Call for proposals: Southern History of Education Society

The Southern History of Education Society will be holding their annual conference March 10-11, 2017 at the University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia. There is still time to submit an abstract to the conference. See the proposal guidelines below. For more information about the conference, go to Southern History of Education Society 2017 Annual Conference Continue reading “Call for proposals: Southern History of Education Society”

Common failings in first (and sometimes later) drafts

Sometimes you come across some good advice that stands the test of time. Such is the case of a chapter I came across many years ago written by British educational researcher, Peter Woods. In this chapter, Woods (1985) talks about the “false solutions” that we sometimes use to counter the pain of writing up our research (p. 100). Woods refers to various flaws in argumentation that prevent researchers from making the best possible case in writing up findings from qualitative research studies. By avoiding these kinds of arguments, we not only improve our writing, but make a stronger case for using qualitative methods to examine the social world. Below is a brief summary of Woods’ list of “common failings.” Continue reading “Common failings in first (and sometimes later) drafts”

Tips on conducting qualitative interviews

The ubiquity of the “interview” in contemporary society can mask what Harold Garfinkel (1967) termed the “seen-but-unnoticed” work that goes into everyday activity. For researchers, an important routine activity is the conduct of a “good” interview. In qualitative research, interviewing is one of the most popular and widely-used methods to generate data. For novices to research, it may come as a surprise that conducting an interview with a stranger is not quite as easily accomplished as one might anticipate. What strategies help with generating the kinds of data in qualitative interviews that might be used to examine research questions? Here are some tips… Continue reading “Tips on conducting qualitative interviews”

Tips for getting started (and finishing) a new writing project

So you have a new writing project that you need to complete. While you have the assigned topic, you just can’t seem to get started.  This is certainly something I encounter. After I have completed any combination of the following procrastinatory activities:

  • Get my favorite beverage accompanied by a snack;
  • Tidy my desk-top and office space. If you are prone to extremes, you can tidy the whole apartment or house;
  • Write a blog post (!) or
  • Play with my cat…

There always comes a point when I know that I must get started. What are strategies to get started on a new writing project? Continue reading “Tips for getting started (and finishing) a new writing project”

Writing as a social practice

Writing is a task that is usually thought of as a solitary practice. One need only go to a coffee shop in a university town to see individuals hunched over laptops reading and writing to observe some of the work that goes into completion of the numerous term papers, theses and dissertations completed each year at colleges and universities all over the world. Yet, researchers who teach writing remind us that writing is a social practice. What do they mean by this? Continue reading “Writing as a social practice”

Qualitative Research Journals

There are a growing number of journals that publish qualitative studies in particular disciplines. One of the oldest of these is Qualitative Sociology, established in 1978. Since that time, journals have been founded that focus on research in education (International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, founded in 1988), health (Qualitative Health Research, founded in 1991), market research (Qualitative Market Research, founded in 1998), social work (Qualitative Social Work, founded in 2002), psychology (Qualitative Research in Psychology, founded in 2004), and organizations and management (Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management, founded in 2006), among others. Continue reading “Qualitative Research Journals”

Getting started with qualitative inquiry

Newcomers to qualitative inquiry encounter numerous new terms. There are so many approaches to doing qualitative inquiry. Further, authors frequently use terms in different ways. What are ways to navigate the maze of beginning to learn about qualitative inquiry? Continue reading “Getting started with qualitative inquiry”