Research begins with a question that begs to be answered. The research question must be well articulated and specific. Once the research question is established, the methodology is chosen. Thus, it is the research question that determines the methodology. In the field of special education, many methodologies have been used to answer research questions. For example, Stoner et al. (2006c) used a single subject design to determine the effectiveness of the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) for adults with intellectual disabilities. Quasi-experimental methodology may be the appropriate methodology for determining the effectiveness of intervention with a group of students. The effectiveness of two math curricula for students at risk was conducted by Woodward and Brown (2006) using quasi-experimental research. If the research question centers on attitudes or opinions of a large group of individuals, then quantitative research may be used. Brown, Welsh, Haegle Hill, and Cipko (2008) reported on preservice teacher attitudes about teaching students with learning disabilities (LD). However, if one wants to broaden and enhance understanding and to fully and deeply comprehend the perspectives of individuals, then qualitative methodology would be used. For example, through the use of qualitative methodology, two studies (Bailey, Parette, Stoner, Angell, & Carroll, 2006a; Bailey, Stoner, Parette, & Angell, 2006b) described the perspectives of members of individual education plan (IEP) teams and perspectives of family members regarding augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) use in public schools. The findings of these studies (a) offered in-depth understanding of the process of obtaining AAC devices, (b) identified barriers and facilitators to AAC device use, and (c) provided strategies for effective use of AAC devices.
Stoner, J. (2010), "Chapter 2 Qualitative research in education: Other methods of seeking knowledge", Obiakor, F., Bakken, J. and Rotatori, n. (Ed.) Current Issues and Trends in Special Education: Research, Technology, and Teacher Preparation (Advances in Special Education, Vol. 20), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 19-39. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0270-4013(2010)0000020005Download as .RIS
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