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CHYS 2F50 Note, January 18

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Child and Youth Studies
Lauren Mc Namara

Qualitative Research Methods in Child and Youth Studies CHYS 2F50: Part II Dr. Lauren McNamara Jan 18 2013 • Approaches to studying children Depends on… – The discipline – The specific inquiry you want to investigate Example: education - teaching and learning specific skills - sharing knowledge - imparting culture > knowledge > norms, expectations, behaviors > socialization – Where you left off… • Quantitative: measurements, averages, generalities - enumerate, quantify - modeled after natural sciences > scientific method – Which learning strategy is more effective at raising chemistry scores: rote memorization or problem-based projects? Hypothesis = rote is more effective Samples, control groups, experimental groups tools= 2 teaching methods, score • What if you want to know the teacher’s experiences with the two different teaching styles? challenges, concerns perceptions may have may ultimately affect the test scores • Qualitative Research > qualities of experiences people have > study of how people make sense of things: always partial subjective and interpretive • Social research • • • Quantitative and Qualitative Quantitative • Use numbers to describe • Counting, classifying • Statistical models to explain • Larger groups • Surveys, questionnaires, scales • Researcher removed • Facts/feelings separate Qualitative • Describe and interpret • Detailed description of topic • Small numbers • Situate in context • Interviewing, observing, participating narrating • Subjective • How people make sense of their lives “Directional” words associated with quantitative • Affect • influence • Impact • determine • Cause • relate “Nondirectional” words associated with qualitative • Discover (eg grounded theory) • Seek to understand (eg ethnography) • Explore a process (eg case study) • Describe the experiences (eg phenomenology) • Report the stories (eg narrative research) • Education is a social science: Theory testing in social science • Can be by deductive reasoning – Traditional scientific methods (quantitative) – Theory, hypothesis, testing, data analysis – If test works theory is plausible – If not theory is not plausible Example: deductive reasoning What factors might affect teachers’ satisfaction? Theory: higher paid teachers are more satisfied than lower paid counterparts Experiment: measure teacher satisfaction among sample of high and low paid teachers Support or refute hypothesis: refuted Analysis: higher paid teachers are not more satisfied than their lower paid counterparts • Theory development in social science • By inductive reasoning – Most common in qualitative research – Examine something and develop a theory as you go – Aka “grounded approach” “grounded theory” > goal is not the truth (not about supporting or refuting hypothesis) but conceptual organization – Can go back and inductively analyze/test (cyclical iterative) Example: inductive reasoning What qualities describe a good high school teacher? • Collect Data: interview 20 high school students - what are your experiences with teachers? - open ended questions • Analyze Data: analyzed interviews – - categorize experiences, specific characteristics > good rapport: she always asked about my hobbies, interest > clear goals and expectations “he provided very specific goals and sub goals to help us meet them” > engaging told lots of stories “she told relevant stories and couched the topics within them. I remember everything that way” > good personality: he was funny relatable personable – he’d say the craziest thing out of the blue and that always easy any tension • Develop theory Examples of qualitative investigations • Social workers: is a particular program or policy effective? • Community organizers, NGOs, social policy makers: need information to inform decisions and strategies. How do teens relate to me-to-we organization • Teachers: inform practice, be innovative, and write grants. Do whole language strategies work than better phonics? What collaborative learning strategies are most effective? • Highlight injustice: what are the education experiences of children who grow up in brothers in India • Advance, broaden knowledge in many fields Course assignments • Applied project (Report): 15% • Midterm: 15% • Final: 20% • Report (15 marks): Due March 22 • During the term you are required to write a report. This report should be a two-page, single- spaced write up of a particular topic (topics TBA in class). The report will be marked out of 15 and calculated to 15% of your grade. • Late Penalty: Papers will be marked
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