Focus group interviews in education and psychology

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Sage Publications, 1996 - Education - 173 pages
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"This manuscript provides a blueprint for people conducting focus groups. The examples are highly useful and in combination with the book give people the information they need to actually run a focus group. . . . Chapter nine is uniquely useful for educators who frequently work with children and teachers in school settings. The concrete examples will be extremely helpful to focus group moderators. . . . The book will be useful for reference and for courses in survey research. I will recommend the book for both purposes." --Kathy Green, University of Denver "This book does a nice job of providing readers with the specific steps necessary to conduct focus groups. If a person had never heard of a 'focus group interview' before reading this book, they would have an excellent comprehension of the history, specific methods, and pitfalls of using the focus group interview methodology." --Thomas M. Archer, The Ohio State University Why use focus groups in educational and psychological research? The focus group interview is a research tool that holds great promise for application in educational and psychological research. Focus groups offer an effective way to obtain knowledge about what key stakeholders think and feel resulting in information that yields better surveys, evaluations, and research studies. Although there are numerous books and articles that address focus groups, most are directed at business and marketing. Focus Group Interviews in Education and Psychology shows the specific steps to take to conduct focus groups in educational and psychological settings. Through the use of numerous examples, the authors show readers how to prepare for a focus group, create a moderator's guide, select a setting, and analyze the results gleaned from focus groups. In addition, they devote an entire chapter to doing focus groups with adolescents and children. Each chapter contains numerous procedural tables as well as end-of-chapter applications for performing "trial runs" of the techniques discussed. Qualitative and quantitative researchers and students in education and psychology will find this book a useful guide for refining their research instruments and for opening new vistas to understanding their subjects' responses. Focus Group Interviews in Education and Psychology is an invaluable tool that is beneficial to researchers and professionals in research methods/evaluation, psychology, education, and social work.

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About the author (1996)

Janette K. Klingner, PhD, is an associate professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Before earning her doctorate in reading and learning disabilities from the University of Miami, she was a bilingual special education teacher for 10 years in California and Florida. Dr. Klingner is a co-principal investigator for the National Center for Culturally Responsive Educational Systems, and recently was an investigator for the Center on Personnel Studies in Special Education. She has authored or edited 49 journal articles, 9 books, and 14 book chapters. Her research interests include reading comprehension strategy instruction for diverse populations, overrepresentation of culturally and linguistically diverse students in special education, and special education teacher quality. She is past Coeditor of the "Review of Educational Research "and an Associate Editor of the "Journal of Learning Disabilities," In 2004 Dr. Klingner received the American Educational Research Association's Early Career Award for outstanding research.
Sharon Vaughn, PhD, holds the H. E. Hartfelder/Southland Corp. Regents Chair in Human Development at the University of Texas at Austin and has served as the Editor in Chief of the "Journal of Learning Disabilities "and the Coeditor of "Learning Disabilities Research and Practice," She has received the American Educational Research Association's Special Education Special Interest Group Distinguished Researcher Award and has written numerous books and research articles that address the reading and social outcomes of students with learning difficulties. Dr. Vaughn is currently the principal investigator or co-principal investigator on several Institute ofEducation Sciences, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and Office of Special Education Programs research grants investigating effective interventions for students with reading difficulties and students who are English language learners.
Alison Boardman, PhD, is an adjunct professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she teaches undergraduate- and graduate-level courses in special education and educational psychology. She works with school districts and state departments across the United States to plan and implement effective professional development in reading. Dr. Boardman is also a consultant for the Vaughn Gross Center for Reading and Language Arts at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research interests include struggling readers, providing effective professional development, and collaboration among general education and special education teachers, and she has published research articles on these topics in leading journals. Dr. Boardman also has many years of experience as a special education teacher in elementary and middle schools.

Pamela A. Mason" is Elementary Principal at Tucker School, Milton Public Schools, Milton, Massachusetts, USA.

"Jeanne Shay Schumm" is Professor and Chair in the Department of Teaching and Learning at the University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida, USA.

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