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Quantitative and Qualitative


Based on slides by Dr Terry Maguire

What is Research?
A systematic search for information
Research involves a process.
(A series of actions, stages and
steps that need to be followed)

The creation and testing of theory
The ability to debate issues
The ability to present informed
statements of fact
The ability to inform policy and strategy
The construction of something novel
The ability to explain

Research Paradigms
Positivism The researcher remains as
detached as possible from the research
subject e.g. quantitative approaches that use
statistics and experiments
The researcher interacts with the
environment seeking to make sense
through interpretation

Types of Data
Primary data unpublished , data
Secondary data already collected for
another purpose

Quantitative Research
Qualitative Research

What is Quantitative

How Many......

Statistical Package for
the Social Sciences

You build the

variable view
from your

You build the data view

from the responses to
your questionnaire
using the coding you
included in your design

What is Qualitative Research?

What People
their knowledge and understanding

Mean, Need or Desire

Conscious and unconscious attitudes and emotions

Behaviour and actions
and the cultural contexts in which they live and make
meaning for themselves

Qualitative research methodologies




Extended periods of contact

Text and Documents

Attention to organisation and use

of such material

Interviews, Questionnaires, Focus

Relatively unstructured and open



Audio and Video Recordings

Precise transcripts of naturally

occurring interactions

Adapted from Methods of Qualitative Research(Silverman(2000))

Research Methods
Focus Groups

Watch Out!
I wish I had asked.
I should have included .in my
I cant analyse the data I have
gathered because I ..
This is not the information I

6 Stages of a

Stage 1
Exploratory Research
To ensure you reflect the world
view rather than your own view

Stage 2
Drafting Questionnaire

Think of all the questions you could ask

Write them down
Put some order on them
Try and find a structure
Decide on the kinds of questions
Add in checks
Think analysis and build in codes if required

Sections of the Questionnaire

A. General Teaching Experience
B. Specific Experience in Teaching
C. Teaching Practices
D. Training
E. Numeracy and how you view the
relationship towards Mathematics and
F. Your attitudes towards Mathematics
G. General Classification Details

How long have you been

involved in teaching?
Tick one box only
Less than one year

2-5 years

6-10 years

11-15 years

15+ years (Please write in)

Please indicate how much you agree or disagree with the statements below which
other people have made about the differences between teaching adult learners versus
learners in fulltime mainstream education.



Neither Agree-/nor



A different approach is required in the classroom when it comes to teaching adults

The Chalk, talk and practice approach to teaching mathematics works well when it
comes to teaching adults
Adult learners are much more demanding than learners in fulltime mainstream
Adults learn best when they are treated as equals
Mathematics is the one subject adults just seem to have a major complex about

The Higher Diploma in Ed. gives you all the skills you need for teaching adults

Dont Rush
Leave it and go
back to it !

Stage 2

Have you got all of the questions you could ask?
Have I included them in the draft?
Does the order make sense?
Does the structure make sense?
Are the question styles appropriate?
Have I built in checks?
Have you codes in for analysis if needed?
Does what I have produced suit the kind of
analysis I intend to do?

Pilot it until it is right

Stage 3
Final Research

Stage 4
Distributing the Questionnaire
Identify your sample
Maximise returns

Stage 5
Data Analysis
Analysis:- Qualitative

Stage 6


Introduction (5 mins)
Section 1:
Re live School Experience
Section 2:
Career History
Section 3:
Teaching Qualifications are
they necessary?
Section 4:
Exploring Practice
Section 5:
What is Numeracy?
Section 6: Final Review
(15 mins)
(5 mins)

Establish expectations and
To ascertain how their school
experience has had an
influence on how they teach
mathematics today
To discuss the career
pathway they took getting to
where they are today
To discuss the importance of
teaching qualifications for
effective delivery of adults
mathematics education
To ascertain the different
pedagogies used by tutors of
mathematics and their
To discuss where tutors
stand in relation to the great
debate Mathematics V
What support system would
they like to put in place to
help them deliver adults
mathematics education

Define Adult Education

Flow Chart of Career

History to be filled in
general overview.

Cards with definitions

Cards with Statements

Section 1
Re Live School Experience (10mins)
Aim: To start tapping into how the school experience of tutors has influenced how they teach
mathematics today
Maths autobiography focusing on critical incidents

What was it like to study maths at the school you went to : Probe?

How did the teachers approach the subject

Describe your favourite/worst teacher of maths and how did that make you feel

Thinking back on your school days what would have been wish list of things you
would have liked to have changed in terms of the way you were taught

What is the one thing you have picked up from your teachers that you have built into
your teaching style

What is the one thing that you have consciously decided not to do as a result of your
own school experience. Maybe the approach of a teacher of another subject
influenced you

Focus Groups


Focus groups rely on the strengths of

qualitative methods, including

exploration and discovery through
discussion giving in-depth
understanding in context and an
interpretation of why things are the way
they are and how they got that way.

Example of a Focus Group Discussion Guide

(Focus group followed the delivery of a training programme for
teachers of mathematics to adults)

Format of the discussion guide


Overall impression of workshop:

i. Initial reactions
ii. Content
iii. Format(process)
iv. Expectations

Thinking about training for Mathematics teachers

Focus on mathematics

Workshop aftercare


Maximum Time = 80 minutes

Initial Reactions

General comments

Enjoyed most /least and why

Strengths and weaknesses and why

Exercises enjoyed most/least and why

Exercises learnt most/least from and why

Overview for relevance, interest, uniqueness, usefulness

Probe for Content

General Comments

Overall Interest - most/least/why

Overall relevance- most/least/why

Overall usefulness- most/least/why

Overall uniqueness- most/least/why

Ease of understanding

Most challenging aspects

What a focus group can do..

The focus group allows the moderator to
probe and to explore unanticipated issues
and can yield more in-depth analysis than
that produced by formal quantitative

The researcher has less control when

compared to the individual interview
Group members are able to influence the
course of the discussion

Making sense of Research Material

Some of the more traditional approaches involve:

Using multiple coloured highlight pens to mark connected

Photocopying printed material to track multiple
connections between a variety of sources
Continuous re-organisation and review
Coordinating themes, trends and patterns
Keeping track of notes and comments with post its


Wouldnt it be great if data could be

Queried in multiple ways without any extra effort?
Continually re-organised, re-classified and re-arranged to
identify themes, patterns and relationships?
Modelled graphically and exported to other media?
Annotated with the researchers comments and clarifications?
Expanded to include participants demographics?
Readily amenable to the development of meaningful
Easily manipulated making time for thinking rather than