What type of educational issues are suitable and preferred for qualitative research?
The two primary research methods are quantitative and qualitative. Researchers debate about which methods is more effective. Davis (2007) stated “…the question of what is better, quantitative or qualitative research? Perhaps, the question should not rest on what is better, but what is most relevant to practitioners in the field.” This means that the method should be categorized in its effectiveness, according to the subject to be studied. Therefore, depending on what it is being researched the most suitable method, qualitative or quantitative, should be selected.
Qualitative research is the approach usually associated with the social constructivist paradigm, which emphasizes the socially constructed nature of reality. Qualitative research studies focus on analyzing and attempting to uncover the deeper meaning and significance of human behavior and experience. According to Patton, (2002), “there are four major types of qualitative research: Phenomenology; Ethnography; Grounded theory and Case study”. He also indicated the research purpose and the disciplinary origin for each type of qualitative research. The chart below states Patton’s findings.
Based on the chart, the case study is the most suitable qualitative method for education because a case study addresses a case study about a research question and its issues. Haller and Kleine (2001) referred that qualitative studies in education are rooted in other disciplines, such as psychology, sociology, and anthropology. Wilson, (1997) elaborated on that idea when he referred to the impacts of “the individuals being studied and the impact of the context as it influences those individuals”.
The educational topics to be studied using qualitative research are related to variables that impact: students’ performance, students and teachers in their classroom, and students’ home environments. These possible topics are not only educational; they are incorporated to social science disciplines, such as sociology, anthropology, and others.
Two of the criteria as they relate to the Teacher Empowerment Case Study. How would you evaluate this study so that it might be useable for school-based decision-making?
Educated research consumers understand how important is to examine the research to judge the quality of the research. Heller and Kleine, (2001) indicated five criteria to analyze qualitative research: research problem, setting of the study, data quality, data analysis techniques and research perspective. The research problem and the setting are key elements in the qualitative study.
The research problem is the starting point of the qualitative research. A research problem is the demarcation of a trouble area within a certain context involving the WHO or WHAT, the WHERE, the WHEN and the WHY of the problem situation. The problem might start as a broad one, but it will be reduced into a specific one. Creswell (2002) indicated that there are three sources, which usually contribute to problem identification. The first one is own experience or the experience of others may be a source of problem supply. A second source could be scientific literature. The third one is theories. The researcher needs to have a clear…