Discussion 1: Qualitative Research: Making It Real As you make your way through the readings and resources for this week’s Discussion, you begin to realize that social and political forces, as well as scientific curiosity, shaped the development of modern qualitative research. These readings also make it clear that qualitative research is not a single, homogenous endeavor. Rather, qualitative researchers: come from a variety of disciplines, engage their objects of study from multiple perspectives, present their results in numerous formats, extend scientific knowledge beyond the confines of the experiment or survey, engage the audience to be self-reflective, and potentially illuminate opportunities for social change. This week’s course of study provides you with a contextual understanding of qualitative research, which will form the foundation for understanding the methods and rationale. These will also help you begin a thoughtful process for considering the choice of qualitative research as your methodology for your doctoral research. For this Discussion, you will explore the foundations and history of qualitative research methods. You also will consider the unique characteristics that distinguish qualitative research from other forms of inquiry. To prepare for this Discussion: Review the Learning Resources related to qualitative research and consider the reasons researchers choose qualitative research methods for exploring a phenomenon of interest. Use the Course Guide and Assignment Help in the Learning Resources to help you search for other books, encyclopedias, or articles that introduce and describe qualitative research. By Day 3 Consider the statement: Qualitative researchers study people in their natural settings, attempting to make sense of phenomena in terms of the meanings people bring to them. Using the Learning Resources and other academic sources you found, expand on this simple statement. In 3–4 paragraphs, explain several dimensions of this paradigm that make qualitative research interesting and unique. Be sure to use the terminology you are learning (including but not limited to “phenomena”, “constructivist,” and “naturalistic”), and provide historical context. Be sure to support your main post and response post with reference to the week’s Learning Resources and other scholarly evidence in APA style Discussion 2: What Would You Like to Explore? Is there a topic or idea that has been on your mind that you are thinking about for your dissertation or doctoral study? Is there a problem in your work or social sphere that you feel compelled to understand and act upon? Have you read a story or viewed a documentary and thought “I could do something like that”? These are just a few of the ways Walden students become inspired to choose what they would like to study for their dissertation or doctoral study. Once you have watched this week’s Scholar of Change video, you have the opportunity to reflect on how that student merged their academic studies with their passion for making a difference. In this Discussion, you have an opportunity to start that journey, to consider a topic you would like to explore. For this Discussion, you will explore topics in your discipline of interest to you that you want to research using a qualitative approach. To prepare for this Discussion: Review the Learning Resources related to qualitative research. Consider a topic in your discipline that is of interest to you. This could come from a prior course or something from your work or personal setting for which you have a passion. By Day 4 Based on your initial understanding of qualitative research, post a description of the topic you chose in terms of how it could be conceptualized as a qualitative study. Include: What is the phenomenon of interest? What experiences or contextual issues might influence how this phenomenon could be studied? In what setting(s) could a topic like this be explored? What connection do you have to this topic, and why do you think it is important to explore this as a qualitative study? What possibilities could the results of this research have for social change? Be sure to support your main post and response post with reference to the week’s Learning Resources and other scholarly evidence in APA style.
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