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Journal Cover The Qualitative Report
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  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
   ISSN (Online) 1052-0147
   Published by Nova Southeastern University Homepage  [3 journals]
  • IDEAS: A Qualitative Inquiry into Project-Based Learning

    • Authors: James G. LaPrad et al.
      Abstract: As waves of the Global Educational Reform Movement, what Sahlberg (2015) identifies as GERM, still ripple around the world pushing for competition, standardization, the focus on the core subjects, and test-based accountability some schools like IDEAS choose what Hargreaves and Shirley (2012) call The Forth Way towards inspiration and innovation with their project-based learning pedagogy. IDEAS is a small public high school in Sheboygan, Wisconsin and a member of Ted Sizer’s Coalition of Essential Schools (CES). Our qualitative inquiry explores the implications of project-based learning on IDEAS’ students, teachers, academic program and school community. Data came from direct observation, interviews, curriculum documents, and teaching and learning artifacts. Our research informs IDEAS about the impact of their project-based learning pedagogy and validates its significance as part of their curricular program. It demonstrates that democratic principles are at work in some US schools, despite so many instances to the contrary. In the age of GERM this single-case study provides research-based evidence that alternative pedagogical methods and curriculum programs are potentially viable alternatives to many of the curriculum practices commonly found in today’s schools.
      PubDate: Sun, 12 Feb 2017 13:43:15 PST
  • Academic Problem-Solving and Students’ identities as engineers

    • Authors: Mirka Koro-Ljungberg et al.
      Abstract: Socially constructed identities and language practices influence the ways students perceive themselves as learners, problem solvers, and future professionals. While research has been conducted on individuals’ identity as engineers, less has been written about how the language used during engineering problem solving influences students’ perceptions and their construction of identities as learners and future engineers. This study investigated engineering students’ identities as reflected in their use of language and discourses while engaged in an engineering problem solving activity. We conducted interviews with eight engineering students at a large southeastern university about their approaches to open and closed-ended materials engineering problems. A modification of Gee’s analysis of language-in-use was used to analyze the interviews. We found that pedagogical and engineering problem solving uses of language were the most common. Participants were more likely to perceive themselves as students highlighting the practices, expectations, and language associated with being a student rather than as emerging engineers whose practices are affected by conditions of professional practice. We suggest that problem solving in an academic setting may not encourage students to consider alternative discourses related to industry, professionalism, or creativity; and, consequently, fail to promote connections to social worlds beyond the classroom. By learning about the ways in which language in particular settings produces identities and shapes problem solving practices, educators and engineering professionals can gain deeper understanding of how language shapes the ways students describe themselves as problem-solvers and make decisions about procedures and techniques to solve engineering problems.
      PubDate: Sun, 12 Feb 2017 13:43:11 PST
  • Participant Observation: Enhancing the Impact Measurement in Community
           Based Participatory Research

    • Authors: Brent Hammer et al.
      Abstract: Participant observation parallels the principles of community based participatory research (CBPR), recognizing that each community should be understood in its own context. Using fieldnotes from the Métis Settlements Life Skills Journey (MSLSJ) program, the authors explore the benefits and challenges of using participant observation in CBPR program evaluation. Participant observation was incorporated in 2014 and 2015 as researchers sought a complementary perspective and context to determine the impact of the program. The authors explore relationships with a large number of stakeholders (children, facilitators, community members, and project staff) and discuss ensuring the participant observer’s perspective is not privileged above others.
      PubDate: Sun, 12 Feb 2017 13:43:07 PST
  • Reflexivity in Qualitative Research: A Journey of Learning

    • Authors: Erlinda C. Palaganas et al.
      Abstract: Conducting research, more so, fieldwork, changes every researcher in many ways. This paper shares the various reflexivities – the journeys of learning – that we underwent as field researchers. Here, we share the changes brought about to ourselves, as a result of the research process, and how these changes have affected the research process. It highlights the journey of discovering how we, as researchers, shaped and how we were shaped by the research process and outputs. All these efforts were done in our attempts to discover and understand various social phenomena and issues such as poverty, development, gender, migration, and ill health in the Philippines. This article includes the challenges encountered in our epistemological stance/s and personal and methodological concerns shown in our reflexivity notes/insights. Indeed, it is when researchers acknowledge these changes, that reflexivity in research constitutes part of the research findings. It is through this consciousness of the relational and reflective nature of being aware of personal and methodological concerns that we honor ourselves, our teammates/co-researchers and all others involved with the research project. As researchers, we need to be cognizant of our contributions to the construction of meanings and of lived experiences throughout the research process. We need to acknowledge that indeed it is impossible to remain “outside of” one's study topic while conducting research.
      PubDate: Sun, 12 Feb 2017 13:43:03 PST
  • Improving Patient Safety through High Reliability Organizations

    • Authors: Jared Padgett et al.
      Abstract: Preventable medical errors result in the loss of 200,000 lives per year with associated financial and operational burdens on organizations and society. Widespread preventable patient harm occurs despite increases in healthcare regulations. High reliability organization theory contributes to improved safety and may potentially reverse this trend. This single case study explored the introduction of a safety culture and subsequent improvements in patient safety in a reliability-seeking organization. Fourteen participants from a subacute nursing facility were selected using purposeful sampling criterion. Data were collected through participant interviews, document reviews, and group observation. Five themes emerged from an analysis of collected data including process standardization, checks and redundancy, authority migration, communication, and teamwork. The themes uncovered the need for extensive education and training, communication, and teamwork to improve patient safety. The results of the study may be useful to improve safety and enhance leadership to promote a culture of safe patient care.
      PubDate: Sun, 05 Feb 2017 09:59:36 PST
  • Language Teachers’ Evaluation of Curriculum Change: A Qualitative

    • Authors: Seyyed Ali Ostovar-Namaghi
      Abstract: This study aims at theorizing language teachers’ evaluation of a top-down curriculum change by eliciting their perspectives through open-ended qualitative interviews. In line with grounded theory procedures, concepts and categories were theoretically sampled from the perspective of participants who were willing to share their views with the researcher. Iterative data collection and analysis revealed a set of categories which show the conflict of interest between practitioners and policy-makers. Practitioners focus on immediate classroom concerns and reject the syllabus change because of its lack of small-scale try-outs, inappropriate timing, vague methodology, inappropriate in-service program, learner homogeneity fallacy, unrealistic expectations and increased absenteeism among learners. On the other hand, focusing on issues beyond immediate classroom, policy makers advocate it since it is conducive to uniformity, convergent practice, efficiency and covert privatization. This conceptualization of teachers’ perspectives on curriculum change has clear implications for policy makers and teachers in this context and other similar contexts.
      PubDate: Sun, 05 Feb 2017 09:59:31 PST
  • The Confessions of a Goat: An Oral History on the Resistances of an
           Indigenous Community

    • Authors: Prabhakar Jayaprakash
      Abstract: Betta Kurumba is an indigenous (also known as Adivasi / tribal) community living in the Gudalur block of Nilgiris district, Tamil Nadu, India. This district is part of the Western Ghats mountain range that runs parallel to the Western Coast of India. It is an anthropological research on a hamlet, Koodamoola, located inside a tea and coffee plantation, the Golden Cloud Estate (pseudonym). Few years ago, the owner (under legal contestation) of this plantation attempted to enforce a ban on rearing of livestock arbitrarily. Betta Kurumbas did not agree to this enforcement since they are the ancient inhabitants of this forest (now, plantations) and they resisted. Ethnography, oral history, and in-depth interviews are the methods used to understand their everyday resistances. The field intricacies such as powerlessness, atrocities and litigations forced me to narrate their resistances through the voice of a goat (a metaphor) and I have incorporated both factual and fictional elements. I neither attempting here to exaggerate nor demean the community by this way of narration. In broader context, I have written this story from a postmodern perspective. This paper brings forth multiple facets of their realities, power nexus between capitalists and apparatuses of the State, differences between and within the indigenous communities, and resistances as negotiations.
      PubDate: Sun, 05 Feb 2017 09:59:27 PST
  • A Framework for Using Qualitative Comparative Analysis for the Review of
           the Literature

    • Authors: Anthony J. Onwuegbuzie et al.
      Abstract: Onwuegbuzie, Leech, and Collins (2012) demonstrated how the following 5 qualitative data analysis approaches can be used to analyze and to synthesize information extracted from a literature review: constant comparison analysis, domain analysis, taxonomic analysis, componential analysis, and theme analysis. In a similar vein, Onwuegbuzie and Frels (2014) outlined how discourse analysis can be used. Thus, the purpose of this article is to provide a framework for using another qualitative data analysis technique to analyze and to interpret literature review sources—a process that we call a Qualitative Comparative Analysis-Based Research Synthesis (QCARS). Using a real review of the literature, we illustrate how to conduct a QCARS using a qualitative comparative analysis software program.
      PubDate: Sun, 05 Feb 2017 09:59:23 PST
  • Organisational Problems and Solutions in Oncology: A Content Analysis of
           the Narratives of Italian Cancer Unit Professionals

    • Authors: Simone Cheli et al.
      Abstract: The aim of this qualitative research is to explore the perception of the organizational climate in Italian cancer units. The survey was the first step of a two year action-research project, involving 14 hospitals and different professions (n=475). We report the methodology and the thematic clusters that emerged in analysing the answers to three questions: (i) perceived problems with colleagues, (ii) perceived problems with patients and their relatives, and (iii) coping strategies. Narratives were analysed through computer aided qualitative data analysis software. The results identify two main significant issues in describing problems and solutions: interpersonal communication and group cohesiveness.
      PubDate: Sat, 28 Jan 2017 09:47:14 PST
  • The Voices of Silence in Online Charitable Fundraising: A Focus Group
           Study in China

    • Authors: Xun Lin et al.
      Abstract: Charitable fundraising, which often goes viral, has been flourishing on Wechat, the most popular social media site in China. It has given rise to a variety of forms of resistance. Silence among them is particularly evident. This study was conducted on three focus groups to unveil the hidden voices in the silent college students in an online charitable fundraising. Findings show that these voices demonstrate participants’ reclaiming of authorship of private space on Moments, their endeavour to avoid creating stress in vulnerable others, and their questioning of the configuration of responsibility. These voices show negotiation with or resistance against the pervasive guanxi (a synonym for English "relationship") - oriented moral discourse and indicate the emergence of some new or distinct “ethical minds.” We believe these findings suggest that pertinent stakeholders should critically examine the potential negative consequences brought to individuals by online charity, such as intruding into their private online space and exerting coercive pressure on their decision-making.
      PubDate: Sat, 28 Jan 2017 09:47:10 PST
  • Why Teacher Education' Documenting Undocumented Female Student
           Teachers’ Motives in Indonesia: A Case Study

    • Authors: Amirul Mukminin et al.
      Abstract: The purpose of this paper, within the altruistic, intrinsic, or extrinsic motives framework, was to report the qualitative findings on the undocumented motives of English as a foreign language (EFL) female student teachers to become a teacher by choosing a teacher education program at one public university in Jambi, Sumatra, Indonesia. The data were collected through demographic profiles and semi-structured in-depth interviews with 21 EFL female student teachers. Whereas personal interests and aptitudes undoubtedly act an important role to embark on a journey to become a teacher, our findings indicated that the female student teachers’ desire to enter a teacher education program was driven by a strong mixing of altruistic motives (idealistic and social mission such as helping society become better in future, helping rural and remote areas, shaping future educated generation, and loving to work with young generation), intrinsic motives (intellectual mission, role models’ continuation, and personal fulfillment), and extrinsic motives (compatible work schedules and a hero status at school and in society). Implications and suggestions for future research are also discussed.
      PubDate: Sat, 28 Jan 2017 09:47:05 PST
  • A Street Child’s Perspective: A Grounded Theory Study of How Street
           Children Experience and Cope with Grief

    • Authors: Somidha Ray
      Abstract: The research project entitled – “A Street Child’s Perspective: A Grounded Theory Study of How Street Child Experience and Cope with Grief,” seeks to understand and explain how street children experience and cope with grief. Grief is multi-faceted and highly subjective. However, most street children, sharing the same contexts and backgrounds show some commonality in their experiences and coping styles. The paper attempts to understand grief as it is subjectively experienced by street children. The research employed qualitative techniques – In-Depth Interviewing, Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) and field notes. The researcher contacted an NGO and through them, gained access to street shelters. The sample comprised of 18 street children - 9 boys; 9 girls, selected through purposive and snowball sampling. After the data was collected using the aforementioned methods, Constructivist Grounded Theory was subsequently used to analyze the data. The results emphasize how similar backgrounds – familial, educational, religious – and shared experiences have influenced expressions of grief and coping styles. Most street children come from broken families and are migrants; they lack enhanced level of literacy; and religion defines their existence – all these factors coalesce to shape their perspective on grief. Street children experience grief collectively, rather than as separate individuals. Their coping styles reflect underlying common patterns that help them connect with one another and experience grief together.
      PubDate: Sat, 28 Jan 2017 09:47:02 PST
  • “Tackling the Difficult:” A Review of Janet Salmons’ Doing
           Qualitative Research Online

    • Authors: Cade Allen
      Abstract: Researchers are increasingly utilizing online data in completing and broadening the scope of their work. Janet Salmons has authored a guide for novice researchers on appropriate methodologies, data collection, and analysis procedures for pursuing qualitative online research.
      PubDate: Sun, 22 Jan 2017 07:52:08 PST
  • Experiential Learning in Action: A Collaborative Inquiry

    • Authors: Alexios Brailas et al.
      Abstract: In this paper, we describe a case study of an undergraduate course on research methodology, in which lecture was reduced to a minimum and replaced with experiential learning activities. The course design was project-based and spiraled through four phases: a mini-lecture on a given research method, an “early practice” activity, and “reflection on practice” tutor-guided small group collaborations which led to deeper understanding of the given research method. This particular course design constitutes a paradigm shift in comparison to the predominant in Greek higher education didactic pedagogical model. How this paradigm shift was received and experienced by the participating students' In order to get rich insights into the lived experiences of the participants (N=15), we adopted a blended qualitative research approach: thematic analysis combined with students’ critical reflections on their experience, aiming to produce a thick description of our intervention. The course design and implementation positioned students and their tutors as knowledgeable actors able to contribute research insights through their transactions.
      PubDate: Sat, 21 Jan 2017 12:56:49 PST
  • Empowering Belizean Youth through Photovoice

    • Authors: Daniel Chase
      Abstract: Today's youth are faced with a number of different "roadblocks" on their way to becoming successful adults. Navigating adolescence is often difficult in its own right, but many youths have to deal with issues such as, poverty, unsafe neighborhoods and schools, drug/alcohol addiction, and disjointed homes to name a few. Although not all youth are faced with the same obstacles, these abovementioned obstacles can detract youth from becoming socially productive. Using Photovoice, a process by which participants identify, represent and enhance their community using a specific photographic technique, this study connected Belizean youth to their community through the process of identifying and taking photos of community strengths and weaknesses. After completing shared data analysis, the photos and a description of the meanings behind the photos were presented to a number of dignitaries in the community. The main themes presented were Responsibility and Support. This presentation gave youths voice in their community and allowed them to discuss strategies on how to increase community strengths as a way to reduce community weaknesses. Upon completion of the presentation, the dignitaries answered questions posed by the youth and offered collaborative strategies on how to promote social change.
      PubDate: Sat, 21 Jan 2017 09:50:53 PST
  • Religious/Spiritual Coping in Older African American Women

    • Authors: Danice B. Greer et al.
      Abstract: The purpose of this study was to identify religious/spiritual coping behaviors of African American women with hypertension (HTN) and explore how religious/spiritual coping influences adherence to high blood pressure (HBP) therapy in older African American women. A mixed-method research design guided this study. Twenty African American women with primary HTN were enrolled in this study using a mixed methods concurrent triangulation design. Data collection included physiologic, descriptive, and sociodemographic data. Adherence was measured using the Hill-Bone Compliance to High Blood Pressure Therapy scale (Kim, Hill, Bone, & Levine, 2000), and religious/spiritual coping was evaluated with the Brief Religious/Spiritual Coping scale. Qualitative data were obtained by audiotaped interviews using a semi-structured interview guide. Descriptive, physiologic data and data from questionnaires were analyzed. Five themes emerged. (a) Feelings of dizziness, lightheadedness, and feeling sick; (b) Belief in God or a Supreme Being, (c) Prayer as the primary coping mechanism, (d) Adherence conceptualized as obedience to God’s will, and (e) Need for healthcare providers to pray and provide more health information. This study provided insight into the influence of religious/spiritual coping behaviors on adherence to HTN treatment in older African American women with HTN in a rural medically underserved area. Nurses and other healthcare providers are in a key position to influence positive health outcomes in rural settings with limited resources using culturally appropriate strategies.
      PubDate: Sat, 21 Jan 2017 09:50:49 PST
  • Depression/Bipolar Peer Support Groups: Perceptions of Group Members about
           Effectiveness and Differences from Other Mental Health Services

    • Authors: Joe Behler et al.
      Abstract: Peer support services remain poorly understood by many mental health service providers. In this study we explored the views of people who use peer led support groups. We asked how adding peer support groups changed, balanced, or augmented the use of conventional mental health services. Participants were 43 adults attending 4 peer led support groups for depression/bipolar disorder. Data consisted of observations of all 43 participants interacting in their group, in-depth interviews of 20 participants, and results from 2 standardized questionnaires to ballpark the level of symptom severity relative to other groups. Through constant comparative analysis, 12 categories emerged. The most salient features of our findings consisted of the shared perception that groups promoted recovery and augmented conventional services. Members felt acceptance due to their shared diagnoses. Groups provided an experience of community in which recovery skills could be practiced, practical advice received, and hope and empowerment encouraged. Groups appeared to provide participants with important support and healing unavailable from psychotherapy and psychiatry. Peer support groups appeared to be an important addition and sometimes an adequate substitute for psychotherapy and/or psychiatry. Further research is indicated and quantitative students should build on the insights of qualitative studies in developing their protocols.
      PubDate: Mon, 16 Jan 2017 07:12:40 PST
  • Use of Grounded Theory in Cardiovascular Research

    • Authors: Patrick J. Dunn et al.
      Abstract: While grounded theory is often cited in the qualitative literature as the methodology, there are few good examples of publications that follow the principles of grounded theory and result in an actual theory. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how the Corbin and Strauss (2015) method of grounded theory was used in a study looking at how patients with cardiovascular disease and diabetes develop health literacy skills that are used to manage their condition. The key principles of grounded theory include theoretical sampling, constant comparison, open, axial, and selective coding, the use of memoing, and theoretical saturation. Data collection in this study was in the form of semi-structured interviews of 16 patients with cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and 19 healthcare professionals that care for or educate these patients. Patients were recruited from a primary care medical practice, a cardiology medical practice, patient focused programs provided by the American Heart Association, and social media. Healthcare professionals were recruited from the medical practices, the American Heart Association, and social media. Each interview was recorded, transcribed, and coded. Insights from these interviews led to the development of the health literacy instructional mode, which explores the use of digital tools, instructional approaches, social support, and self-directed learning in the development of health literacy skills, and is an example of the use of grounded theory in cardiovascular research.
      PubDate: Mon, 16 Jan 2017 07:12:36 PST
  • Academic Voice in Scholarly Writing

    • Authors: Garry Gray
      Abstract: Tensions across disciplines and methodologies over what constitutes appropriate academic voice in writing is far from arbitrary and instead is rooted in competing notions of epistemology, representation, and science. In this paper, I examine these tensions as well as address current issues affecting academic voice such as gender bias and the rise of social media. I begin by discussing reflexivity in research and then turn to the ways in which personal-reflexive voice has been hidden and revealed by academic writers. I also illustrate how the commercialization of academic science intersects with the use of distant-authoritative voice in sometimes corrupting ways. I examine variations in academic voice as they relate to issues of researcher emotion, class, race, and gender. Finally, I discuss the scientization of qualitative research and resulting increased interaction between scholars of varying epistemological positions which I argue can increase attention to the epistemological underpinnings of academic voice.
      PubDate: Mon, 16 Jan 2017 07:12:32 PST
  • Teaching Moral Literacy through Critical Pedagogical Bricolage: A
           Co-constructed Auto-Ethnography of an Educational Leadership Program

    • Authors: Chetanath Gautam et al.
      Abstract: In this collaborative auto-ethnographical inquiry, two developing scholar–practitioner educational leaders explore the notion of moral literacy through a lens of critical pedagogical bricolage. This study aims to reveal certain experiences of two doctoral candidates engaged in an educational doctorate, contemplating their identities as emergent leaders from diverse backgrounds. By approaching this inquiry from a qualitative and strictly post-positivist understanding of research, we aim to present critical components of our program and the literature presented in that program that led to our understanding of moral literacy’s role in theoretical and pragmatic provinces of educational leadership. Our analysis is presented in three themes: transformation of the candidate through the teaching of moral literacy, consideration of the interplay between local identity and moral literacy, and the potential of bricolage (or critical pedagogical bricolage) as a catalyst for teaching moral literacy.
      PubDate: Mon, 16 Jan 2017 07:12:28 PST
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