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Publication Type
Conference Proceedings
Author, Analytic
Newman. Mairette T.; Hordatt Gentles, Carol C.
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Paper/Section Title
Helping Caribbean graduate students to become qualitative researchers: Searching for an appropriate pedagogy
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Proceedings Title
Biennial Conference of the University of the West Indies Schools of Education
Date of Meeting
April 23-25, 2013
Place of Meeting
St. Augustine, Trinidad
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Abstract
Learning to do qualitative research requires becoming comfortable with thinking and producing academic work inductively in an iterative, non-positivistic way. This is often difficult for students accustomed to learning and succeeding in classrooms characterized by traditional, didactic pedagogy. The challenge of helping them to feel confident and competent working in an interpretivist paradigm calls for a pedagogy that encourages and supports their thinking, theorizing, and writing, in ways that they are unfamiliar with. Our experience with preparing Caribbean graduate students across the disciplines to become qualitative researchers has led us to think critically and consciously about the teaching/learning strategies we are using. In this paper we (a) identify pedagogical challenges of teaching qualitative research to Caribbean graduate students; (b) describe and justify the approach and attendant strategies we have developed in response to these challenges, and (c) discuss the implications of these strategies for how graduate students learn to become qualitative researchers in their respective fields. Our overarching approach has been twofold: building a social context for learning before, during, and after field work, by having students reflect on and share their experiences of the processes associated with qualitative research and their growing competence as qualitative researchers, and, at the same time providing structures that facilitate non-traditional thinking....
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