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Grounded Theory Research

  • By: Louis M. Smith
  • In: Encyclopedia of Curriculum Studies
  • Edited by: Craig Kridel
  • Subject:Cultural Studies (general), Curriculum & Content (general), Curriculum Studies

Grounded theory research is the observation of a naturalistic setting and the development of images and ideas—concepts, hypotheses, and theories from these observations and data. This form of research serves to guide or provide a theoretical foundation for much qualitative research in the field of curriculum studies. The observations may include talking to individuals, including interviews, and collecting documents. Several methodological differences from traditional, positivistic, and quantitative approaches to inquiry are important. Usually the researcher is more interested in the front end of research—creating ideas rather than testing or verifying ideas. The data typically are qualitative in contrast to more quantitative data gathered in laboratory experiments or with questionnaires. Within social science, this approach was initially accented and labeled by sociologists Barney Glaser and ...

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