Understanding and Evaluating Qualitative Educational Research
- Marilyn Lichtman - Virginia Tech, USA
Educational Research Methods | Qualitative Research (General)
Each example within a category of qualitative research – ethnography, grounded theory, phenomenology, case study, action research, narrative, and mixed methods – is accompanied by commentary from the editor regarding why the particular approach was used and how and why the various aspects of the example relate back to the approach taken. This commentary guides students in learning how to read, analyze, and create their own qualitative research studies. Included in the text is a series of "Issues and Concepts" that are at the forefront of the changing field.
This text gives students in qualitative educational research a well-rounded and practical look at what qualitative research is, along with how to read, analyze, and design studies themselves.
"I very much appreciated Understanding and Evaluating Qualitative Educational Research as a resource to help those new to educational research to understand what the different approaches are and how they can be critiqued through the research literature.
Lichtman’s approach to the problem of enabling neophyte researchers (although often experienced in professional practice as educators) is to choose two examples from the research literature which exemplify a particular approach. Each chapter provides an overview of the approach and then the two articles which she critiques by a running commentary alongside each article. I found this format very helpful. She has chosen articles which do not necessarily provide a ‘best practice’model and this helps the reader begin to identify what information is missing, what is contentious and how particular approaches have specific discourses and ways of examining the world.
This book provides a gentle way to examine paradigms and methodologies and it will certainly be one that I recommend to my students and colleagues."
The friendly, accessible tone of the book invites otherwise intimidated students to engage with qualitative research. Reading Dr. Lichtman's personal notes alongside the text provides support in understanding concepts that might have been overlooked by the novice. It is as if the reader has a personal "professor" guiding them through this new territory.
The book is also easy to navigate. The author clearly prepared readers for what was to come by previewing each chapter, explaining the organization of each chapter as well as the book itself. The references utilized in writing this book include the heroes of the qualitative world, such as Lincoln, Creswell, and Denzin.
Knowing that the readers of this book are most likely students, the author gives advice regarding how to inject life into the writing of research and encourages the use of engaging, stimulating communication skills. Students are even provided sage advice for navigating through graduate school.
Good range of qualitative methodologies; effective resource in helping students learn how to read qualitative research articles critically
Clear description of qualitative approaches.
The use of research articles to critique the models of quali research provides doctoral students with strong examples of how/why/specific designs were used to explore issues.
A clearly written, logically set out text suitable for students of varying abilities. Really strong and very accessible sections tend to be towards the start of the text.
I will monitor my student's use of Lichtman's book and report back at a later date
Sample Materials & Chapters
Chapter 1 - Reading Ethnography
Chapter 5 - Reading Action Research