NOTHING IN QUALITATIVE RESEARCH MAKES SENSE EXCEPT IN THE LIGHT OF (ENTER THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK HERE)
The theoretical framework guides data gathering and analysis. The researcher, then, inductively develops an explanatory model (the theory-out) for the data. This explanation is stronger if it is coherent with other knowledge or “deepens” the theory-in; explains mechanisms of the theory-in. Due to the nature of qualitative research, and abductive and inductive reasoning, the results usually answer different (but related) questions than those going in. This presentation will recount how a study, focused on student learning in an introductory geology course, turned into a study on decision making of the instructor of that course. I will demonstrate how changing my theory-in from Barnett and Hodson’s (2001) “Pedagogical Context Knowledge” to Lakoff and Johnson’s (1980) “Experientialism” allowed me a “deeper” theory-out about the instructor’s teaching, while also being coherent with knowledge from philosophy, cognitive linguistics and neuropsychology.