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Designing Qualitative Research


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Table of Contents

1. Introduction Considerations The Challenges Developing an Arguement Overview of the Book Dialogue Between Authors Further Reading Key Concepts 2. Qualitative Research Genres Major Genres Critical Genres Dialogue Between Authors Dialogue Between Learners Further Reading Key Concepts 3. Trustworthiness and Ethics Trustworthiness Bringing Ethics Into Trustworthiness Ethics: Focusing on People Dialogue Between Authors Dialogue Between Learners Further Reading Key Concepts 4. The What of the Study: Building the Conceptual Framework Sections of the Proposal Building the Conceptual Framework: Topic, Purpose, and Significance Literature Review and Critique of Related Research Dialogue Between Authors Dialogue Between Learners Further Reading Key Concepts 5. The How of the Study: Building the Research Design Meeting the Challenge Justifying Qualitative Research The Qualitative Genre and Overall Approach Getting Concrete: The Setting, Site Population, or Phenomenon Selecting a Sample of People, Actions, Events, and/or Processes The Researcher's Role: Issues of Personal Biography, Positionality, Entry, Rapport, Reciprocity, and Ethics Anticipate Reviewers' Concerns Dialogue Between Authors Dialogue Between Learners Further Reading Key Concepts 6. Basic Data Collection Methods Observation In-Depth Interviewing Life Histories, Narrative Inquiry, and Digital Storytelling Documents and Historical Analysis Objects and Artifacts of Material Cultures Dialogue Between Authors Dialogue Between Learners Further Reading Key Concepts 7. Specialized and Focused Data Collection Methods Using Internet and Digital Applications Multimodal Approaches Interaction Analysis Dilemma Analysis Combining Data Collection Methods Dialogue Between Authors Dialogue Between Learners Further Reading Key Concepts 8. Managing, Analyzing, and Interpreting Data Recording, Managing, Transcribing, and Translating Data Data Analysis Generic Data Analysis Strategies Analytic Procedures Dialogue Between Authors Dialogue Between Learners Further Reading Key Concepts 9. Stressors: Time, Resources, and Politics Planning Resources for a Large Study Topsy-Turvy Politics and Research Planning Master's Thesis and Dissertation Research Dialogue Between Authors Dialogue Between Learners Further Reading Key Concepts 10. Arguing the Merits of Your Proposal and Envisioning the Final Report Criteria of Soundness The Essential Qualitativeness of the Research The Value of the Qualitative Approach Demonstrating Precedents Envisioning the Final Report, the Dissertation, or the Book A Final Word Dialogue Between Authors Further Reading Key Concepts References

About the Author

Catherine Marshall is Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Formerly a teacher in Rhode Island, her studies and career moves include doctoral studies at University of California, Santa Barbara, a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Los Angeles, and faculty positions at the University of Pennsylvania and Vanderbilt University before moving in 1991 to Chapel Hill. Her teaching and research interests include the use an interdisciplinary approach to analyze school cultures, state policy systems, and the professional development of adults working in organizations. She has published extensively about the politics of education, qualitative methodology, and women's access to careers as well as about the socialization, language, and values in educational leadership. She is the author of Reframing Educational Politics for Social Justice (Allyn & Bacon, 2004); Leadership for Social Justice: Making Revolutions in Education, Culture and Education Policy in the American States (Allyn & Bacon, 2005); and Designing Qualitative Research, Fifth Edition (SAGE, 2010), as well as a number of other books and numerous journal articles. Gretchen B. Rossman is Professor of International Education at the Center for International Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She received her PhD in education from the University of Pennsylvania with a specialization in higher education administration. She has served as a visiting professor at Harvard University's Graduate School of Education. Prior to coming to the University of Massachusetts, she was Senior Research Associate at Research for Better Schools in Philadelphia. With an international reputation as a qualitative methodologist, she has expertise in qualitative research design and methods, mixed- methods monitoring and evaluation, and inquiry in education. Over the past 30+ years, she has coauthored numerous books, two of which are editions of major qualitative research texts (this fourth edition of Learning in the Field, with Sharon Rallis, and Designing Qualitative Research, 6th edition, with Catherine Marshall-both widely used guides to qualitative inquiry). She has authored or coauthored more than 45 articles, book chapters, and technical reports focused on methodological issues in qualitative research syntheses, validity in qualitative research, mixed-methods evaluation practice, and ethical research practice, as well as the analysis and evaluation of educational reform initiatives both in the United States and internationally. Professor Rossman has served as principal investigator (PI) or co-PI on several international projects in such countries as Azerbaijan, India, Malawi, Palestine, Senegal, Tanzania, and the Gambia, as well as external evaluator on several domestic projects, including a Department of Education-funded reform initiative, a National Science Foundation-funded middle-grades science initiative, and a number of projects implementing more inclusive practices for students with disabilities. She regularly presents papers at the annual meetings of the American Educational Research Association and the Comparative and International Education Society.


"This is a handy, practical text for newcomers to qualitative research who are preparing a proposal." -- Jon Travis, Texas A&M University - Commerce
"This is by far the most readable text on methodology I've used in my work with education graduate students. Its careful, detailed and rich explanation of the research process makes it a crucial tool for anyone working with students who are ready to begin the process of qualitative research. But it is the thick, authentic descriptions of researchers actively engaging in the puzzles and dilemmas of doing complex, ethical, and socially powerful research that makes it an invaluable guide for the student at all stages in their research process. It is a text that a student will return to over and over again, and become that dog eared companion that accompanies them from the beginning to end of their research journey." -- Catherine McGregor, University of Victoria

"A student friendly book that would have been beneficial to my own research development in graduate school."

-- Ifeoma Amah, University of Texas at Arlington

"The authors create a mosaic of qualitative research procedures using text, tables, figures, and vignettes that move the reader between the theoretical and practical aspects of conducting quality research."

-- LeAnn Putney, University of Nevada - Las Vegas

"This text will be helpful to graduate students when they first encounter qualitative research and its possibilities. It is both practical and philosophical, and it provides useful advice on strategies to embrace and pitfalls to avoid."

-- Mary Jean Herzog, Western Carolina University

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