The Nature of Qualitative Studies

Merriam was required to travel across the world to Malaysia to conduct her study on how culture influences older adults and identifies the level of learning that transpire. The cost involved in America’s (2000) study was also more expensive than the study conducted by Distilled (2000), in addition, the sample size used in America’s (2000) study was more diversified. Diesel’s (2000) paper is much narrower and more conceded than America’s (2000) paper. Distilled (2000) limited her study to females only, contrary to “How Cultural Values Shape Learning in Older Adulthood: The Case of Malaysia” (2000) where both males and females were used.

Divergences. The divergences America’s (2000) credentials are included in her paper; whereas, Distilled (2000) has no mention of her level of experience or education that supports her ability to conduct a valid study on her chosen topic. Professional literature review Joined with personal experiences of the researcher is necessary for intricacy of the data. (Glasses, 1978). Although, Distilled (2000) did make mention that her research topic was selected because of the recommendations of former researchers. This statement alone gives merit to the contribution, need, and worth of research on her topic. Main Points.

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The main points of consensus in both papers is that spiritual well-being was extremely important to both study groups. Distilled (2000) indicated that her study group’s spiritual development was not constant and varied from time to time. This is understandable since our environmental changes can persuade what is important and what is not as we go through life. Methodology. Any good research undertaking starts with a topic, problem, and area of interest, as well as a paradigm. Crewel, 1998) Keeping this in mind, Merriam (2000) and Distilled (2000) both conducted their studies by using the qualitative methodology.

Perhaps since both studies were based on social issues with populace from elder groups the qualitative methodology is the best for conducting interviews and surveys. Qualitative research is a study approach that is many times directed by the human belief system. (Merriam, 2002) Merriam (2000) introduced comparisons between older adults in the Western to the Eastern parts of the world. The values from the West and the East were compared also with he Asian culture having a greater regard on “being in harmony with nature, relationships and cooperation” as one grows older, somewhat different than that of Western counterparts.

The Western senior citizen enjoys competition and independence as they age. Findings from other studies show Westerner’s are more prone to sickness and passive behaviors if they loose their independence. It is natural for an American to work in his/her senior years. Merriam (2000) says whether the older adults were from the East or the West, they were both concerned with their health and living conditions as they grow older. Also, the elders in the East take pride in being wiser with age. Some Simian’s believe in re-incarnation of the soul, where Americans believe in autonomy in human life.

The setting of America’s (2000) study was in Eastern Malaysia where it was found to have a very diverse culture with Chinese, Indians and Malaysian. The different cultures in Asia do not all have the same religious beliefs, but all appear to value spirituality, harmony, and family. Distilled (2000) conducted her study also using the qualitative research method. She used a 4. 5 – 3 hour taped interview to gather data. The taped interviews were later transcribed for review and analysis. Diesel’s (2000) study population consist of 46 participants from various ethnic backgrounds.

Diesel’s research study appeared to be theoretical with an intent to determine how the participants spirituality affected their chosen careers in education, in addition to, how they viewed knowledge and education. The vehicle which Distilled (2000) used for data analysis was the “constant comparative method. ” (Merriam, 5998). Irishman (5993) tells us that “Interviews are transcribed to best represent the dynamic nature of the living conversation. Purpose and Goals. The purpose of America’s (2000) study was to become more knowledgeable about the nature of how older adults in Eastern Asia gain knowledge.

Merriam (2000) attempted to prove that cultural values are “emotion-laden, internalized assumptions, beliefs, or standards that shop how we interpret our life experiences. ” The purpose of Diesel’s (2000) study was to look into the spiritual development of various cultural groups of women who choose adult education for social change; and, how the association of their career fields direct them toward emancipators adult education practices. Data Collection. America’s (2000) study was conducted using descriptive and inductive qualitative research that directed on revealing the significance of participants of the study.

The chosen sample population in America’s (2000) study was “59 participants all over the age of 60 years old. America’s data was collected by one-on-one “open-ended” interviews in natural settings that lasted about one hour long in two different languages. Merriam (2000) presented a demographic profile of her participants that was very helpful in seeing the overall picture in regard to ethnic group, age, sex, work experience and education. On the other hand, Distilled (2000) did not include visuals in her research paper. Data analysis from America’s (2000) study was completed in accordance with the “constant comparative method (Merriam, 6998).

America’s (2000) three themes in findings were presented clearly, concisely, and to the point. Each theme addressed the “nature of learning for older Mainstay adults. ” (Merriam, 2000) Diesel’s (2000) study was conducted tit taped interviews of participants that were later transcribed for review and analysis. The analysis of the “Spiritual Development and Commitments to Emancipators Education n Women Adult Educators for Social Change” study was presented in a narrative discussion forum with discussions describing each participant’s experience and character.

Reported Findings. Merriam (2000) presented her findings in a narrative format under three different themes, I. E. “informal and embedded in the concerns and activities of everyday life”, “learning is communal”, and “learning is driven by spiritual and/or religious concerns. ” Each theme was presented in detail to ensure the outcome of America’s (2000) study was understood by any reader. Diesel’s (2000) paper was also presented in a narrative format. I believe Diesel’s (2000) overall study including her conclusion is very abrupt and diminutive.

Diesel’s (2000) findings conclude that there is a common thread “between spiritual development, and Emancipators adult education efforts. ” Structure. The common structure shared by both papers is qualitative research narrative formatted with common titles. Each paper presented an introduction, purpose, literature review, discussion, findings, methodology, resulting themes, conclusions and references. Conclusion. With any good qualitative study, developing a problem statement, a purpose statement questions is important.

Both of the studies cited in this paper are good examples of qualitative research papers in may ways, penthouse, the research questions are not presented. Both studies present an characteristics of a qualitative study. Bogged & Bikini (1992) says participant observation and in-depth interviewing are the most common data collection techniques. However, the problem statements from both studies are extremely vague. According to Christensen, et al. (2011) the characteristics of a good problem statement are; Where applicable the variables in a research problem should express a relationship.

The statement of the robber states the rationale for the study. The statement of the problem should be testable. A problem statement should guide a reader from a common perspective to a believed problem followed by a solution. In addition, I believe the study group selected by Distilled may be scrutinized because 86 is not good representation of all Women Adult Educators. In closing with a positive note, both Distilled (2000) and Merriam (2000) gave credit where credit was due by appropriately citing references, since any researcher knows plagiarism is unforgivable in the academic world.

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