Qualitative Research in Education Home Page

Qualitative Research in Education

Course Syllabus, Spring 1997

Dr. Jan Gamradt, College of Education

University of New Mexico

Course Number: EDAD/ EDFDN/ETSCS 605-001
Credit Hrs: 3
Prereqs: see below

Email: gamradt@unm.edu
home pg:http://www.unm.edu/~gamradt/jkg.htm

Introduction and Overview

Welcome to Qualitative Research in Education! This is an intensive course in the use of field-based and general qualitative research methods in the social study of education. The aim of the course is to help participants acquire skill and gain experience in using a wide range of methodological and analytical research techniques. The emphasis of the course is on the collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of qualitative data.

Course Objectives

Course Prerequisites

This course is intended only for students who have completed at least one "conceptual" course related to qualitative research. Examples of such courses include Naturalistic Inquiry (ETSCS 502, formerly EF 502), Education and Anthropology (ETSCS 522), Ethnographic Research in the Classroom (ETSCS 623), and field research or qualitative evaluation courses offered by other programs and departments. Participants should already have acquired a basic understanding of the aims and underlying assumptions associated with qualitative research before enrolling in this course. It is also helpful for students to have acquired some knowledge of "quantitative" research methods before taking this course. Ideally, students should have taken an introduction to statistics or general research design course before enrolling in ETSCS 605.

Course Texts

Bernard, H. R. (1994). Research methods in anthropology (second edition). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Emerson, R., Fretz, R., & Shaw, L. (1995). Writing ethnographic fieldnotes. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago.

Course Format

The format of the class will include a range of activities: class discussions of course readings, collaborative analysis of field and interview data displays, small group exercises, application assignments, talks by guest speakers, and lectures by the instructor. Students should plan to request and receive feedback on their work from fellow classmates, and to provide feedback to other students upon request. Please come to class prepared to discuss, analyze, question, explain, and/or critique the assigned reading materials and/or data displays. Some classes will be schedule in computer pods, and you should plan to spend a significant amount of additional time on your own in libraries and computer pods. As in all graduate seminars, students will also be encouraged to actively explore scholarly and empirical literature pertaining to their own areas of professional specialization.

Class Attendance

is an essential part of this course. However, if you must miss a class (or a part of a class) please see to it that a classmate takes lecture notes for you, collects handouts, and generally fills you in on what you missed. Please do not call me or program secretaries to explain your absence from a particular class, but do call a fellow student. If you find that you must miss more than two classes, it will be necessary for you to retake the course at another time. If you find it necessary to withdraw from the course, please remember to submit the necessary forms to the registration office.

Course Requirements and Evaluation Procedure

Your course grade will be based on class participation, application assignments, and a portfolio representing work completed during the semester. The center of your activity during the semester should focus on learning about and practicing a wide range of data-gathering techniques and data-analysis strategies. Your portfolio should demonstrate how you have spent your time and what you have learned. The portfolio will contain class exercises and assignments, a critical review of the work of an "exemplary" qualitative researcher, practice fieldnotes and interview transcripts, and other ethnographic materials, as appropriate. It should display your skill in data management (indexing and coding, fieldlog and journal writing), and should demonstrate clearly the analytical strategies you have employed during the semester in order to understand and interpret qualitative data.

Ethical Considerations

The purpose of class assignments and activities is to allow participants to develop specific inquiry skills. Students enrolled in EDAD/EDFDN/ETSCS 605 this term will not be engaged in formal research projects or pilot studies. Rather, the design of the course will employ training exercises and simulations intended to give students a chance to acquire hands-on familiarity with ethnographic research methods. Ethical and "human subjects" considerations mandate that students follow carefully the instructor's guidelines concerning all course activities and assignments. Failure to do so will result in grade reduction (at best) and could result in a grade of "F" for the course. On a brighter note, this course provides powerful opportunities to acquire and polish new research skills, learn about/with/from fellow classmates, and explore new and important conceptual territory. If anything transpires during the course of the semester that inhibits your ability to learn and enjoy this course do not hesitate to let me know. I will do what I can to help change the situation for the better.

Topical Overview

Recommended Authors and Supplementary texts

(Additional texts provided on course bibliography)

Denzin, Norman (1989). Interpretive interactionism. Applied Social Research Methods Series Vol. 16. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Dobbert, Marion. (1982). Ethnographic research: Theory and application for modern schools and societies. New York: Praeger.

LeCompte, Margaret, Millroy, Wendy, and Preisle, Judith (1992). Editors, Handbook of qualitative research in education. SanDiego, CA: Academic.

LeCompte, Margaret, and Preisle, Judith (1992). Ethnography and qualitative design in educational research (2nd edition). Orlando, FL: Academic.

Marshall, C. and Rossman, G. (1995 ). Designing qualitative research (second edition).

Patton, M. (1990). Qualitative evaluation and research methods (second edition). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Rose, Dan (1990). Living the ethnographic life. Qualitative research methods series no. 23. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Sanjek, Roger (1990). Fieldnotes: The makings of anthropology. Ithica, NY: Cornell University.

Spradley, James (1980). Participant observation. Orlando, FL: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

Strauss, Anselm (1987). Qualitative analysis for social scientists. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University.

Anthropology Information Hubs

American Anthropological Association
Center for Anthropology and Science Communications
Hunter College/CUNY Selected Anthropology Links (An extensive list)
Al Luttin's Anthropology on the Internet Links (Another extensive list.)
Lisa Mitten's Home Page
Megan Perry's Anthropology on the Internet Links
Samuel Wilson's Useful Reference Points
Humanities Hub

Course Links

Pedagogical Notes and Advice for Students. (Includes dissertation and thesis writings guides and other references for college students.)
The Mind's Eye Project Home Page(Resources for academic researchers, course syllabi links, academic organizations.)
Educational Psychology Home Page Ed. Psych. Links
Qualitative Research in Education Home Page.

Acknowledgments and References

To the best of my knowledge, none of the graphics used on this page are copyrighted. If I have made any errors in this respect, please let me know and I will make the necessary changes immediately. Thanks are due to the following creative people and places:

DeeDee's Home Page, Miss Dolphin's Animated Gif Archive, and Billy Bear's Home Page

This site was created by Jan Gamradt, University of New Mexico, January 24, 1997. Last update: 9/29/98. Made with a Macintosh.