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ERIC Number: ED305518
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Naturalistic Inquiry and Qualitative Methods: Implications for Training and Development. Training & Development Research Report.
Jacobs, Ronald L.
Interest is growing in naturalistic inquiry and qualitative methods in educational inquiry. Naturalistic inquiry refers to a paradigm of inquiry with two major features: a low degree of manipulation or control of the variables prior to the inquiry and a low degree of constraints imposed on the outcomes of the inquiry. Qualitative methods seek to describe not the frequency but the behaviors, beliefs, and feelings of the respondents in a setting. Qualitative data are direct quotations, observations, personal impressions, analyses of records and documents, summaries of unobtrusive measures, and case studies. The interview is probably the most frequently used method of those available to gather qualitative data. Although naturalistic inquiry requires instruments that are flexible and adaptive to the setting--instruments that are almost always qualitative in nature--qualitative methods may also be used with the experimental paradigm. The use of qualitative methods has relevance to the practice of training and development. For example, use of a naturalistic inquiry approach might help a training manager portray more accurately the worth of the training department to the organization than would counting the number of course offerings or trainees per year. (15 references) (YLB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Ohio State Univ., Columbus. Coll. of Education.