ERIC Number: ED397130
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
The Unfolding Matrix: A Dialogical Technique for Qualitative Data Acquisition and Analysis.
Padilla, Raymond V.; And Others
Most of the literature on student retention focuses on what students do "wrong" that leads to departure from college, but there is much to be learned from studying student success in higher education. This article presents a study designed to uncover the strategies that successful minority students employ to overcome barriers to academic success by using an innovative technique that assesses the informal knowledge required to achieve success in higher education. Each study began with an empty data matrix that was gradually filled as data were collected. The filled matrix then became a qualitative data set that was used to become a concept model for understanding the phenomenon under study. Three groups of 5 to 10 academically successful ethnic minority students each completed the matrix. Analysis of the data indicated that students faced barriers related to the continuity between high school and college, prejudice, and lack of resources. Successful minority students overcame barriers by creating a supportive "family" on campus or by involving their biological families in the collegiate experience, participating in ethnic activities, seeking out nurturing persons, and using institutional resources. Findings are discussed in the context of the expertise model of success and a local model of heuristic knowledge associated with this specific campus. (Contains 8 figures and 16 references.) (Author/SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Dialogic Communication
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New York, NY, April 8-12, 1996).