Tag Archives: Qualitative

So You Want to be a Qualitative Researcher in the 21st Century

A tension exists between old and new. In The Anxiety of Influence, Harold Bloom explains the generational process among writers: Old poets inspire young poets. The apprentice learns to love form by reading the work of a skilled master. The beginner writes derivative verse. Anxiety stirs as she realizes the only way to establish a […]

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I Read This Book and You Can If You Want To: “These Kids: Identity, Agency, and Social Justice at a Last Chance High School” by Kysa Nygreen

I approached this 217-page book with a fair amount of hope but finished it disappointed. Any book, especially an academic text, can be a disappointment and yet the text can be a learning experience. If I were to suggest that someone read this book I would probably recommend it for its flaws rather than its […]

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Supporting Unaccompanied Youth

In 2011, we explored how homelessness shaped student and families’ K–12 schooling experiences in a medium-sized Midwestern city. We gathered longitudinal district data and conducted 132 semi-structured interviews with school employees, parents experiencing homelessness, and community providers. Our study led to myriad findings on the diversity of homelessness, educational resource access, and parental engagement. While […]

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Stats, Stories, and Policy Design

In my last post, I mentioned Illinois’ new testing plan, which sets different testing standards based on student demographics including race and class. The policy oozes the flawed logic that has defined the accountability era: Statistics—and experimental and quasi-experimental studies, in particular—represent the gold standard of educational research. Before you either tune me in or […]

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Thursday is TechDay: (Y) OBVI

Thursday’s Thursday is TechDay is about internet slang. Yes, that discourse that started out with the mysterious LOL that has now entered the public consciousness. My mother uses it. For those who may not be familiar with formal literacy terms such as discourse, here’s a mini-lesson. Discourse indicates the use of language to proxy social […]

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“Let’s think about that”: Mike Rose and the Democratic Tradition

Over the last several years we have had an increasing emphasis on educational research that tells us “what works.” The assumptions behind this drive are relatively straightforward: If we are going to invest finite monies and time into something, then we should know with absolute certainty that the prescriptions that are being employed are effective. […]

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Qualitative Research and Vocational Higher Education Institutions

A growing amount of the discourse on bolstering the U.S. workforce has emphasized how higher education can facilitate such growth. Particular emphasis has been paid to vocationally-oriented institutions of postsecondary education and if they are doing a suitable job in preparing students and getting them jobs. My own research agenda now centers on providing an […]

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Notes from a Digital Notebook: Part 2, Writing and Organizing Ideas

In my last post, I discussed the use of Evernote as a tool to store and organize fieldnotes. For this blog, I transition to the writing process. I am fortunate to have mounds of digital data from my dissertation. I also have a list of papers that I am either planning or authoring. Although I […]

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Thursday is TechDay: “It’s just a .jpg”

Today’s Thursday is Techday is anecdotal, an extract (from my classroom observation field notes) about how teenagers in one urban high school are using mobile technology for academic purposes. I’ve posted before about the iPhone as teenage fashion statement, and I’ve also shared stories about students passing a cell phone like a relay baton in […]

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Notes from a Digital Notebook: Part 1, Evernote and Fieldnotes

The intrepid anthropologist enters the field. He carries his essential tools, a pen and notebook. Over the next months, he gains entrée and acts as a participant observer. Here and there, he steals a moment or two to record the local culture in his notebook. At the end of the day, he sits in a […]

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