The Design Of Qualitative Research Mr Jitipol

Merrium Ch1-2: The Design of Qualitative Research

What is Qualitative Research?
This chapter helps us to understand the basic concept of qualitative research. Qualitative research can be divided into three orientation and five majors.

Three Orientations to Research
There are three perspectives to conduct the research that are positivist interpretive and critical research. Differences among these three philosophical orientations can be distinguished by different tenets and purposes. The three orientations are distinguished as following

Positivist Knowledge gains through scientific and experimental research. Researcher desires to gain knowledge form existing reality. They are objective and quantifiable. An obvious methodology is logical deductive reasoning.
Interpretive Multiple realities are socially constructed by individual. Research wants to gain the knowledge form the society. As a result, the main methodology to conduct interpretive orientation is abductive reasoning.
Critical Research Epistemology is considered a social designed. Researcher needs to design the theory form existing information. This research perspective interests more on inductive reasoning.

Characteristic of Qualitative Research
Qualitative research has many form of inquiry. However, all of them help us to explain the social phenomenon. The key philosophical assumption upon which all types of qualitative research are based on the belief that reality is constructed by individuals links with their social world. There are five characteristics on quantitative research.

Firstly, qualitative research “are interested in understanding the meaning people have constructed” (Merriam, 1998, p.6). Secondly, “the researcher is the primary instrument for data collection and analysis” (Merriam, 1998, p.7). Thirdly, qualitative research is usually involves fieldwork (Merriam, 1998, p.7). Fourthly, qualitative research primarily employs an inductive research strategy (Merriam, 1998, p.7). Finally, the product of a qualitative study is richly descriptive (Merriam, 1998, p.8).

Major Type of Qualitative Research
•Basic or Generic Qualitative Study
A simple quantitative research tries to discover and understand the phenomenon or process or perspective view of the people involved.
•An Ethnographic Study
An Ethnographic Study presents a social culture analysis of the unit of study. It is firstly define the method than collect the data and write a record by ethnographic technique.
A study investigates more on ‘subjective experiences’. In other words, the focus of phenomenological study is on the real meaning or structure of an individual group experience. The researcher might then bring the experience of our learning into consciousness, analyze it and try to interpret the meaning.
•Grounded Theory
An ultimate result form quantitative research is a theory. This type of research tries to develop ‘a substantive theory’ that has a specific reference. A substantive theory consists of categories, properties, and hypothesis. Categories and properties are used to define and support the element of the theory while the hypotheses are the relationship among categories and properties that can be test in qualitative study.
•Case Study
A case study is employed to gain in-depth understanding of the situation and meaning for those involved. Like other qualitative study, it interests in process, context, and discovery that generate form single unit or bounded system.

In summary, each type of qualitative research can be distinguished form the others in terms of disciplinary orientation (ethnography, phenomenology), function (grounded theory), or form (case study, basic generic qualitative study). (Merriam, 1998, p.20)

Table 1.2 Common Types of Qualitative Research in Education

Type Characteristics
Basic or Generic Includes description, interpretation, and understanding, Indentifies recurrent patterns in the form of themes or categories, May delineate a process
Ethnographic Focuses on society and culture, Uncovers and describes beliefs, value, and attitudes that structure behavior of a group
Phenomenology Is concerned with essence or basic structure of a phenomenon, Use data that are the participant’s and the investigator’s firsthand experience of the phenomenon
Grounded Theory Is designed to inductively build a substantive theory regarding some aspect of practice, Is “grounded” in the real world
Case Study In intensive, holistic description and analysis of a single unit of bounded system, Can be combined with any of the above types

The researcher
The qualitative researcher must have an enormous tolerance for ambiguity. This is because the best way to proceed will not always be obvious. Sensitivity is a second attribute needed in qualitative research. The researcher must be sensitive to the information being gathered and aware of any personal biases. Finally, the good qualitative researcher must be a good communicator. A good reporter emphasizes with respondent, establishes understanding, ask good questions, and listens intently. However, being good communicator involve more than oral skills. Researcher need to be able to express the perception by writing in qualitative research. These all skill need to be train and practice always to gain more experience in this type of research.

This chapter reviews the foundation information beginning with the positivist-quantitative, interpretive-qualitative, and critical-philosophical orientation toward research. Moreover, characteristic and major and Type of Qualitative Research are described in detail. Finally, the chapter ends with the essential characteristic of qualitative researcher.

Merrium, B. Sharan, (1998). Qualitative research and case study applications in education
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