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Learning in the Field

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Learning in the Field

An Introduction to Qualitative Research

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Learning in the Field: An Introduction to Qualitative Research by Gretchen B. Rossman
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The popular text that helped readers better understand and practice qualitative research has been completely updated and revised while retaining the features that made the first edition so useful. New to this edition of Learning in the Field: Chapter 3 on the ethics and politics of qualitative research Chapter 4 on choosing the locus of interest among the major qualitative research approaches Chapter 10 expanded to provide detailed instructions for organizing, coding, interpreting, and analyzing data Concept boxes highlight major themes and issues and summarize important principles End-of-chapter study questions and activities To help readers better visualize and grasp the concepts, issues, and complexities of qualitative inquiry, the authors introduce each chapter with discussions among three 'characters' - students whose research projects demonstrate the challenges and excitement of qualitative research. Woven into the chapters and the characters' stories are three themes that make up the tapestry of qualitative research: First, research is a learning process. Second, research can and should be useful. Finally, a researcher needs to have a clear vision of the audience and purpose of a study.

Table of Contents

Foreward Preface to the Second Edition List of Figures and Tables Chapter 1 - Qualitative Research as Learning Defining Qualitative Research Common Characteristics Typical Purposes and Overall Approaches Doing Qualitative Research: Tales of Three Characters Ways of Using Research Instrumental Use Enlightenment Use Symbolic Use Empancipatory Use Principles of Good Practice Overview of the Book Activities for Your Community of Practice Further Reading Chapter 2 - The Researcher as Learner What is Learning? The Reflexivity of Qualitative Research Paradigms Subjectivity and Objectivity Status Quo Versus Radical Change Four Paradigms Perspective in Practice The Self at Work: Reflexivity Establishing Perspective Using the Principles of Good Practice Activities for Your Community of Practice Further Reading Chapter 3 - The Researcher as Competent and Ethical Trustworthiness Standards for Practice What is the Truth Value of This Work? How Rigorously Was the Study Conducted? How Useful is the Study for Other Situations? Strategies for Ensuring Credibility and Rigor Our Characters' Strategies Theories of Ethics The Ethic of Consequences The Ethic of Rights and Responsibilities The Ethic of Social Justice The Ethic of Care Ethical Issues Privacy and Confidentiality Deception and Consent Trust and Betrayal Thinking Through Ethical Dilemmas Politics Setting the Research Agenda Approving the "Right" Methodology Coping With Micro-politics Our Characters' Issues Internal Review Boards Using the Principles of Good Practice Further Reading Chapter 4 - Major Qualitative Research Genres Choosing the Locus of Interest: Major Qualitative Research Genres Critical and Postmodern Assumptions Ethnographies Phenomenological Studies Socio-Communication Studies Case Studies Using the Principles of Good Practice Activities for Your Community of Practice Further Reading Chapter 5 - Planning the Research Practical Considerations Do-ability Want-to-Do-Ability Should-Do-Ability What is a Research Proposal? Conceptual Framework Use of the Literature Introduction The Topic Statement of the Research Problem or Issue Purpose Significance Limitations Design and Methodology Overall Genre and Rationale Site or Population Selection and Sampling Strategies Data Gathering Procedures Data Management and Analysis Procedures Using the Principles of Good Practice Activities for Your Community of Practice Further Reading Chapter 6 - Entering the Field Preparation Intended Involvement Degree of Involvement Portrayal of Iinvolvement Approach and Negotiations Time Introduction and Invitation Written Permission Expectations and Relationships Reciprocity Organizational Gatekeepers Using the Principles of Good Practice Activities for Your Community of Practice Further Reading Chapter 7 - Gathering Data in the Field Decisions About Gathering Data Depth or Breadth Prefigured or Open-ended Ebb and Flow Systematic Inquiry Data About the Research Data About the Process and Yourself Generic In-depth Interviewing Types of Interviews Social Group Identities Follow-up Questions Specialized Forms of In-depth Interviewing Ethnographic Interviewing Phenomenological Interviewing Socio-communications Interviews Interviewing "Elites" or "Experts" Focus Group Interviewing Interviewing Children Observing People, Actions, and Events Taking Field Notes Making Raw Field Notes Usable Studying Material Culture Using the Principles of Good Practice Activities for Your Community of Practice Further Reading Chapter 8 - Our Characters' Data Anthony's Data Field Notes 1 Field Notes 2 Interview 1 Interview 2 Marla's Data Interview 1 Interview 2 Field Notes 1 Field Notes 2 Ruth's Data Field Notes 1 Field Notes 2 Interview 1 Interview 2 Activities for Your Community of Practice Chapter 9 - Issues That Arise in the Field "How Do I Prepare To Gather Data?" "How Can I Get Comfortable in the Field?" "What are the Data?" "How Do I Turn Sights, Sounds, and Objects Into Data?" "I'm Bilingual. What Language Do I Use?" "How Can I Change My Research Plan?" "What Do I Reflect On?" "How Do I Leave the Field?" Using the Principles of Good Practice Using the principles of good practice Using the principles of good practice Activities for Your Community of Practice Further Reading Chapter 10 - Analyzing and Interpreting Data Analysis Happens Analysis is Ongoing Categorical or Holistic Analysis Quantifying Qualitative Data Analysis Related to Qualitative Genre Generic Analysis Organizing the Data Our Characters Familiarizing Yourself With the Data Generating Categories and Themes Coding Interpretation Searching for Alternative Understandings Writing the Report Writing In-process Analytic Memos Strategies for Analyzing Interview Data Analyzing Ethnographic Interview Data Analyzing Phenomenologic Interview Data Analyzing Socio-communications Data Strategies for Analyzing Field Notes From Observations Strategies for Analyzing Material Culture Using the Principles of Good Practice Activities for Your Community of Practice Further Reading Chapter 11 - Our Characters' Analyses Anthony's Analysis Analytic Memo: What Participation Means Ruth's Analysis On Agency Marla's Analysis Memo #1: Collaborative Analysis: The Process and Some Preliminary Thoughts Memo #2: Taking Action Using the Principles of Good Practice Activities for Your Community of Practice Chapter 12 - Presenting the Learnings Presentation Audience and Purpose Possible Formats Voice Organizing the Report Chronology Life History Thematic Composite Critical Events Portraits Using the Principles of Good Practice to Generate Useful Knowledge Activities for Your Community of Practice References Epilogue Name Index Subject Index About the Authors

Author Biography

Sharon F. Rallis is Dwight W. Allen Distinguished Professor of Education Policy and Reform at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst where she is also director of the Center for Education Policy. Previously, she was professor of education at the University of Connecticut; lecturer on education at Harvard; and associate professor of educational leadership at Peabody College, Vanderbilt University. Her doctorate is from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has co-authored ten books, including several on leadership: Principals of Dynamic Schools: Taking Charge of Change (with Ellen Goldring); Dynamic Teachers: Leaders of Change (with Gretchen Rossman); Leading Dynamic Schools: How to create and Implement Ethical Policies (with Gretchen Rossman and others); and Leading with Inquiry and Action: How Principals Improve Teaching and Learning (with Matthew Militello and Ellen Goldring). Her numerous articles, book chapters, edited volumes, and technical reports address issues of research and evaluation methodology, ethical practice in research and evaluation, education policy and leadership, and school reform. A past-president of the American Evaluation Association (2005), Rallis has been involved with education and evaluation for over three decades. She has been a teacher, counselor, principal, researcher, program evaluator, director of a major federal school reform initiative, and an elected school board member. Currently, her teaching includes courses on inquiry, program evaluation, qualitative methodology, and organizational theory. Her research has focused on the local implementation of programs driven by federal, state, or district policies. As external evaluator or principal investigator (PI), she has studied a variety of domestic and international policy and reform efforts, such as: alternative professional development for leaders; collaborations between agencies responsible for educating incarcerated or institutionalized youth; initiatives supporting inclusive education for children and youth with disabilities; local school governance and leadership; labor-management relations in school districts. Rallis' work with students on evaluation and qualitative methodology has taken her as far as Afghanistan and Palestine. undefinedundefinedundefined Professional Interests: Qualitative research design and methods; ethics in research practice; education reform in developing countries
Release date NZ
February 18th, 2003
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
2nd Revised edition
SAGE Publications Ltd
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