Vocalizing Qualitative Methodologies in Education Research: The Grounded Theory and Interpretative Paradigm

Vocalizing Qualitative Methodologies in Education Research: The Grounded Theory and Interpretative Paradigm

Denis Sekiwu (Kabale University, Uganda)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 26
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0264-8.ch004

Abstract

This chapter explains the significance of grounded theory and the interpretative paradigm as powerful qualitative methodologies used in data analysis in education research. This chapter defines qualitative methodologies and their history and significance in education research. Authors discuss the science of coding from views advanced by the classical founders of grounded theory like Barney Glaser, Anselm Strauss, Corbin, and Catherine Charmaz. The chapter examines the important elements in content analysis and the interpretative paradigm, and provides practical illustrations on how qualitative methodologies could be used to analyze data in education research.
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Background

In the background of this chapter, the author defines qualitative methodologies from a historical context. Using several scholarly arguments, he discusses the concept of grounded theory from the perspective of Barney Glaser, Anselm Strauss, Corbin, and Catherin Charmaz as the proponents of the methodology. He uses this classical explanation to derive the significance of the coding technique in qualitative data analysis in education research (Sekiwu, 2013). Coding is the basis of qualitative data analysis in the humanities, social sciences and education in particular. Therefore, this chapter is timely to vocalize its significance in postgraduate research in universities in Africa.

What are qualitative methodologies? Literature provides a vivid history about the qualitative methodologies in social research. However, from this historical evolution of the subject of qualitative research, the meaning and key characteristics features of qualitative methodologies are articulated. For example, scholars note that qualitative research paradigms date back to 2000 years ago when the Greek scholars, like Thales (640-550 B.C.) and Anaximander (611-547 B.C.), used formal and disciplined research inquiry to investigate the nature of society through understanding social problems, in order to produce impressive accounts of social life (Koul, 2007). The Greek scholars attributed knowledge production to what occurs in social life be it government, religion, family, the military or even in science and technology. These Greek philosophers established a form of intellectual inquiry through displaying a sum of fundamental beliefs and convictions about social experience (Kothari, 2003). Using philosophy, the Greek scholars looked at the qualitative research paradigm in their time as an exoneration of the ontological meaning of existence. They questioned life topics such as human life, death, God, right and wrong, beauty and ugliness, government, the military, family, science and technology. Philosophy is a guide for living because the issues it addresses are basic and pervasive, determining the course we take in life. Hence, in qualitative studies investigation of all the aspects of human life is influenced and governed by the philosophical consideration (Muwagga, 2006).

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