Tag Archives: Qualitative

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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Down Under and Teju Cole’s Open City

Over the holidays I was in Sydney, Australia for a conference and then some travels. When I consider those experiences that have impacted my life certainly living abroad and traveling to different countries has made its mark. Indeed, cross-cultural life has made such an impact on me that I worry at times about the insularity […]

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Smartphones in Classrooms

I’m currently conducting an ethnographic study of two Advanced Placement English classrooms: one at a high-performing, the other at a low-performing high school. While my empirical focus is the use of language within these classrooms, I can’t help but notice how cell phones are being used in similar ways in both classrooms. I’ve seen many […]

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