Research Design

Quantitative and Qualitative Inquiry in Educational Research: Is there a paradigmatic difference between them?

Niglas, Katrin (1999) Paper presented at the European Conference on Educational Research, Lahti, Finland, September 22-25. Description: Discusses the distinctions between qualitative and quantitative methodological approaches in educational research. Seeks to compare and contrast the characteristics and assumptions of these approaches toward dispelling the notion of paradigm ‘wars’ and in the interest of improving the quality of research in education.

Making it work: Low-wage employment, family life, and child development

Yoshikawa, Hiro, Weisner, Thomas S., & Lowe, Edward (Eds.) (2006) New York: Russell Sage Foundation Description: Looks past the economic statistics to illustrate how different employment trajectories affect the social and emotional lives of poor women and their children. Available at

Child Care Instability and the Effort to Sustain a Working Daily Routine: Evidence from the New Hope Ethnographic Study of Low-Income Families

Lowe, E. Weisner, T., Geis, S. & Huston, A (2005) Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum, In C. Cooper, C. Garcia-Coll, T. Bartko, H. Davis, C. Chatman, Eds. Hills of Gold. Pp. 121-144 Diverse Pathways Through Middle Childhood Description: Examines specific features of family ecology to track changes in child care through intensive ethnographic methods

Higher Ground: New Hope for the working poor and their children

Duncan, Greg, Huston, Aletha, & Weisner, Thomas (2007) New York: Russell Sage Foundation Description: Describes an experimental program that boosted employment among the city’s poor while reducing poverty and improving children’s lives. Available at

A framework for the study

Creswell, John W. (1994) In J. W. Creswell, Research Design: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches, pp. 1-19. Description: Straightforward practical discussion about thinking about and planning qualitative or quantitative research. How to determine which paradigm to work from and the rationale for particular choices.

Qualitative Interviewing

Patton, Michael Quinn (1980) Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, In Michael Quinn Patton, Qualitative Evaluation Methods, pp. 195-263 Description: Practical guide and discussion of issues related to interview design and interviewing strategy

Focus Groups

Morgan, David L. (2004) In S. N. Hesse-Biber and P. Leavy (Eds.), Approaches to Qualitative Research: A Reader on Theory and Practice, pp. 263-285. New York, NY: Oxford University Press Description: Written a long-time authority on focus group, presents a brief history of focus group application up to, and including, information on the variety of current uses across many disciplines. Great section on the uses of focus groups in combination with other methods with a full compare/contrast discussion.

Photo Interviews: Eliciting Data through Conversations with Children

Cappello, Marva (2005) Field Methods, 17(2): 170-182 Description: Describes the use of photo interviewing as strategy for eliciting information from children who often have preconceived ideas about how to interact with adults and avoid pressures of school setting as interview context.

Introduction to mixed method and mixed model studies in the social and behavioral sciences: Paradigm wars and mixed methodologies.

Tashakkori, Abbas & Teddlie, Charles (1998) In A. Tashakkori & C. Teddlie, Mixed Methodology: Combining Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches, pp. 20-39. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Description: Encourages a focus on the research question as a guide to deciding on methods to apply in a particular study and comfort in cross the boundaries between pure interpretations of particular paradigmatic characteristics. Describes the nature and limitation of various mono-methods.


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