Essential Question: How is Qualitative Research a good lens through which to view classroom research?
What is qualitative research? Unlike quantitative research, which tracks countable data like grades, qualitative data looks at things like survey or interview results to gain “an in-depth understanding of human behavior and the reasons that govern such behavior” (Wikipedia.com). Classroom Research is defined by Kirkwood Community College “as an ongoing and cumulative intellectual inquiry by classroom teachers into the nature of teaching and learning in their own classrooms.” Qualitative research methods provide a good lens through which to view classroom research because it examines human behavior and the reasons for that behavior. It is a great way for teachers to look at their classroom and see what they would like to change before researching ways how to change it. You then can do studies and see if what you are doing is working or what difference it is making in your classroom.
According to education.com, some of the qualitative methods used to measure teaching effectiveness include interviews, observations, or first- person document analysis. Other techniques are available, as well. Studies that use these methods have some things in common:
- Their data is descriptive (e.g. field notes, interview transcripts).
- Their analysis is inductive (the questions and focus evolve as the data is collected).
- Their data are typically collected in natural settings.
- Their data are not reduced to numbers and they do not employ advanced statistical procedures. For the most part, their reports are descriptive and conceptual.
Their goal is to understand basic social processes (e.g. how children play and learn in a group). In addition they try to grasp the view of the world from the point of view of the participants (the teachers, students and others related to the classroom). http://www.education.com/reference/article/qualitative-research/
Qualitative research uses methods that might tell us more about how we’re doing in the classroom than standardized tests. Doing a qualitative research project like asking students their opinions or having another teacher come in and observe me will help me to make adjustments to things I’m doing in the classroom that I’m not even aware of. I look forward to learning more about qualitative research methods and how to use them to expand my knowledge about what I’m doing and how I can change up my teaching to reach more students.
Kirkwood Community College – CASTLE. (2013). Retrieved September 9, 2015, from http://www.kirkwood.edu/site/index.php?p=281
Qualitative research. (2015). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved September 8, 2015, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Qualitative_research&oldid=679125147
Qualitative Research. (2015). Retrieved September 9, 2015, from http://www.education.com/reference/article/qualitative-research/