The three research methodology paradigms are quantitative research, qualitative research and mixed research. Each of these paradigms uses different methods for research and collects different types of data. A quantitative research relies primarily on the collection of quantitative data while a qualitative research relies on the collection of qualitative data. A mixed research involves mixing quantitative and qualitative methods. As the research for the study, “Mike: An Illustrative Case Study”, used a qualitative methodology, characteristics of qualitative research and how they relate to the particular study will be the focus of this review.
Qualitative research methods are divided into five major types of research which are: phenomenology, ethnography, case study research, grounded theory and historical research. Each of these methods are similar as they are each qualitative approaches, however, there are distinct characteristics associated with each type of research.
Appropriate Methodology for Study
The study in review is based on the qualitative methodology of case study research. Case study research is focused on an intensive study of a specific individual or context. A case can consist of either a specific individual or an entity such as a classroom or a school. They are used to give a detailed account of one or more cases while exploring the details and meaning of a single experience or event. They attempt to help us understand why the experience or event happened and what might be important to research in the future. Case studies may not attempt to
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test a priori hypotheses but rather try to identify patterns and themes that occur during research or in other words, they are used to generate a hypothesis or generate questions for future research (Davey, 1991).
There is no single way to conduct a case study and a variety of methods are often combined. For example, the study reviewed is an example of an illustrative case study. These types of case studies are used to describe or show what a situation is like. They are used to help interpret other data, especially if readers know little about the event, experience or program. Illustrative case studies help make unfamiliar things more familiar. They also must adequately represent the experience or program (Davey, 1991).
The researcher in “Mike: An Illustrative Case Study”, used an illustrative case study of qualitative methodology in the study. The study clearly uses some of the characteristics of a case study such as the study does not pose to prove a specific hypothesis but rather to describe a particular experience of the student referred to as Mike. The case study began with the background information which led to the experience Mike had at EBCE. The study focused on the...