Preface1. Overview of qualitative inquiry and general texts on this topicA School Story of Qualitative InquiryAn Analysis of the StoryQualitative Inquiry ProcessThe Reality about the ProcessOrganization of this BookConclusion2. Assumptions we make in doing qualitative inquirySome Common AssumptionsAn Analysis of AssumptionsCommon Questions about Qualitative InquirySome Additional Beliefs and Assumptions Regarding Human InquiryConclusion3. Keeping a record, writing fieldnotesA StoryAn AnalysisKinds of FieldnotesExampleSome Ideas about Record KeepingMechanics of FieldnotesConclusion4. Relationship building to enhance inquiryAn Article-Based StoryThe ProcessResults and ConclusionAn Analysis of KL's ExperienceConclusion5. Standards and quality in qualitative inquiryA Self-Critique StoryAn AnalysisCredibilityTransferabilityDependabilityConfirmabilityOther CriteriaA ChecklistAudit TrailConclusion6. Focusing the inquiryA School's Superintendent's StoryAn AnalysisConclusion7. Data collectionGathering Through Observations, Interviews and DocumentsAn Assistant Principal's StoryGeneral LessonsObserving LessonsInterviewing LessonsDocument Review LessonsConclusion8. Data interpretationA Graduate Student StoryStory Reading Through Analysis, Synthesis and InterpretationAn AnalysisSpradley's Approach to InterpretationDomain AnalysisConclusion9. Sharing and reportingSharing through Story TellingRevisiting Three StoriesAn Analysis of Three StoriesConclusion10. AppendicesAppendix A.1 - A Sample Study from BYU-Public School PartnershipAppendix A.2 - What Have We Learned?Appendix A.3 - Patterns of ExperienceAppendix B.1 - Allowing Space for Not-Knowing: What My Journal Teaches Me, Part 1Appendix B.2 - Allowing Space for Not-Knowing: What My Journal Teaches Me, Part 2Appendix B.3 - Allowing Space for Not-Knowing: What My Journal Teaches Me, Part 3Appendix B.4 - Allowing Space for Not-Knowing: What My Journal Teaches Me, Part 4Appendix B.5 - Marne's critique of her own studyAppendix C - An Elementary School Example: My Observations of JimmyAppendix D - Reflecting on ReflectionAppendix E - A Study of Educational Change in AlbertaAppendix F - Moving Ahead: A Naturalistic Study of Retention Reversal of Five Elementary School ChildrenAppendix G.1 - An Examination of Teacher ReflectionAppendix G.2 - Themes of ReflectionAppendix H - Spradley's theme synthesis and report writingAppendix I - Index of Topics



Berendt, Joachim-Ernst (1992). The third ear: On listening to the world. New York: Henry Holt.

Lincoln, Y. S., & Guba, E. G. (1985). Naturalistic Inquiry. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Questions for Consideration

  1. How is qualitative inquiry similar to a hologram or holomovement?
  2. Why is the relationship of qualitative inquiry to holomovement so important to consider?
  3. What other metaphors fit qualitative inquiry? How about jazz music, particularly improvisation?
  4. How is qualitative inquiry related to teaching?
  5. How is qualitative inquiry related to learning?
  6. Were Sid and Cheryl really doing qualitative inquiry in this story?
  7. What would you change in their actions, if anything, so they would consider themselves more rigorous researchers or evaluators?

Suggested Activities

Now that you have seen other educators in action and have read my analysis of how similar their learning and teaching activities were to a qualitative inquiry process, think about yourself as a learner, teacher, instructional designer, administrator, evaluator, or in your personal life and respond in writing to the following assignments:

  1. Review a particular learning event that posed an anomaly for you. Review Figure 1 and write some thoughts about how each activity presented there was involved for you in your learning event.
  2. Respond to this question' 'How might inquiry as described in this chapter enhance the learning in your life if you were more aware of these kinds of activities?
  3. If you would like to do a qualitative study as part of the experience of reading this book, think of specific occasions in your practice that gave you pause, or that left you with pressing questions. Describe one of these in a vignette. Tell its story.
  4. What questions did this chapter raise for you?
  5. Citations throughout this chapter and the rest of the book are not current. They were included in the first edition and have been retained because of their relevance to the discussion. But when using this resource with classes, the author involves the students in studying current resources as well and encourages the reader to search for other literature that expands upon the ideas presented, that is more current, and that is relevant to the reader's particular interests.