Research Proposal and Design of the Study
Fundamentally qualitative researchers are concerned with three “ologies”: Ontology (the framework of ideas from which the researcher emerges or views the world), Epistemology (the questions that emanate from this perspective) and Methodology (the examination of the questions). For your final paper, you should follow the format provided by the examples in the required readings in your text book.
• Identify the topic and provide background information. This should be excerpted from your review of the literature and cite a minimum of 5 independent sources. The focus of this section is to provide a rationale for what the issue is and why this issue should be studied (be sure to end this section with both).
Design of the Study
• Identify and provide background information about the Philosophy of education from which your analysis will emanate (i.e., Idealism, Realism, Eastern Philosophy, Pragmatism, Progressivism, Logical Positivism, Behaviorism, Perennialism, Essentialism, Post-Modernism, Social Reconstruction, Existentialism, Phenomenology, Marxism). Provide an explanation of why this philosophy is appropriate to your research.
• Identify and provide background information about your qualitative approach to the study (select from among the five types of qualitative research studied in this course, i.e., Ethnography, Social Critical Theory, Mixed Methods, Action Research, Phenomenology). Provide an explanation of why this approach is appropriate to your research.
• Explain what you believe you can know, and what you believe you can be sure of, and what do you want to know? This section should be a reflective exercise that allows you to uncover your own biases, and assumptions that if left unattended would taint your analysis.
• Identify the methods that will be employed to collect the data (i.e., Observation, in-depth interviews, group interviews, collection of relevant documents, questionnaires, photographs and video tapes). Explain how the data will be treated during the analysis stage.
• Provide step by step instruction of how the study will be conducted. This should begin by describing, in detail, all of the necessary steps that must be taken in order to conduct ethical research. It should also provide clear and detailed explanations concerning interviews, questionnaires, or observations that will be conducted or employed.
• Identify the sample group including the number in the group, the population from which these participants were selected. Identify and explain the relevance of any particular characteristics and demographic information about the group which you believe could contribute to the findings. Identify and clearly explain the method that you will use to select your sample from the population.
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