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 may be read in any order you prefer.

Each chapter will be organized as follows:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Questions for consideration in reviewing the concepts of the chapter will be asked.
  4. 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.