ERIC Number: EJ835530
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 16
The Hidden Advantages of Focus Group Interviews in Educational Research
Shoaf, Lisa M.; Shoaf, Michael G.
Journal of School Public Relations, v27 n3 p342-354 Sum 2006
In the field of education, success of a school system has traditionally been determined through quantitative methods, such as through scores on achievement tests and survey results. In short, the quantitative method can determine if a school is failing or not. However, it does not answer the question of why a school is failing, a particularly important question for school administrators who hope to make positive changes in their districts. Focus group research, or qualitative analysis, is an underutilized method for gathering data in schools. Focus group methodology offers a more in-depth understanding of participants' perceptions than do quantitative measures such as test scores and surveys, thereby providing potential answers to why a school is failing. The purpose of this article is threefold. First, it attempts to define focus group research in the field of education. Second, it presents the disadvantages and advantages of focus group research, and finally, it provides methodological guidance to administrators who are interested in using focus group research as a way to gather information about the performance of a school system.
Descriptors: School Districts, Academic Achievement, Statistical Analysis, Scores, Achievement Tests, Focus Groups, Qualitative Research, Educational Research, Research Methodology, Group Dynamics, Data Collection
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A