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Research methods Qual 1 methods/methodol


Chris Bigum

on 2 May 2012

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Transcript of Research methods Qual 1 methods/methodol

Qualitative research methods You work in a primary school. The school has invested a lot of time and resources into developing what to you is an effective and exciting approach to the teaching of history. The approach has been adopted by all of the teachers in the school and by most measures and accounts is working very well. The approach is, however, quite different from what is commonly used in the majority of primary schools. You have noticed that when student teachers come to the school they seem to have a lot of trouble coming to grips with this approach. What you want to do is find out what the problem is and then try and solve it. Research focus Rationale Research question Subsidiary questions Rationales for each question The Interview Research focus Rationale Question Subsidiary questions Rationales for each question The process The process The Interview Your research notebook At the heart of good research keeping good, detailed notes of what you did, why you did it and how you did it If you can't write a rationale for a question then the question has to be discarded. Research focus Rationale Question Subsidiary questions Rationales for each question The process The Interview Your methodology Three methodologies Grounded theory Ethnography Narrative research An example to illustrate the interplay used to produce a broad theory or explanation of a process
an inductive process from data > codes > categories or themes > models > theory.
focusses on the meaning of events to people and the symbols they use to convey meaning (e.g. words).
the researcher needs to understand processes as the participants understand them, to learn about their world and share their definitions.
data collection and analysis occur at the same time.
The basic idea of the grounded theory approach is read and re-read a textual database (such as a corpus of field notes) and "discover" or label variables (called categories, concepts and properties) and their interrelationships. origins in symbolic interactionism theory has to fit, have grab and work Fit refers to the categories in that they must be readily evident from the data—or be grounded, to have grab is to have relevance to the participant group, and for it to work is to have the theory explain what happened. worked example: Enlightenment in Chemical Dependency Treatment Programs, pp. 456-471 good for studying groups
we are interested in the shared language, values and beliefs and their origins
also interested in their patterns of interacting worked example: Queens and Teen Zines, pp. 496-510 worked example: A marginal story as a place of possibility, pp. 532-550 aims to understand a problem in education through the experiences and understandings of an individual
aims to learn from participants through the stories they tell of themselves
the stories are then "retold" often around particular themes that emerge If our aim was to produce a model that captures the various elements of the problem and which would allow some kind of intervention to be developed, then Grounded Theory would be a possibility for a methodology Questions might aim to get at things like:
how do the different participants talk about history and its teaching
how do they talk about the teaching experience of student teachers
what it is like to be a student teacher in the school, what is it like to be supervising a student teacher
what is it like to be a student learning history in the school Some of the questions we would ask would need to get from the student teachers as a group:
how they talk about history and its teaching
the important influences in shaping their views about history and its teaching
the way they support one another in the school, the stories they share, the resources they draw on Here you are interested in the stories of an individual (student teacher), in particular:
the experiences of that person in the school, when teaching, when preparing to teach, when at university
experiences related to history and its teaching
experiences with fellow student teachers, with teachers in the school, with students in classrooms Some practical considerations for conducting an interview have spare batteries/tapes for your recorder
consider having a backup recorder
test the room for background noise
test that the recorder is working just before you commence If, as we reflected on the problem, thought that finding out more about the student teachers, as a group was likely to be a key part of the puzzle then we might consider some form of ethnographic research, i.e. study them as a group. If, on reflection about the problem, we wanted to see it played out in all its likely complexity, we could opt to concentrate on an individual student teacher and collect stories from her/him. In other words conduct a study based on narrative research ideas. over 90% of qual research involves interviews
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