Qualitative Research

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Qualitative Research by Mind Map: Qualitative Research

1. “Seeing through the eyes of people being studied” (Bryman, 2004, p. 279)

1.1. Exemplar 1: The researcher saw the importance of the participants viewpoint and wanted information firsthand. As noted by, “ Focus groups were selected as the best method (as opposed to individual interviews) for gathering rich information from those who experienced school–community partnerships firsthand, allowing us to form a picture of the community partnerships at each KDS” (Gross, et.al., 2015, p.15).

1.2. Exemplar 2: In order to gain a better perspective of the study and prevent the interruption of information, the researcher personal interrogated subjects with prepared materials in an organic and natural conversational line of questioning, “Soliciting rich information to answer research questions is best done by constructing a written questioning route or a series of questions that cause conversation, flow naturally in sequence, maximize time, and progress from general to more specific questions as participants share their experiences” (Gross, et.al., 2015, p.15).

1.3. Description:The researcher frequently tries to place themselves in the place and environment of those being studied, to have a greater understanding and perspective. This commonly results in the researcher’s natural inclination to probe further as if he were the one being studied, not as someone who may be far removed. This is evident through the comparison of natural sciences and social sciences and the basis in which qualitative research is based, on the human rather than an object being studied.

2. “Flexibility and limited structure” (Bryman, 2004, p. 282)

2.1. Description:Structure in this circumstance can prove to be very limiting to the researcher. Flexibility allows the researcher to go wherever the studied happens to take them, allowing for the most authentic data collection. Greater flexibility = less predetermined inclinations or expectations on those in the study.

2.2. Exemplar 1: “Our questioning route consisted of complete, conversational sentences. We based the questioning route topics on a review of the literature as well as specific areas in which the knowledge from the KDS could potentially inform SWIFT technical assistance and the education field in general” (Gross, et.al., 2015, p.15). Due to the conversational manner of the questioning, structure was nearly non-existent, allowing for the greatest flexibility to accomplish the task.

2.3. Exemplar 2: Researcher had to settle on selecting focus groups instead of individual interviews “since the development of community-school partnerships is strongly influenced by contextual factors (e.g., state or district policy, rural or urban nature of the community)” (Gross, et.al., 2015, p.15)

3. “Emphasis on process” (Bryman, 2004, p. 281)

3.1. Description: Greater focus on process = greater manifestation of detail and true immersion in the study being conducted. Good qualitative data must be viewed in a sequential manner to get the entire perspective of the situation(s) being studied, and when there is an emphasis on process and sequencing/patterns, a viable data collection can occur.

3.2. Exemplar 1: “We used constant comparative analysis methods to develop a codebook and code the data” (Gross, et.al., 2015, p.16). Throughout the entire study the researchers used the same comparative analysis methods, making sure the process of the study was consistent throughout.

3.3. Exemplar 2: The researcher outlines the process their study took before recommending their strategies for implementation (listed on the chart on page 28). “Data gathered from focus group with 40 community partners at five schools (four elementary and one middle school) identified as KDS by SWIFT... community partnerships are an evidence-based feature...multiple types of school-community partners were represented at each KDS...Collaboration involves reciprocity” (Gross, et.al., 2015, pp. 25-27).

4. “The researcher is the primary instrument for data collection and analysis” (Merriam, 2002, p. 6)

4.1. Description: The researcher plays the most important role. They make all the decisions about how the study will be conducted, how the data will be analyzed and further published or delivered. This position may be the single most integral part of the entire process, seeing as though the entire study hinges on them.

4.2. Exemplar 1: The researcher decided on a qualitative study based on the “exploratory nature” of the research. They set the structure of the experiment and controlled the questioning and flow of information between participants, “We communicated the criteria for recruiting participants for the focus groups through both phone and email conversations with school contacts as well as through mailing and emailing a packet of information” (Gross, et.al., 2015, p.14)

4.3. Exemplar 2: In order to improve the “trustworthiness” of their experiment and data collection, researchers “used multiple researchers at every stage of the study from protocol development to data analysis” (Gross, et.al., 2015, p.17). The researchers believed that by employing multiple researchers at the same time it would reduce “the influence of the personal biases of individual researchers and providing opportunities for analysis and a convergence of interpretations from those who were involved in differing stages of the research.” (Gross, et.al., 2015, p.17)

5. “The product is richly descriptive” (Merriam, 2002, p. 5)

5.1. Exemplar 1: At the end of the study, the researcher included Table 1. Recommendations for School Leaders which outlined their findings and recommendations via five recommended practices (e.g. “Engage with the community”) and the suggested strategies (e.g. “attend social and cultural events within your community and network with other attendees”) for implementation on each practice (Gross, et.al., 2015, p.28)

5.2. Description: Qualitative research is derived and delivered through words and pictorial representations, decided upon by the researcher. The results should address the important details on the study along with the results at the end. The product should provide a rich picture of the scenario, so that an outsider can feel as though they have experienced the same as the researcher.

5.3. Exemplar 2: The researcher goes into great detail about the various demographics used within the study, “Across the six sites, disability prevalence ranged from 11% to 27% of students; 12% to 54% of students were identified as economically disadvantaged; and 2% to 15% were English learners. The schools varied widely with respect to race/ethnicity with 27% to 64%if students categorized as White, 18% to 24% Black, 11% to 24% Hispanic, 0.4% to 10% Asian, less than 1% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander and American Indian or Alaska Native, and 6% to 11% reporting two or more races/ethnicities (Gross, et.al., 2015, p.14), as well as meticulously breaking down and explaining the various community partnerships (universities, social services, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and local municipalities) they established (Gross, et.al., 2015, pp.18-23).

6. “The researcher strives to understand the meaning” (Merriam, 202, p. 5)

6.1. Exemplar 1: “Appreciative inquiry is a strengths-based approach to systemic and organizational change that seeks to understand and value the best of what exists, imagine what could be possible, and collaboratively plan for what we desire to be, and implement what will be” (Gross, et.al., 2015, p.13). The researcher, through collaboration and inquiry, meticulously plans for the possible and the desired social outcomes/aspects.

6.2. Description: The researcher’s purpose throughout the study is to become entrenched in the social aspects of those being studied to better understand the backgrounds, environment, and experiences.

6.3. Exemplar 2: “There were five lines of inquiry guiding the appreciative inquiry: classroom practice, teacher and administrator perspectives, student perspectives, family and community partner perspectives, and supports for students with the most significant needs” (Gross, et.al., 2015, p.213) The researcher strives to comprehend the value of multiple perspectives and their context through social experiences.

7. Resources

7.1. Bryman, A. (2004). The nature of qualitative research. ​Social Research Methods. Oxford University Press. Gross, J., Haines, S., Hill, C., Francis, G., Blue-Banning, M., & Turnbull, A. (2015). Strong school-community partnership in inclusive schools are "Part of the fabric of the school... We can count on them. ​School Community Journal, 25 (2), pp. 9-34. Merriam, S. (2002). Introduction to qualitative research. ​Qualitative Research in Practice. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.