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Palgrave Macmillan

Interviewing for Education and Social Science Research

ISBN 9780230623774
Publication Date August 2009
Formats Ebook (PDF) Paperback Hardcover 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

This volume introduces a fresh approach to research, using strategies adapted from oral history and educational criticism to traverse the boundaries of human experience, and bring to light matters of concern to education and social science researchers. This narrator-centered method, a by-product of the author's award-winning investigation into the aftermath of the Columbine tragedy, provides a means for researchers to access the often hidden human responses and perceptions about an event or situation so that those who make decisions and write policy may become better informed about the true impact of their actions on the individuals involved.

Carolyn L. Mearsholds a research position and serves as dissertation advisor and adjunct faculty at the Morgridge College of Education of the University of Denver, Denver, Colorado.

Origins of the Approach: The Columbine Study * Nature of In-depth Interview Research * Ethical Research Practice - Doing It Right * Foundations for a Gateway * Preparing to Do the Research * The Practice of In-depth Interviewing * Interpreting and Displaying the Data * Analysis and Reporting * Tools and Technologies * Through the gateway


"A long-awaited book on doing interviewing in education and the social sciences is finally here.As a mainstay for master's thesis, dissertation, and grant research, Mears has brought us a sophisticated theoretical treatment to this art. The gateway approach, building on oral history and Eisner's connoisseurship and critical technique, offers a new model ‘for crossing the boundary of cause and consequence' in research projects with helpful steps for the researcher.She connects ‘the researcher, narrator, and reader' in a new way. Demonstrating the full treatment of this approach, Mears also brings a full ethical treatment and complete steps for IRB and Human Subject applications in this timely book.Helpful examples from her major research on the Columbine High School tragedy and other projects fill out this realistic approach to interviewing. A must buy for professors and researchers using this qualitative approach with their students and in their research projects." - Les Goodchild, Ph.D., Professor of Education and Director of the Higher Education Program, Santa Clara University"Well-written and full of useful examples, even the appendices are rich with information. Building upon previous work withnarrative representations of research, Mears further develops and refines procedures for working with interview transcripts in ways that stay grounded in people's words while editing and shaping to reveal the essences of stories and their evocative powers. Examples from her own interviews with parents of students at Columbine pull the reader in and haunt with images and feelings when pages are closed.I recommend this book for all working to fully understand their research subjects." - Corrine Glesne, Author of Becoming Qualitative Researchers"Based on her own dissertation work for which she won several awards from the American Educational Research Association, Mears' book informs readers about a number of important topics including a presentation of conceptual and practical issues related to interviewing. . . . While the gateway method is highly useful for researchers inquiring into tragic situations, it is also valuable for researchingsensitive issues (e.g., issues of race, gender, sexual orientation) and routine matters as well. Novice and experienced researchers will find this book innovative, insightful, and practical." - P. Bruce Uhrmacher, Professor of Education, University of Denver"TheGateway Approach is an invaluable resource for oral historians and oral history educators. Mears' step-by-step methods of in-depth interviewing, analysis, and editing offer a unique means by which to disseminate the essence of a recalled experience in a powerful way by honoring, above all, the narrator's voice and word choice. Her commitment to collaboration takes Frisch's "shared authority" to the next level by asking the researcher to go beyond documentation and data analysis and continue to work with the narrator to present the material to a wider audience in a clear and meaningful way." - Erin McCarthy, Professor of History, Columbia College Chicago"Mears introduces a fresh approach to in-depth interviewing and she has a wealth of experience to contribute to the field. . . . Mears is an excellent writer and thinker, and the awards she has received for her work are testimony to the quality she brings to this project. This book is very timely." - Karen Tonso, Associate Professor of Education, Wayne State University
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