Organization of this Book

Organization of this Book

The rest of the book is organized around the overview presented in this chapter. The inquiry process being advocated is not meant to be linear because all these activities must go on simultaneously, as they did in the story and figures above. Although the conventional use of chapters seemed most convenient, every attempt will be made to relate each chapter’s focus to the whole qualitative inquiry process to emphasize this point about holism. The chapter topics associated with several of the activities that typically compose qualitative inquiry are presented in the following order but may be read in any order you prefer:

Chapter 1: Preface
Chapter 2: Assumptions
Chapter 3: Keeping a Record
Chapter 4: Inquiry Relationships and Roles
Chapter 5: Standards for Judging Qualitative Inquiry
Chapter 6: Questions and Focus
Chapter 7: Gathering through Observations, Interviews, and Documents

Chapter 8: Story Reading through Analysis, Synthesis, and Interpretation
Chapter 9: Sharing through Story Telling
Appendix A: A Sample Study, using qualitative inquiry to examine a teacher education program
Appendix B: Another Sample Study by a secondary teacher using qualitative inquiry to examine journal keeping
Appendix C– A Sample Study, an elementary school teacher using qualitative inquiry to study one student
Appendix D: A Critique using some qualitative inquiry Standards
Appendix E: An Example Study by an Administrator, a superintendent of schools studying change
Appendix F: An Example Study by an Assistant Principal studying student retention in an elementary school
Appendix G: An Example Study by a Graduate Student as a district support person studying parent-teacher-student conferences
Appendix H: Spradley”s Theme Synthesis and Report Writing Suggestions

Each chapter will be organized as follows:

a. Stories from the appendices illustrating educators learning to be inquirers and building on their natural inquiry processes will be told to illustrate the points of each chapter.

b. A discussion of key points that can be drawn from the stories will be given, with ideas about how the participants (and by implication, the readers) could strengthen their inquiries through development of specific skills.

c. Questions for consideration in reviewing the concepts of the chapter will be asked.

d. Suggested activities the reader should engage in to apply the concepts of the chapter to their own inquiries will be set forth, including a call for questions the readers have about the readings and their own projects (these might form the basis of a discussion among people who are learning to conduct qualitative inquiry together in a class or cohort setting). If you conduct all these activities, you will conduct a qualitative inquiry in the process.

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