Tag Archives: Qualitative

Using Qualitative Research to Contest Stereotypes

How are black men portrayed? After Freddie Gray’s death due to the brutality of six Baltimore police officers, newscasts focused on Gray’s criminal record and suspect behavior. When city residents protested, the media became more interested. Reporters searched for provocative stories and trolled for increased viewership. They showed dehumanizing videos of wild mobs looting and […]

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Why Qualitative Research?

Recently, many researchers of higher education (like me) scrambled to complete their proposals for the annual conference of the Association for the Study of Higher Education.  While completing my proposals, I found myself thinking about the circumstances that caused me to become a qualitative researcher. When I was in fifth grade, few things fascinated me […]

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Invisible User

“I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me… When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves or figments of their imagination, indeed, everything and anything except me,” Ralph Ellison wrote in his Invisible Man. I am a Black man and in some spaces, because of this identity, I battle the […]

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On Academic Life: The End of the Circle

It was not long ago (in my mind, anyway) that I entered graduate school, earned my doctorate, and began a career as an academic. I did not have a clue as to where the journey would take me…and I suddenly find myself nearing the end of that journey. In previous posts I tried to point […]

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On Academic Life: For Those Starting Out

This post is aimed at those who want to pursue an academic career. Most likely, that decision will be an intentional and well thought-out move, unlike the more or less random way that I fell in to academia. In any case, at this point, nearing the end of my academic career, there are some things […]

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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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