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Theoretical Perspectives in Qualitative Research
Iván M. Jorrín-Abellán, Ph.D
Get the presentation
Teaching Demonstration
Outline
1- Initial Questions
2- Definition of Qualitative Research
3- Main features of Qualitative Research
4- Dimensions of Qualitative Research
5- Methodological aspects
6- Methods in Qualitative Research
1-What does it come to our minds when thinking in "Research"?
This is a particular way of doing/understanding research...
It has little to do with what I do in the field of social sciences
2- Definition of Qualitative Research
"Qualitative research is a
situated activity
that
locates the observer in the world
. It consists of a set of interpretive, material practices that make the world visible.
These practices transform the world
. They turn the world into a series of representations, including field notes, interviews, conversations, photographs, recordings, and memos to the self. ... This means that
qualitative researchers study things in their natural settings
, attempting to make sense of or to interpret, phenomena in terms of the meanings people bring to them. "
(Denzin and Lincoln, 2000)
"Qualitative research is an
inquiry process of understanding
based on distinct methodological traditions of inquiry that explore
a social or human problem
. The research builds a complex, holistic pictures, analyzes words, reports detailed views of informants, and conducted the study in natural setting."

(Creswell, 1998)
3- Main features of Qualitative research
4-Dimensions of Qualitative Research
Philosophical belief system about the nature of social reality—what can be known and how.

Is the social world patterned and predictable, or is the social world continually being constructed through human interactions and rituals?
Ontology
Epistemology
Philosophical belief system about what Knowledge is and how it can be acquired. It has to do with what can we know and who can be a knower.

Does our knowledge represent the world as it is?
Does reason provide us with knowledge of the world independently of experience?
Methodology
Methods
Methods are the tools that researchers use to collect data. These techniques for learning about social reality allow us to gather data from individuals, groups, and texts in any medium.
It is the systematic, theoretical analysis of the methods applied to a field of study.

A bridge between Philosophical Framework and Methods Design
(Hesse-Biber, 2006)

It implies the Worldview of the researcher
(Creswell, 2009)
Researcher´s Philosophical Framework


It impacts every aspect of the research process, including topic selection, question formulation,method selection, sampling, and research design.


Naturalistic Inquiry (Context sensitivity)

Emergent design flexibility (Inductive reasoning)

Purposeful sampling

Metaphor of bricoleur as researcher. Researcher as key instrument.

Inevitability of influences from the researcher's personal position.

Complexity of the research product as "complex, dense, reflective, collage-like creation that represents the researcher's images, understanding and interpretations of the world or phenomenon under analysis."

Ontology+Epistemology
5-Methodology
Methodology
Methods are the tools that researchers use to collect data. These techniques for learning about social reality allow us to gather data from individuals, groups, and texts in any medium.
5.1-Methodology/
Post-Positivism

Methodology
Methods are the tools that researchers use to collect data. These techniques for learning about social reality allow us to gather data from individuals, groups, and texts in any medium.
5.2-Methodology/
Constructivism

Methodology
Methods are the tools that researchers use to collect data. These techniques for learning about social reality allow us to gather data from individuals, groups, and texts in any medium.
5.3-Methodology/
Transformative

Methodology
Methods are the tools that researchers use to collect data. These techniques for learning about social reality allow us to gather data from individuals, groups, and texts in any medium.
5.4-Methodology/
Pragmatism

Methodology
Methods are the tools that researchers use to collect data. These techniques for learning about social reality allow us to gather data from individuals, groups, and texts in any medium.
6-Methods in Qualitative Research
Methods
Strategies of inquiry
Methods are the tools that researchers use to collect data. These techniques for learning about social reality allow us to gather data from individuals, groups, and texts in any medium.
6.1-Methods/
Action

research

Methods
6.2-Methods/
Phenomenological studies

Methods are the tools that researchers use to collect data. These techniques for learning about social reality allow us to gather data from individuals, groups, and texts in any medium.
6.3-Methods/
Grounded theory

Methods are the tools that researchers use to collect data. These techniques for learning about social reality allow us to gather data from individuals, groups, and texts in any medium.
Methods are the tools that researchers use to collect data. These techniques for learning about social reality allow us to gather data from individuals, groups, and texts in any medium.
6.4-Methods/
Ethnography

6.5-Methods/
Case studies

Methods are the tools that researchers use to collect data. These techniques for learning about social reality allow us to gather data from individuals, groups, and texts in any medium.
It is a design of inquiry
coming from philosophy and psychology


The researcher describes the
lived experiences of individuals about a phenomenon
as described by participants.

This description culminates in the essence of the experiences for several individuals who have all experienced the phenomenon.

Its procedure involves
studying a small number of subjects

through extensive and prolonged engagement to develop patterns
and relationships of meaning
A design of inquiry
from sociology
.

Assumes that the
natural occurrence of social behavior
within real world contexts
is best analyzed by deriving "bottom-up"
grounded categories and concepts,

Its
purpose
is to
generate situated theory
(grounded in practice).

The process
involves using multiple stages of data collection and the refinement and interrelationship of categories of information

(Charmaz, 2006; Corbin & Strauss, 2007).

A design of inquiry coming from anthropology and sociology

The researcher studies the shared patterns of behaviors, language, and actions of a cultural group in a natural setting.

Involves a field-based study lengthy enough to surface people´s everyday norms, rituals, and routines in detail


Data collection often involves observations and interviews.
It constitutes a
design of inquiry
found
in many fields
,
especially evaluation
, in which t
he researcher develops an in-depth analysis of a case
, often a program, event, activity, process, or one or more individuals.

Focus in
action rather
than in
beliefs

Cases are
bounded by time and activity
, and researchers collect detailed information using a variety of data collection procedures over a sustained period of time (Stake, 1995; Yin, 2009, 2012).

7- Examples
8- Final remarks
7-Examples
7-Examples
Methods are the tools that researchers use to collect data. These techniques for learning about social reality allow us to gather data from individuals, groups, and texts in any medium.
8-Final remarks
Methods are the tools that researchers use to collect data. These techniques for learning about social reality allow us to gather data from individuals, groups, and texts in any medium.
Writing Exercises
Methods are the tools that researchers use to collect data. These techniques for learning about social reality allow us to gather data from individuals, groups, and texts in any medium.

1. Identify a research question in a journal article and discuss what approach would be best to study the question and why.

2. Take a topic that you would like to study, and using the four combinations of worldviews, designs, and research methods, discuss a project that brings together a worldview, designs, and methods. Identify whether this would be quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods research.

3. In a given research project determine and explain the methods that would best serve to illuminate the research question.

References
Campus Interview. Assistant or Associate Professor of Qualitative Methodology
Kennesaw State University
. March, 24-25, 2014
Methods are the tools that researchers use to collect data. These techniques for learning about social reality allow us to gather data from individuals, groups, and texts in any medium.
Creswell, J. W. (2009). Research Design. Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. Sage.

Creswell, J. W. (1998). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five designs. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Crotty, M. (1998). The foundations of social research: Meaning and perspective in the research process. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Denzin, N. K. & Y. S. Lincoln (2000). Introduction: The discipline and practice of qualitative research. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (eds.), Handbook of qualitative research (2nd edn.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1─28.

Glaser, B. (1978). Theoretical sensitivity. Mill Valley, CA: Sociology Press.

Hesse-Biber and Levy, 2006. S.N. Hesse-Biber, P. Levy. The practice of qualitative research. Sage, Thousands Oaks (2006)

Kemmis, S., & Wilkinson, M. (1998). Participatory action research and the study of practice. In B. Atweh, S. Kemmis, & P. Weeks (Eds.), Action research in practice: Partnerships for social justice in education (pp. 21–36). New York: Routledge.

Lincoln, Y. S., Lynham, S. A., & Guba, E. G. (2011). Paradigmatic controversies, con- tradictions, and emerging confluences revisited. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln, The SAGE handbook of qualitative research (4th ed., pp. 97–128). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage

Mertens, D. (2010). Transformative research and evaluation. New York: Guilford.

Mertens, D. (2005). Research and evaluation in Education and Psychology: Integrating diversity with quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods. Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Patton, M. Q. (1990). Qualitative Evaluation and Research Methods ( 2nd ed.). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Phillips, D. C., & Burbules, N. C. (2000). Postpositivism and educational research. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Stake, Robert E. (1995). The art of case study research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Strauss, A., & Corbin, J. (1998). Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Theoretical Perspectives in Qualitative Research
Iván M. Jorrín-Abellán, Ph.D
Get the presentation
Teaching Demonstration
Thanks for your attention!
This tradition comes from
19th-century
(Comte, Mill, Durkheim, Newton, and Locke).

It represents the
traditional form of research
(scientific method).

Called post-positivism since it represents the
thinking after positivism
,
challenging
the traditional
notion of the absolute truth of knowledge
(Phillips & Burbules, 2000).

Postpositivists hold a
deterministic
philosophy in which causes (probably) determine effects or outcomes.

Reductionistic
in that the intent is to reduce the ideas into a small, discrete set to test, such as the variables that comprise hypotheses and research questions.

The knowledge that develops through a postpositivist lens is based on
empirical observation and measurement
of the
objective reality that exists “out there”
in the world.
Based on the ideas of Mannheim and from works such as Berger and Luekmann’s (1967) The Social Construction of Reality and Lincoln and Guba’s (1985) Naturalistic Inquiry.

There is not one objective truth. Truth is socially constructed

Social constructivists
believe that individuals seek understanding of the world in which they live and work
,
developing subjective meanings of their experiences
—meanings directed toward certain objects or things.

The
goal
of the research is
to rely as much as possible on the participants’ views
of the situation being studied.

The
questions become broad and general
so that the
participants can construct the meaning of a situation
, typically forged in discussions or interactions with other persons.

The more open-ended the questioning, the better
, as the researcher listens carefully to what people say or do in their life settings.

The
researcher’s intent is to make sense of (or interpret) the meanings others
have about the world. Rather than starting with a theory (as in postpositivism), inquirers generate or inductively develop a theory or pattern of meaning.
This position arose during the 1980´s and 1990´s

Individuals who felt
postpositivist assumptions
imposed structural laws and theories
that did not fit marginalized individuals.

It focuses
on the
needs of groups and individuals
in our society that may be
marginalized

Historically, the transformative writers have
drawn on the works of Marx, Adorno, Marcuse, Habermas, and Freire
(Neuman, 2009).

No uniform body of literature characterizing this worldview
: Includes groups of researchers that are critical theorists; participatory action researchers; Marxists; feminists; racial and ethnic minorities; persons with disabilities; indigenous and postcolonial peoples; and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-sexual, and queer communities.

In the main, these inquirers
felt that the constructivist stance did not go far enough in advocating for an action agenda to help marginalized peoples.

This worldview holds that
research inquiry needs to be intertwined with politics and a political change agenda
to confront social oppression at whatever levels it occurs (Mertens, 2010).

Pragmatism derives from the work of Peirce, James, Mead, and Dewey (Cherryholmes,1992).

There are many forms of this philosophy, but for many,
pragmatism
as a worldview
arises out of actions, situations, and consequences rather than antecedent conditions
(as in postpositivism)

Instead of focusing on methods
,
researchers emphasize the research problem and use all approaches available to understand the problem
(Rossman & Wilson, 1985).

Individual researchers have a freedom of choice
. In this way, researchers are free to choose the methods, techniques, and procedures of research that best meet their needs and purposes.

As a
philosophical underpinning for mixed methods studies
, Morgan (2007), Patton (1990), and Tashakkori and Teddlie (2010) convey its importance for focusing attention on the research problem in social science research and then using pluralistic approaches to derive knowledge about the problem.


5-Methodology
Methodology
Methods are the tools that researchers use to collect data. These techniques for learning about social reality allow us to gather data from individuals, groups, and texts in any medium.
(Creswell, 2009)
Do you think the “truth” can be determined in every situation?

Can everyone agree on the truth?

What evidence do you need to determine what is the truth?

How is knowledge or truth generated?
Are things true if they are printed in books or the newspaper?
Who determines the truth?
Can different people hold different perceptions about what is the “truth”?
Is an individual’s perception of the truth determined by his or her experiences and interactions with other people?

Should society change or should it stay the same?
Is it the researcher’s responsibility to change society?
Or should the researcher remain objective or neutral and only attempt to find new knowledge?
(Creswell, 2009)
Worldviews
(Creswell, 2009)
Paradigms
(Lincoln, Lynham, & Guba, 2011; Mertens, 2010)
Research methodologies
(Neuman, 2009)
(Yin, 2009)
Campus Interview. Assistant or Associate Professor of Qualitative Methodology
Kennesaw State University
. March, 24-25, 2014
Campus Interview. Assistant or Associate Professor of Qualitative Methodology.
Kennesaw State University
. March, 24-25, 2014
Campus Interview. Assistant or Associate Professor of Qualitative Methodology.
Kennesaw State University
. March, 24-25, 2014
Campus Interview. Assistant or Associate Professor of Qualitative Methodology.
Kennesaw State University
. March, 24-25, 2014
Campus Interview. Assistant or Associate Professor of Qualitative Methodology.
Kennesaw State University
. March, 24-25, 2014
Campus Interview. Assistant or Associate Professor of Qualitative Methodology.
Kennesaw State University
. March, 24-25, 2014
Campus Interview. Assistant or Associate Professor of Qualitative Methodology.
Kennesaw State University
. March, 24-25, 2014
Campus Interview. Assistant or Associate Professor of Qualitative Methodology.
Kennesaw State University
. March, 24-25, 2014
Campus Interview. Assistant or Associate Professor of Qualitative Methodology.
Kennesaw State University
. March, 24-25, 2014
Campus Interview. Assistant or Associate Professor of Qualitative Methodology.
Kennesaw State University
. March, 24-25, 2014
Campus Interview. Assistant or Associate Professor of Qualitative Methodology.
Kennesaw State University
. March, 24-25, 2014
Campus Interview. Assistant or Associate Professor of Qualitative Methodology.
Kennesaw State University
. March, 24-25, 2014
Campus Interview. Assistant or Associate Professor of Qualitative Methodology.
Kennesaw State University
. March, 24-25, 2014
Campus Interview. Assistant or Associate Professor of Qualitative Methodology.
Kennesaw State University
. March, 24-25, 2014
Campus Interview. Assistant or Associate Professor of Qualitative Methodology.
Kennesaw State University
. March, 24-25, 2014
Campus Interview. Assistant or Associate Professor of Qualitative Methodology.
Kennesaw State University
. March, 24-25, 2014
Campus Interview. Assistant or Associate Professor of Qualitative Methodology.
Kennesaw State University
. March, 24-25, 2014
Campus Interview. Assistant or Associate Professor of Qualitative Methodology.
Kennesaw State University
. March, 24-25, 2014
Campus Interview. Assistant or Associate Professor of Qualitative Methodology.
Kennesaw State University
. March, 24-25, 2014
Campus Interview. Assistant or Associate Professor of Qualitative Methodology.
Kennesaw State University
. March, 24-25, 2014
Campus Interview. Assistant or Associate Professor of Qualitative Methodology.
Kennesaw State University
. March, 24-25, 2014
Campus Interview. Assistant or Associate Professor of Qualitative Methodology.
Kennesaw State University
. March, 24-25, 2014
Campus Interview. Assistant or Associate Professor of Qualitative Methodology.
Kennesaw State University
. March, 24-25, 2014
Campus Interview. Assistant or Associate Professor of Qualitative Methodology.
Kennesaw State University
. March, 24-25, 2014
(Patton, 2002), (Denzin & Lincoln, 1994), (Creswell, 2009)
(Ontology+Epistemology) + Methods
Methodology for a given study
Disparities in National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) scores are evidenced on the basis of race/ethnicity and economic status.
Does "Success for All" (Literacy development program) produce achievement effects for schools and students targeted by and exposed to the model?
Cause-------> Effect
Cluster randomized control trial to compare students using the program
Three-year period
Treatment and control groups (random shools)


Pretest: Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test
Posttest: Woodcock-Johnson Matestery tests
Statistically significant improvement in literacy skills after taking the program
Source: (Borman et al, 2007)
Summary of a Postpositivist Research Study
New pedagogical practices are needed to reach youth disengaged from learning because of poverty, class, race, religion, linguistic issues...
What do music teachers do to respond to and overcome challenges of re-engaging disaffected youth? What do they think they do?
Phenomenological case study approach

Phenomenon under study: educational practices of teachers with disaffected students in 3 schools

Focused on how teachers can affect student learning in a specific context with a specific group of people
In-depth interviews with teachers
Observations

Rich pedagogical practices of the three studied teachers
Source: (Burnard, 2008)
Summary of a Constructivist Research Study
Participants views
Open questions
Participants construct meanings
People with mental illnesses often feel confused about the nature of their sickness, and the effects of their treatment. Research is needed to find ways of determining more effective interventions in people with Schizophrenia
Source: (Scheneider et al., 2004)
Summary of a Transformative Research Study
Participants views
Open questions
What topic is of importance to people with Schizophrenia for research?
What is the nature of experiences reported by people with Schizophrenia with health care professionals?
How can previous information be used for personal transformation and the transformation of health care system?
Transformative participatory design
Researcher+member of support group
In-depth interviews
3 months
Good an bad experiences with health professionals centered on issues about communication
Transformative issues
USA has high dropout rate for high school students
Source: (Berliner et al., 2008)
Summary of a Pragmatic Mixed Methods Study
Pluralistic Approach
How many students drop out of high school in this district?
How many students who dropped out reenroll in high school?
What are the reasons for reenrollment?
Pragmatic, sequential mixed methods design

Quantitative
------>
Qualitative
Dropout Statistical Semistructured
Analysis Interviews
Statistical Data + Some reasons (reenrollment)
Emphasis in the research problem
Particular situation
Additional Reading
Crotty, M. (1998). The foundations of social research: Meaning and perspective in the research process. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Additional Reading
Additional Reading
Phillips, D. C., & Burbules, N. C. (2000). Postpositivism and educational research. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
Example 2:
Competence-based instructional design in a technology course in high school: Action Research
http://reflexionandosobremipracticadocente.blogspot.com.es
Example 1:
Formative portrayals emerged from a Computer Supported Collaborative Learning environment: A case study

Length:
4-year research process
Context:
CSCL Learning design in an undergraduate Computer Architecture course (Telecommunications engineering. University of Valladolid. Spain)
Methodological framework:
Pragmatic+Transformative Approach
Methods:
Case Study+Mixed Methods
Results:
Emergent Formative portrayal + Web tool to design CSCL learning situations
Length:
3-year research process
Context:
Rural High School in Medina de Rioseco (Valladolid. Spain)
Methodological framework:
Transformative Approach
Methods:
Action Research+Mixed Methods (Blog Daily journal, Observations, Reflective concept-mapping)
Results:
A set of Strategies to help teachers implement Competence-based instructional designs
Reflect
Plan
Act
Observe
Reflect
Plan
Act
Observe
Reflect
Plan
Act
Observe
Plan
Act
Observe
Transformation
Analysis of own teaching concerns
Formal Analysis of teaching routines in 3 didactic units
Reflect
Initial Analysis of his own teaching practice
Analysis of assessment strategies
Kemmis, S., & McTaggart, R. (1988). The action research planner (3rd ed.). Victoria, Australia: Deakin University Press.

Lewin, Kurt. (1946). Action research and minority problems. Journal of Social Issues, 2,34–46.

Reason, Peter, & Riley, Sarah. (2009). Co-operative inquiry: An action research practice.In Jonathan A. Smith (Ed.), Qualitative psychology: A practical guide to research methods (pp. 207–234). Los Angeles: Sage.
Additional Readings
It is
deliberate, solution-oriented investigation
that is group or personally owned and conducted.

Characterized by spiraling cycles
of problem identification, systematic data collection, reflection, analysis, data-driven action taken, and, finally, problem redefinition.

The linking of the terms “action” and “research” highlights the essential features of this method:
trying out ideas in practice as a means of increasing knowledge
about or improving curriculum, teaching, and learning (Kemmis & McTaggart, 1988).

Emphasizes the researcher´s adoption of an active role with study participants

Traditional approach to improve teaching and learning
Methods
Moustakas, C. (1994). Phenomenological research methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Giorgi, Amedeo, & Giorgi, Barbro. (2009). Phenomenology. In Jonathan A. Smith (Ed.), Qualitative psychology: A practical guide to research methods (pp. 26–52). Los Angeles: Sage.
Additional Readings
Methods
Charmaz, Kathy. (2005). Grounded theory in the 21st century. In Norman K. Denzin & Yvonna S. Lincoln (Eds.), The Sage handbook of qualitative research (3rd ed., pp. 507– 535). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Glaser, Barney G., & Strauss, Anselm L. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative research. New York: Aldine.
Additional Readings
Methods
Anderson-Levitt, Kathryn M. (2006). Ethnography. In J. L. Green, G. Camilli, & P. B. Elmore
(Eds.), Handbook of complementary methods in education research (3rd ed., pp. 279–295).
Washington, DC: American Educational Research Association.

Wolcott, Harry F. (1999). Ethnography: A way of seeing. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira.
Additional Readings
(Mead, 1928)
Methods
Stake, Robert E. (1995). The art of case study research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Simons, H. (2009). Case Study Research in Practice. SAGE.
Additional Readings
(Stake, 1995)
Lessons learned in my own practice as qualitative researcher
LSL 1: Before doing research (qualitative/quantitave) ask yourself about the way you think things work in the social world (Ontology) and the way Knowledge is constructed (Epistemology).
LSL 2: Study and question the ways others do qualitative research, and make your own methodological choices.
LSL 4: Qualitative researcher practice takes time and it is very demanding. Work in group with others interested in similar issues.
LSL 3: Methods are not pure! Mixed them and find new variations to help your research problem.
LSL 5: Becoming a good qualitative researcher is not a piece of cake... be patient, work hard, and be creative!
work hard, work hard, work hard, work hard, work hard
work hard, work hard, work hard, work hard, work hard
1- Initial Questions
Mertens, D. (2010). Transformative research and evaluation. New York: Guilford.
Additional Reading
Morgan, D. L. (2014). Integrating Qualitative and Quantitative methods: A Pragmatic Approach. New York: Sage.
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