This book gives researchers and students a user-friendly, step-by-step guide to planning qualitative research. Based on a course that the author taught for 7 years at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, it is written in an informal, jargon-free style and incorporates many examples and hands-on exercises. Rather than the rigid, linear approach to design that is usually found in research methods textbooks--and which is particularly ill suited for qualitative research--this book presents a flexible, systemic model of design. This model not only better fits what experienced qualitative researchers actually do, but provides a clear framework for designing a study and developing a research proposal. This edition includes new or substantially expanded discussions of research paradigms, defining a research problem, site and participant selection, relationships with research participants, data analysis, and validity, as well as more examples and exercises.
Joseph A. Maxwell is a professor (Emeritus) in the College of Education and Human Development at George Mason University. His doctoral degree is in anthropology, but for the past 35 years, his research and teaching has been mainly in education, with an increasing focus on methodology. He is the author of Qualitative Research Design: An Interactive Approach (3rd ed., 2013) and A Realist Approach for Qualitative Research (2012), as well as articles on qualitative and mixed methods research, Native American societies, and medical education. His current research deals with using qualitative methods for causal explanation, validity in qualitative and quantitative research, the history and breadth of mixed-methods research, the value of philosophic realism for research, and the importance of diversity and dialogue across research paradigms and methods.
Chapter 1. A Model for Qualitative Research Design Chapter 2. Goals: Why Are You Doing This Study? Chapter 3. Conceptual Framework: What Do You Think Is Going On? Chapter 4. Research Questions: What Do You Want to Understand? Chapter 5. Methods: What Will You Actually Do? Chapter 6. Validity: How Might You Be Wrong? Chapter 7. Research Proposals: Presenting and Justifying a Qualitative Study Appendix A. A Proposal for a Study of Medical School Teaching Appendix B. A Proposal for a Study of Online Learning by Teachers