NSU Home  The Qualitative Report
An online journal dedicated to qualitative research since 1990

Volume 13 Number 1 March 2008
    Ronald J. Chenail, Ph.D., Sally St. George, Ph.D., Dan Wulff, Ph.D., Maureen Duffy, Ph.D., and Laurie L. Charles, Ph.D., Editors
ISSN 1052-0147

Table of Contents

Teachers Who Left the Teaching Profession: A Qualitative Understanding (pp. 1-11)
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Liza Gonzalez, Michelle Stallone Brown, and John R. Slate

Abstract: In this study, the researchers investigated public school teacher attrition in the State of Texas. The study examined the problem by focusing on the predominant reasons teachers give for leaving the profession after working only one year as a teacher. Eight persons who had left the teaching profession after one year teaching were contacted and interviewed concerning their reasons for leaving. The three most influential factors found were lack of administrative support, difficulties with student discipline, and low salary levels. Study findings and implications for policy are discussed. Key Words: Teacher Attrition, Teacher Retention, and Teacher Shortage

Using an Adversary Hearing to Evaluate the Effectiveness of a Military Program (pp. 12-25)
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Richard L. Miller and Jeanne Butler

Abstract: This study describes the design and implementation of an adversary hearing used to evaluate professional development initiatives in a military environment. The adversary hearing model used in the evaluation was developed to meet the requirements of an environment that differs from other environments in which adversary hearings have been used. The evaluation was conducted to determine whether a professional development program of the U. S. Army, Europe, actually enhanced soldier development and demonstrated consideration by leaders for their followers. Several key issues related to program effectiveness were discovered in the process of the adversary hearing that were not evident in a survey evaluation of the program. Key Words: Adversary Hearing, Program Evaluation, Judicial Evaluation Model, and Participatory Research

A Book Review of Marilyn Lichtmans Qualitative Research in Education: A Users Guide (pp. 26-29)
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Karen Dawson and Sally St. George

Taking Charge of Ones Life: A Model for Weight Management Success (pp. 30-52)
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Marlene Adams

Abstract: Obesity is a serious, prevalent, and refractory disorder that increases with age particularly in women who enroll in formal weight loss treatments. This study examined the processes used by obese postmenopausal women as they participated in a formal weight loss program. Using grounded theory, interviews were conducted with 14 women engaged in a formal weight loss study examining success with specific, targeted weight loss treatments based on ones weight control self-efficacy typology. Taking Charge of Ones Life emerged as a model for weight management success, comprised of three phases: engaging, internalizing, and keeping ones commitment. This study supports the unique, complex, and individualized nature of making a decision to lose weight and then maintaining ones commitment to weight loss. Key Words: Obesity, Women, Postmenopausal, Weight Management, and Grounded Theory

From the Outside Looking in: How an Awareness of Difference Can Benefit the Qualitative Research Process (pp. 53-60)
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Claire Tinker and Natalie Armstrong

Abstract: While much has been written on the problems that can arise when interviewing respondents from a different social group, less attention has been paid to its potential benefits for the research process. In this paper we argue that, by being conscious of ones outsider status, an interviewer can use it as a tool through which to elicit detailed and comprehensive accounts from respondents, and ensure rigorous and critical analysis of the data produced. Key Words: Outsider, Insider, Research, Ethnicity, Interviews, and Qualitative Research

Types of Knowledge, Forms of Practice (pp. 61-77)
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Margaret Arnd-Caddigan and Richard Pozzuto

Abstract: This study was designed to explore the way that use of theory influenced a social workers conceptualization of a simulated case. The participant in this case study was a woman employed in child welfare, who holds an MSW. She was chosen because her response in a larger study represented a deviant case. Data analysis included both thematic analysis and an analysis of a written report based on ideas taken from institutional ethnography. The authors use this case example to illustrate the ways that ones understanding of theory may impact social work practice. Key Words: Technical-Rational Practice, Reflective Practice, Social Work Practice, and Institutional Ethnography

Midlife Metamorphosis (pp. 78-99)
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Patricia Evans

Abstract: The study was conducted in response to the need for an increased understanding of the aging experiences of women transitioning midlife. The purpose of the research was to explore the personal understanding of the changes that occur during the midlife period. A qualitative case study was implemented to ascertain how women of the Latter-day Saint (LDS) faith experience the midlife transition. The narratives of 10 LDS women ages 35 to 65 were obtained through personal interviews. The data were analyzed from a feminist, social constructionist, and narrative perspective using Chenails Qualitative Matrix as a formal coding system to guide the process of analysis and reporting (Cole, 1994). The findings indicate that the younger cohort had inner conflicts; those in the middle age cohort experienced role confusion; and the oldest cohort experienced generativity. These findings may suggest that a positive metamorphosis takes place in women during the midlife transition. Key Words: Midlife and Transition Qualitative Research

Ethical Challenges in Participant Observation: A Reflection on Ethnographic Fieldwork (pp. 100-115)
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Jun Li

Abstract: In this essay I reflect on the ethical challenges of ethnographic fieldwork I personally experienced in a female gambling study . By assuming a covert research role, I was able to observe natural occurrences of female gambling activities but unable to make peace with disturbing feelings of my research concealment. By making my study overt, I was able to fulfill ethical obligations as a researcher but unable to get female gamblers to speak their minds. I responded to such ethical dilemmas by adjusting the level of involvement, participating in female gambling culture as an insider and observing it as an outsider. This fieldwork suggests that the ethics of participant observation should be addressed in relation to the sensitivity of the research topic, the vulnerability of the researched individuals, and the plasticity of field membership roles. Key Words: Participant Observation, Female Gambling Culture, Sensitive Research, Research Ethics, and Field Membership Roles

The Use of Hermeneutics in a Mixed Methods Design (pp. 116-136)
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Claudia von Zweck & Margo Paterson and Wendy Pentland

Abstract: Combining methods in a single study is becoming a more common practice because of the limitations of using only one approach to fully address all aspects of a research question. Hermeneutics in this paper is discussed in relation to a large national study that investigated issues influencing the ability of international graduates to work as occupational therapists in Canada. Using methods that reflect different ontological and epistemological beliefs was necessary to attain a comprehensive view of enablers and barriers that influence workforce integration. Hermeneutics proved to be a credible and flexible strategy for combining methods to create a deep understanding of acculturation issues for international occupational therapy graduates wishing to work in Canada. Key Words: Qualitative Methods, Multi-method Approach, and International Mobility

A Qualitative Investigation of Pre-Service English as a Foreign Language (EFL) Teacher Opinions (pp. 137-150)
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Leyla Tercanlioglu

Abstract: Pre-service English teacher education students perceptions of their education experience provide greater insight into developing an effective teaching strategy in English teacher education. The objectives for the study were: (1) to identify issues of interest or concern to the department and (2) to determine satisfaction levels concerning departmental issues. Data were drawn from focus group interviews involving 5 student-teachers in each of 5 groups. The findings showed that the English teacher education department students thought that the department was not fulfilling many of its purposes, although there were some strengths. Identifying what students think can help to open English teacher educators eyes and minds to the realities of the English teacher education both locally and globally. Key Words: Pre-service English Teacher Education, Student-Teachers, Perceptions, Qualitative Research, and Institutional Evaluation

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