Technical Issues
  • Validity
  • The degree to which the qualitative data
    collected accurately gauges what is being
  • Two components
  • Trustworthiness
  • Understanding
  • Objective 5.1

Technical Issues
  • Validity
  • Trustworthiness
  • Credibility taking into account all the
    complexities in the study and addressing problems
    that are not easily explained
  • Transferability including descriptive,
    context-relevant statements so the reader can
    identify with the setting
  • Dependability collecting stable data
  • Confirmability assuring the neutrality and
    objectivity of the data
  • Objective 6.1

Technical Issues
  • Validity
  • Understanding
  • Descriptive validity the factual accuracy of
    the account
  • Interpretive validity the meaning attributed to
    the behaviors or words of the participants
  • Theoretical validity the explanation of the
    phenomenon being studied in relation to a theory
  • Evaluative validity sufficient objectivity in
    reporting data to avoid bias, preconceived
    judgments, or evaluations
  • Objective 6.2

Technical Issues
  • 13 strategies to ensure validity
  • Participate at the study site for a prolonged
    period of time
  • Use persistent observation (identify what usually
    happens as well as what is unusual)
  • Use peer debriefing (consult with colleagues)
  • Collect mechanically recorded data
  • Use member checks (share results with
  • Establish structural corroboration/coherence
    (make sure that your statements dont contradict
    one another and/ or that they make since).
  • Objective 6.3

Technical Issues
  • 13 strategies to ensure validity (cont.)
  • Establish referential adequacy (make sure that
    your statements make since with all of your
    collected data).
  • Collect detailed descriptive data
  • Develop detailed descriptions of the context
    (settings, times, etc.)
  • Establish an audit trail
  • Practice triangulation and overlap methods (i.e.,
  • Practice reflexivity (look for your own biases or
    reflections that might impact your findings)
    Objective 6.3

Technical Issues
  • Reliability
  • The consistency with which data measures what is
    being attempted to be measured over time
  • Qualitative perspective
  • The reliability of the techniques that are being
    used to collect data
  • If I collected the data the same way again, I
    would get the same results.
  • Reliability is a necessary but not sufficient
    characteristic validity is the priority
  • Objectives 7.1 and 7.2

Technical Issues
  • Generalizability
  • The applicability of findings to settings and
    contexts different from the one in which they
    were obtained
  • Internal-external validity issues revisited
  • A depth of understanding can only be achieved
    from a few participants in a very limited number
    of contexts
  • Generalizability is therefore very limited
  • Qualitative researchers are primarily concerned
    with validity and reliability and to a much
    lesser extent generalizability
  • Objective 8.1

Technical Issues
  • General strategies for ensuring the technical
    merit of a qualitative study
  • Talk little, listen a lot
  • Record observation accurately
  • Begin writing early
  • Let readers see for themselves (provide primary
    sources of datavideo, photos, etc. when
  • Report fully
  • Be candid (report your judgments from your facts)
  • Seek feedback
  • Write accurately

Ethical Issues
  • Ethics can be considered in terms of how the
    researcher treats the participants in the
    research setting.
  • The nature of qualitative research provides the
    potential for conflict and harm.
  • Qualitative research is intimate there is
    little distance between the researcher and the
  • Qualitative research is open-ended the nature
    of the process requires the use of an emergent
    design as the situation unfolds
  • Objectives 9.1 and 9.2

Ethical Issues
  • Six guidelines to help avoid ethical problems
  • Researchers should have an ethical perspective
    that is close to their personal ethical position
  • Informed consent should take the form of a
    dialogue that mutually shapes the research and
    the results
  • Confidentiality is more complicated even with the
    use of pseudonyms
  • Consider the use of a video tape to illustrate a
    point being made
  • Objective 9.4

Ethical Issues
  • Six guidelines to help avoid ethical problems
  • You should be able to identify broader social
    principles that are an integral part of who you
    are as a researcher and a contributing member of
    the community in which you live.
  • Avoidance of harm morally binds qualitative
    researchers to conduct their research in a manner
    that minimizes potential harm to those involved
    in the study.
  • Objective 9.4

Ethical Issues
  • Six guidelines to help avoid ethical problems
  • Even though an action can bring about good
    results, it is not ethical unless it also
    conforms to ethical standards such as honesty and
  • The qualitative researcher must remain attentive
    to the relationships between the researcher and
    the participants a relationship that is
    determined by roles, status, language, and
    cultural norms.
  • Objective 9.4
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