EDET 636 Week 2
How is Qualitative Research a good lens through which to view classroom research?
Qualitative Research is a good lens through which to view classroom research because the individual (teacher) doing the research wants to understand their (students) experiences, how they construct their worlds, and what they characterize their experience as (Merriam, page 5). The idea is to understand something.
The basic steps in qualitative research are exploring issues, understanding experiences, and answering questions by analyzing and making sense of the data collected. According to QSR International Pty Ltd’s website, all data is unstructured. Data can come from open-ended survey responses, interviews, audio recordings, videos, pictures, web pages…
Merriam talks about the different forms of qualitative research. The three forms of research are positivist, interpretive and critical. A positivist assumes that reality is observable, stable, and measurable; interpretive research assumes reality is socially constructed (page 9) and lastly those who engage in critical research build their questions in relation to who has power (page 10). The way you frame your research questions influences your view towards how the world is constructed. For instance, if you have a positivistic view, you adhere to factual knowledge and you concentrate on facts, according the article “Positivism.”
When I think about doing qualitative research in the classroom in the form of positivism, I think about researching my students’ behavior. Why students behave the way they do, or why during certain times of the day their behavior changes. My research would consist of learning about my students’ experiences at home and in school, collecting data from what I see and hear (in the form of surveys, interviews, audio recordings), recording my observations, creating and implementing the plan, and then drawing conclusions.
We focus a lot on behavior and cultural values in our school/district. This is my first year using ClassDojo as a way to creative a positive classroom atmosphere and manage my classroom behavior. I’ve heard great things from colleagues, who recommended I use it for primary grades. If ClassDojo works for my kids, and in the end have positive attitude, I would recommend it to other teachers.
Merriam, S., & Merriam, S. (2009). Qualitative research: A guide to design and implementation. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Positivism – Research Methodology. (n.d.). Retrieved September 9, 2015, from http://research-methodology.net/research-philosophy/positivism/
What is Qualitative Research? (n.d.). Retrieved September 9, 2015, from http://www.qsrinternational.com/what-is-qualitative-research.aspx