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

Volume 13 Number 4 December 2008
http://www.nova.edu/ssss/QR/QR13-4/index.html
 
    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

The Constant Cycle: Day to Day Critical Action of the QUIPPED Project (pp. 531-543)
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Jennifer M. Medves, Margo Paterson, Cori Schroder, Sarita Verma, Teresa Broers, Christine Chapman, and Anne ORiordan

Abstract: Action research in the critical paradigm involves a process of continual refection in and on action including the research process itself. In the second in a series of several papers we report on the day-to-day management of the QUIPPED project. The aim was to facilitate patient centred care through inter-professional collaboration with health care learners at a Canadian university. Reflections of the continuum from early conceptualization of the project in 2004 through to lessons learned in 2008 are described. Key components include the importance of team development, overall coordination, and attention to logistical and structural issues are explored. The importance of learner driven initiatives as well as the need to prepare faculty for inter-professional teaching cannot be emphasized enough. Key Words: Interprofessional Education and Management of Action Research

Qualitative Case Study Methodology: Study Design and Implementation for Novice Researchers (pp. 544-559)
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Pamela Baxter and Susan Jack

Abstract: Qualitative case study methodology provides tools for researchers to study complex phenomena within their contexts. When the approach is applied correctly, it becomes a valuable method for health science research to develop theory, evaluate programs, and develop interventions. The purpose of this paper is to guide the novice researcher in identifying the key elements for designing and implementing qualitative case study research projects. An overview of the types of case study designs is provided along with general recommendations for writing the research questions, developing propositions, determining the case under study, binding the case and a discussion of data sources and triangulation. To facilitate application of these principles, clear examples of research questions, study propositions and the different types of case study designs are provided. Key Words: Case Study and Qualitative Methods

Making a Connection between Student Achievement, Teacher Accountability, and Quality Classroom Instruction (pp. 560-580)
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Kelli Ballard and Alan Bates

Abstract: The importance of standardized test results is becoming more prevalent in the structure of classroom instruction and the operation of schools throughout the nation due to pressure on educators and students from various levels of authority. This study looks at the relationship between classroom instruction and standardized test content and the effects this has on students, parents, and teachers. Seventeen fourth grade students, fourteen parents of fourth graders, and fifteen elementary teachers completed surveys. The study describes several positive and negative aspects to standardized tests, along with ideas of who is responsible for test performance. Standardized tests provide comparisons and are a tool for improvement. Too much emphasis is placed on high stakes test along with unrealistic expectations for some. The results indicate that ongoing assessment is effective for measuring student learning and teacher effectiveness. Key Words: Standardized Testing, Accountability, and Student Achievement

No Margin for Error: A Study of Two Women Balancing Motherhood and Ph.D. Studies (pp. 581-604)
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Robin S. Grenier and Morag C. Burke

Abstract: This cogenerative ethnography explored the lived experiences of two graduate students balancing Ph.D. studies and motherhood through McClusky's (1963) Theory of Margin. Specifically, we asked ourselves: What impact does pregnancy have on personal and academic selves and how are multiple roles and responsibilities managed? Through an analysis of dialogues, artifacts, conceptual maps, and narratives, examples of internal and external load revealed the dynamic nature of the female experiences in graduate school. Excerpts from the data showed how roles, relationships, and experiences are characterized and how similar or different those examples were, given individual context. Implications of this research for students, faculty, and higher education policy are explored. Key Words: Motherhood, Theory of Margin, Graduate School, and Cogenerative Ethnography

Dimensions of Genocide: The Circumplex Model Meets Violentization Theory (pp. 605-629)
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Mark A. Winton

Abstract: The purpose of this study is to examine the use of Olsons (1995, 2000) family therapy based circumplex model and Athens (1992, 1997, 2003) violentization theory in explaining genocide. The Rwandan genocide of 1994 is used as a case study. Published texts, including interviews with perpetrators, research reports, human rights reports, and court transcripts were analyzed. The use of both theories was consistent with the data and resulted in a greater understanding of the genocide. Rwanda moved to a rigidly enmeshed society during the genocide with the perpetrators going through the violentization process. Suggestions for further research are provided. Key Words: Genocide, Circumplex Model, Violentization Theory, and Rwanda

The Town Hall Focus Group: A New Format for Qualitative Research Methods (pp. 630-635)
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Michelle Zuckerman-Parker and Gary Shank

Abstract: The town hall focus group method is described in this paper. We start by outlining the circumstances that brought about this unusual research strategy. Then, we describe the tactical decisions we made that allowed this particular effort to be a success. We conclude with a series of concrete suggestions for conducing focus groups with large groups of people. Key Words: Focus Group, Town Hall, Professional Development, Focus Group Size, and Qualitative Research

Sensory Isolation in Flotation Tanks: Altered States of Consciousness and Effects on Well-being (pp. 636-656)
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Anette Kjellgren, Francisca Lyden, and Torsten Norlander

Abstract: A qualitative analysis (The Empirical Phenomenological Psychological method) of interviews involving eight patients (depression, burn-out syndrome, and chronic pain) was carried out in order to obtain knowledge regarding the effects of flotation tank therapy. This knowledge might be helpful for both professionals and potential floaters. The analysis resulted in 21 categories, which were summarized as four themes: (a) experiences during flotation, (b) perceived effects afterwards, (c) technical details, and finally (d) the participants background, motivation, and expectations. Floating was perceived as pleasant. An altered state of consciousness was induced, varying from a milder state including profound relaxation and altered time perception, to more powerful with perceptual changes and profound sensations such as out-of-body experiences and perinatal experiences. Key Words: Flotation Tank, Sensory Isolation, Altered States of Consciousness, Relaxation, Transpersonal, and Pain

Giving the Spoon Back: Higher Teacher Expectations of Achievement for Students Who Are Deaf (pp. 657-694)
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David H. Smith

Abstract: This single case study examined a Deaf teachers behaviors and beliefs that reflect her expectations of her deaf students. Primary modes of communication used were American Sign Language and written English. Data were collected via videotaped observations and interviews. Analysis was done by coding utterances of the participants using a deductive framework and using an inductive approach to find patterns among the coded utterances. Teacher behavior and student reactions revealed high expectations for student achievement. The overarching factor that reflected teacher expectations was the positive classroom climate established by the teacher. Recommendations for further research to examine teacher expectations with other settings and participants are included. Key Words: Deaf, Teacher Expectations, Deaf Teacher, Case Study, and Deductive and Inductive Coding

Keeping and Using Reflective Journals in the Qualitative Research Process (pp. 695-705)
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Michelle Ortlipp

Abstract: The problem of bias in qualitative research particularly is still debated in methodology texts and there is a lack of agreement on how much researcher influence is acceptable, whether or not it needs to be controlled, and how it might be accounted for. Denzin (1994) refers to this as the interpretive crisis (p. 501). I chose to make my experiences, opinions, thoughts, and feelings visible and an acknowledged part of the research process through keeping reflective journals and using them in writing up the research. The aim of this paper is to show how reflective journals were used in engaging with the notion of creating transparency in the research process, and explore the impact of critical self-reflection on research design. Key Words: Self-reflection, Qualitative Research, and Research Journals

A Qualitative Study of the Achievement Goals of Recreational Exercise Participants (pp. 706-734)
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Helen Rogers, Tony Morris, and Melissa Moore

Abstract: Physical inactivity is a major risk factor for many of todays leading causes of ill health. In-order to increase physical activity (PA) participation and information about why people engage in PA is needed. We interviewed 11 recreational exercise participants to examine their goals for participating in recreational exercise. Our results revealed 13 first-order themes, which we reduced to seven second-order themes (personal comparison, extrinsic rewards, social, physical condition, psychological condition, mastery, and enjoyment), and two general dimensions (intrinsic and extrinsic goals). We argue that self-determination theory (SDT) of motivation provides a strong foundation for understanding the goals and motives for recreational exercise. Also, future research should aim to develop a more comprehensive measure of motivation in recreational exercise and sport contexts. Key Words: Recreational Exercise, Motives, and Self-determination Theory (SDT)

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