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An Introduction to Qualitative Research : Learning in the Field - Gretchen B. Rossman

An Introduction to Qualitative Research

Learning in the Field

Paperback Published: 3rd May 2016
ISBN: 9781506307930
Number Of Pages: 344

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The updated Fourth Edition of Gretchen B. Rossman and Sharon F. Rallis’s popular introductory text leads the new researcher into the field by explaining the core concepts through theory, research, and applied examples. Woven into the chapters are three themes that are the heart of the book: first, research is about learning; second, research can and should be useful; and finally, a researcher should practice the highest ethical standards to ensure that a study is trustworthy. The Fourth Edition includes an elaborate discussion of systematic inquiry as well as a nuanced discussion of developing a conceptual framework.

About the Authors

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.

Sharon F. Rallis is Dwight W. Allen Distinguished Professor of Education Policy and Reform at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. 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 coauthored numerous 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) and current editor of the American Journal of Evaluation, Professor Rallis has been involved with education and evaluation for more than 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; and leadership development. Her work with students on evaluation and qualitative methodology has taken her as far as Afghanistan, Turkey, and Palestine.

Industry Reviews

"This book has all the resources you need to complete your own research and become a more skilled lifelong learner." -- Michael Quinn Patton
Rossman and Rallis build on their experience as researchers, teachers, and authors to update and improve what I think is simply the best available text for an introductory course on qualitative research methods. -- Gerardo Blanco Ramirez

1. Qualitative Research as Learning
Doing Qualitative Research: Tales of Three Characters
Defining Qualitative Research
Common Characteristics
Typical Purposes and Overall Approaches
The Characters' Choices
Ways of Using Research
Dispositions and Skills
Overview of the Book
Activities for Your Community of Practice
Further Reading
2. The Researcher as Learner
What is Learning?
The Reflexivity of Qualitative Research
Perspectives in Practice
Dispositions and Skills
Activities for Your Community of Practice
Further Reading
3. The Researcher as Competent and Ethical
What Does Trustworthiness Matter?
What Makes a Trustworthy Study?
Systematic Practice
Ethical Practice
Our Characters' Dilemmas and Challenges
Dispositions and Skills
Activities for Your Community of Practice
Further Reading
4. Major Qualitative Research Genres
Choosing the Locus of Interest
Ethnographic Genres
Phenomenological Genres
Sociolinguist Genres
Case Studies
Dispositions and Skills
Activities for Your Community of Practice
Further Reading
5. Conceptualizing and Planning the Research
Practical Considerations
What is a Research Proposal?
Conceptual Framework
Design and Methods
Dispositions and Skills
Activities for Your Community of Practice
Further Reading
6. Entering the Field
Intended Involvement
Approach and Negotiations
Expectations and Relationships
Dispositions and Skills
Activities for Your Community of Practice
Further Reading
7. Gathering Data in the Field
Decisions About Gathering Data
Systematic Inquiry
Generic In-Depth Interviewing
Specialized In-Depth Interviewing
Special Considerations
Observing People, Actions, and Events
Studying Material Culture
Dispositions and Skills
Activities for Your Community of Practice
Further Reading
8. 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?
Two Languages: Which Do I Use?
How Can I Change My Research Plan?
What Do I Reflect On?
How Do I Leave the Field and End the Study?
Dispositions and Skills
Activities for Your Community of Practice
Further Reading
9. Our Character's Data
Anthony's Data
Marla's Data
Ruth's Data
Activities for Your Community of Practice
10. Analyzing and Interpreting Data
Analysis Happens
Generic Analysis
Writing In-Process Analytic Memos
Strategies for Analyzing Interview Data
Strategies for Analyzing Field Notes from Observations
Strategies for Analyzing Material Culture
Dispositions and Skills
Activities for Your Community of Practice
Further Reading
11. Our Characters' Analyses
Anthony's Analysis
Ruth's Analysis
Marla's Analysis
Dispositions and Skills
Activities for Your Community of Practice
12. Presenting the Learnings
An Example
Organizing the Report
Using the Dispositions and Skills to Generate Useful Knowledge
Activities for Your Community of Practice
Further Reading

ISBN: 9781506307930
ISBN-10: 1506307930
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 344
Published: 3rd May 2016
Publisher: SAGE Publications Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.2 x 18.9  x 1.8
Weight (kg): 0.58
Edition Number: 4
Edition Type: Revised

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