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Evaluation of a Qualitative Study

Evaluation of a Qualitative Study

The current paper performs an evaluation of a quantitative research Tas Ali, Veysel Bora, Abdullah Selvitopu, and Yusuf Demirkaya titled, “Reasons for Dropout for Vocational High School Students”, published in the Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice. This evaluation places an emphasis on the research problem that the authors address, the literature review, the plan for data collection, the plan for analyzing and interpreting data, and ethically and culturally responsive strategies that authors propose in their research. The appraisal concludes by outlining the application of the study findings in the current or future work as a counsellor.

Evaluation of the Research Problem

There is no doubt that dropping out of school is an issue of concern for all countries across the globe, especially because of the resulting loss of social and human capital. A high prevalence of school dropouts implies to a lower number of well-qualified professionals available in the country. Dropping out of school also affects individuals in the sense that school dropouts face difficulties in securing employment in future. Other problems associated with dropping out of school include involvement in crime, health issues, and a high demand for social services. For society, school dropouts contribute to low taxes, income inequality, problems with social integration and higher crime rates. Given the significant impact to society and individuals, associated with dropping out of school, it is a matter of urgency for policymakers to take precautions, aimed at curbing or reducing the problem.

Evaluating the Problem’s Significance

The problem statement does include a counselling issue to study. In this respect, Tas, Bora, Selvitopu, and Demirkaya (2013) also focused on the role that guidance services offered at the school played in the course of dropping out process.

Tas et al. (2013) offered evidence to emphasize on the importance of issue. To this end, the researchers recognize high rates of students dropping out of high schools. Also, they state the social-economic burdens, associated with dropping out of school, both to society and individuals. Lastly, the researchers report that scanty literature that explores the factors, contributing to school dropouts in Turkey exists, especially in vocational high schools.

Evaluation of Literature Review

The literature review articulates two themes. The first theme entails the problems associated with dropping out of school to the individual and society. The second theme emphasizes the scanty literature regarding the factors contributing to rising cases of students, dropping out of high schools in Turkey, especially for vocational schools.

The literature review draws its strengths from logical organization, whereby the authors present their review thematically to emphasize the research problem. Simply stated, the story conveyed in literature review helps to frame the need for the research. A weakness, associated with the literature review, is that it is not extensive. For instance, the review does not contain what other studies have found, with respect to factors contributing to rising cases of students dropping out.

Evaluation of Research Purpose Statement and Questions

Research Design

The researchers used the case study design. The case study design is appropriate for the study, since this design is helpful when trying to understand a complex issue.

Research Purpose Statement

The researchers clearly stated their purpose statement, which was to explore the reasons why students opt to drop out of vocational high schools.

Research Questions

No research questions are presented in the article.

Evaluation of Data Collection Plan

Selection of Participants

Tas et al. (2013) used snowball sampling to recruit 19 participants. Snowball sampling is a non-probabilistic sampling technique characterized by participants, making referrals among their acquaintances. This sampling approach is appropriate, given the difficulty of accessing school dropouts. The sampling approach could have been enhanced to deliver stronger results by widening the initial contact. The researchers relied on one participant as the initial contact, which increased the biasing impact. Moreover, the researchers could have relied on diverse indirect sources when recruiting an initial set of participants. Biasing could have also been minimized by limiting the number of referrals, provided by subsequent participannts.

Gaining Permission

The researchers did not state implicitly or explicitly, regarding the steps they undertook to gain the permission of participants. Ethical research standards require participants to be issued with an informed consent that specifies the purpose of the study, participants’ rights, and ensuring them of their anonymity, privacy and confidentiality.

Determining the Data to Collect

The researchers used semi-structured interviews to collect data from participants. The researchers only state that the interview form contained six questions, although they do not delve into the details of the items in this data collection instrument. Therefore, it is relatively difficult to ascertain the appropriateness of the data collected relative to the research objectives. Nevertheless, based on the presented findings, the researchers focused on the reasons that compelled the participants to drop out of school.

Recording Data

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The protocols for recording data are not described in the study. A recommended approach is to tape record the interviews to facilitate later transcription and analysis. Taking notes during interviews is also recommended to help the researchers note down any important information, emerging from the interviews.

Evaluation of Data Analysis and Interpretation Plan

Preparing and Organizing Data for Analysis

Tas et al. (2013) did not provide any information regarding the steps they performed to prepare and organize the data for analysis. In this case, it is recommended that the researchers first outline the characteristics of participants who participated in the research, including their age and gender among other demographic variables. Cases of participant attrition should also be noted.

Exploring and Coding the Data

The researchers indicate that they used inductive content analysis in analyzing the data they collected from the respondents. Inductive content analysis is characterized by using a set of codes to lessen the volume of written or verbal data into manageable data with the ultimate aim of identifying insights and patterns. This process is effective in qualitative research because it draws upon inductive reasoning.

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