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Linking Research Design, Research Problem, and Research Questions - Essay Example

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Qualitative research was in the past restricted to research linked with social sciences. However, it is now more widely used in other fields to provide an in-depth understanding of how human beings behave and the reasons to justify that behaviour. …
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Linking Research Design, Research Problem, and Research Questions
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Download file to see previous pages ’. Qualitative research questions deal with individual cases and provide greater depths and understanding of each case while looking only at the practical and pertinent information. There are five most common approaches used in qualitative research. These are ethnography, grounded theory, case study, discourse analysis, or phenomenology.
The method that is to be used in this qualitative study is ethnography. Ethnography helps to get an in-depth understanding on the aspects of culture which influence the phenomenon under study. It is often used to gather data that is derived from experiments and observation rather than from theory. Ethnography is particularly done with the end purpose of enabling the researcher to describe the people targeted by the study.
The research topic proposed in this paper concerns finding the reasons for the increasing rate of dropouts from institutions of higher education. The research topic can be better phrased as “Curbing the increasing rate of school dropouts from institutions of higher education”. The purpose of this research is to find out the reasons that lead to students dropping out of school. By being able to get a clear understanding of why students drop out from school, this data can be used by the government ministry in charge of education, school boards and other key players in the sector to devise policies and strategies which will gradually bring down this drop out rate. Problem statement The rate at which students are dropping out is increasing at an alarming rate. All over the world, there are headlines that detail the numbers of students that drop out of school, especially higher education. According to a report by the US Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), there are two principal classifications of factors which contribute to students dropping out of school. These are financial and social. The NCES also reports that the rates of dropouts have been increasing over the last decade. For example, between 1992 and 2002, the status rate which is the rate of students dropping out without completing school increased from 14.6 to 22.5 per cent. In South Africa, the high rate of university dropouts, which was at 11.2 per cent in 2008, is deemed to be a monumental threat to the future of the country. This is the situation in many countries. Much has been done to try and curb the rate of dropouts but these numbers are astonishing. Something needs to be done urgently to help this pathetic situation. How ethnography is used There are two main types of data that will be collected for this research. These are primary and secondary data. The former will be collected through structured interviews with key respondents such as school principals, district education officers, lecturers, tutors, mentors, students and other key people in the ministry involved with education, interviewer observation and field notes. Focus discussion groups (FDGs) may also be held to get insight on what are the reasons for this phenomenon. FDGs involve having the researcher as the facilitator or moderator as the group discusses the factors that lead to dropouts and initiatives that can be implemented to help curb this. The FDGs will mostly comprise of students in higher education institutions and recent graduates. The ideal age would be between 18-26 years. Secondary data will be collected from reflexive journals, analysis of published and unpublished documents and reports and also other data that will be relevant to this study. Research Questions A research question can be defined as the question or questions posed that the research answers. It is usually a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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