Qualitative Research Studying How Things Work

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-03-03
  • Publisher: The Guilford Press

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This book provides invaluable guidance for thinking through and planning a qualitative study.

Author Biography

Robert E. Stake is Director of the Center for Instructional Research and Curriculum Evaluation at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is one of several educational researchers who created theory and practice for educational program evaluation in the 1960s. His responsive evaluation approach emphasizes the study of classroom experience, personal interaction, and institutional processes and contexts, often in the form of case studies. Among the evaluative studies he has directed are studies in science and arts education; model programs; and conventional teaching, including higher education, special education and, with Bernadine Evans Stake, gender equity. He is a recipient of the Lazarsfeld Award from the American Evaluation Association and the Presidential Citation from the American Educational Research Association, and holds honorary doctorates from the University of Uppsala, Sweden, and the University of Valladolid, Spain. For many years, Dr. Stake has been a prominent voice in a transatlantic “invisible college” of like-minded evaluators questioning contexts and conventions for educational evaluation and infusing evaluation with fairness and a valuing of experience.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Make Yourself Comfortablep. 1
Projectsp. 4
Qualitative Research: How Things Workp. 11
The Science of the Particularp. 13
Professional Knowledgep. 13
Individual Experience and Collective Knowledgep. 17
The Methods of Qualitative Researchp. 19
Causesp. 20
The Thingp. 25
Comparing Thingsp. 26
Weaknesses of Qualitative Researchp. 28
Essence of the Qualitative Approachp. 31
Interpretation: The Person as Instrumentp. 36
Interpretive Researchp. 36
Microinterpretation and Macrointerpretationp. 39
Empathyp. 46
Thick Description and Verstehenp. 48
Context and Situationp. 50
Skepticismp. 53
Emphasis on Interpretationp. 54
Experiential Understanding: Most Qualitative Study Is Experientialp. 56
The Places of Human Activityp. 57
Criterial and Experiential Descriptionp. 58
Emphasizing Personal Experiencep. 62
Multiple Realitiesp. 66
Bringing in the Experience of Othersp. 66
Stating the Problem: Questioning How This Thing Worksp. 71
First the Question, Then the Methodsp. 72
Laying Out Your Studyp. 77
A Librarian Thinking of a Designp. 78
Design for Studying How This Case Worksp. 82
Raising and Answering Questionsp. 86
Methods: Gathering Datap. 88
Observingp. 90
Interviewingp. 95
Exhibit Questionsp. 97
Surveyp. 99
Keeping Recordsp. 99
Review of Literature: Zooming to See the Problemp. 104
Refining the Problem to Be Studiedp. 104
Concept Mappingp. 106
Representing the Fieldp. 109
Building upon the Nearby Studiesp. 112
Finding the Literaturep. 115
Evidence: Bolstering Judgment and Reconnoiteringp. 117
Evidence-Based Decision Makingp. 120
Unbearable Lightness of Evidencep. 121
Triangulationp. 123
Mixed Methods and Confidencep. 125
Member Checkingp. 126
Review Panelsp. 127
Progressive Focusingp. 129
Analysis and Synthesis: How Things Workp. 133
Taking Apart and Putting Togetherp. 134
Working with Patchesp. 137
Interpretation and Sortingp. 150
Action Research and Self-Evaluation: Finding on Your Own How Your Place Worksp. 157
Participatory Action Researchp. 159
Evaluationp. 161
Studying Your Own Placep. 163
Biasp. 164
Assertionsp. 167
Storytelling: Illustrating How Things Workp. 170
Vignettesp. 171
Elements of Storyp. 174
Story versus a Collage of Patchesp. 179
Multiple Case Researchp. 181
Writing the Final Report: An Iterative Convergencep. 183
The Iterative Synthesisp. 184
The Ukraine Reportp. 188
Dualities and the Dialecticp. 191
Particular and General Assertionsp. 192
Generalization from Particular Situationsp. 197
The Professional Viewp. 198
Advocacy and Ethics: Making Things Work Betterp. 200
All Research Is Advocativep. 200
A Voice for the Underrepresentedp. 202
Personal Ethicsp. 203
Protection of Human Subjectsp. 206
People Exposedp. 209
Essentials of Qualitative Researchp. 212
Looking Forwardp. 214
Glossary: Meanings for This Bookp. 217
Bibliographyp. 223
Author Indexp. 233
Subject Indexp. 237
About the Authorp. 244
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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