S-528 The Theory and Practice of Qualitative Research in Education

This course is designed to provide guidance for students who are preparing for a qualitative research project and to stimulate rigorous discussion regarding the complexities of qualitative inquiry. Course readings and discussions focus particularly on studies in the fields of leadership and urban education. Building on prior preparation and experience in S-504, S-710B or S-710C, the course will develop students' knowledge of qualitative research through three distinct pedagogical practices: extensive reading and reflection, individually designed practice, and research community engagement. Students will engage with a wide range of literature that familiarizes them with various theoretical traditions, approaches, and practices in qualitative inquiry. In addition to helping students develop research questions appropriate for qualitative research, the course will cover different methods of data collection and strategies for analyzing and interpreting qualitative data. The emphasis of the course is on both the theory and the practice of qualitative research; hence, designing, implementing, analyzing and presenting the results of a qualitative study will be integral. Students will have the opportunity to assess the results and conclusions of their studies within this community of researchers. Students should have a research topic in mind before the first class so they can quickly begin the process of research design and implementation. The final project for the course will be a pilot qualitative study oral presentation and written report. Permission of the instructor is required. Preference is given to students in the Urban Superintendents Program.