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PhD Special Education: DOCM720 - Qualitative Research Methods

Course Description

The purpose of this course is to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to become informed readers of qualitative research papers in the professional literature, develop skills in collecting qualitative data. Students will also be prepared to choose appropriate qualitative methodologies and methods for conducting research in order to design a research project to address a specific research question or line of inquiry. The Qualitative Research Methods course focuses on developing essential knowledge and skills in the perspectives, methodologies and methods used in qualitative research in education. The course begins by examining the epistemological positions of objectivism and constructionism and the theoretical perspectives of positivism and interpretivism. Ethical issues relating to qualitative research in education are explored. The course examines the process of writing a literature review and then focuses on four qualitative research methodologies relevant to education research: case study, action research, ethnography, and discourse analysis. Various data collection methods are examined, including interviews, group discussions and observations, and different types of data including field notes, text and images are investigated. The course then focuses on the processes of analysing and interpreting data, and reporting and disseminating the findings.