A visual way to complete an analysis by wordle.net.
This is the part of the research phase I enjoy the most – data analysis. I thought quite a bit about qualitative and quantitative analysis. A book published by Miles and Huberman, Qualitative Data Analysis: An Expanded Sourcebook, outlined explicit examples of qualitative analysis that made the concepts clear. As I read part of their book, it became clear to me that education, as a profession, relies more heavily on qualitative analysis. I have been subjected to many reports that are labeled as “studies” which came to conclusions based on how teachers felt about issues, instead of quantitative data. Miles and Huberman’s book gave examples of qualitative data that do give reliable conclusions. They warn of pitfalls of qualitative data studies – namely letting bias drive the study results. This can be compensated by adding a quantitative element to the study. As I read my peers’ blogs and they gave me feedback on mine, I thought another way to minimize bias in a qualitative study is to bring in peers to get feedback from others who have a different lens.
In light of this realization, I spent time reading through my peers’ blogs trying to give a different perspective or adding thoughts/sources based on my experience to help broaden their views or minimize bias. I really appreciated the feedback I received on my study to date. As I think I should add to the data I need to collect, I received validating feedback on this strategy. It helps to know when I’m on the right track!
The initial data that has come back via a survey to staff in the North Slope Borough School District did not surprise me. It will take more time to triangulate the data than I initially planned. I need to be creative in order to make class observations while I am responsible for teaching my own class. Between trading prep times and trading classes, I think I have put together a schedule which will allow me enough time to observe enough classes at enough grade levels to validate the data I collected through the survey. The last step will be interviews to further validate the data. These will be easier to schedule since technology and proximity give me many options – interviews can be done in person or via email.
The next steps are to conduct observations and interview and then compile the data from those two activities. Then bring all the data together into one beautiful triangulated conclusion.
Miles, M., & Huberman, A. (1994). Qualitative data analysis: An expanded sourcebook. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.