This article responds to the call for deeper examination of qualitative inquiry teaching practices by presenting representative examples from the pedagogies of three teacher-educators who have taught Qualitative Research Methods courses for the past 15 years. We focus in particular on the pedagogical complexities of teaching data analysis, which is a topic that remains under-theorized and under-represented in contemporary scholarship on qualitative methodologies. Using a critical friends framework, we analyze and synthesize our pedagogical responses to key dilemmas we have encountered in our respective contexts, all state universities, to introducing qualitative inquiry to novice researchers who often enter the analytic process with positivist notions of knowledge creation. They sometimes enter the analytic process with the belief if they can only “catch the tail” of this thing called qualitative research they will be able to “do it right.” Yet, as the metaphor implies, catching a fierce beast by the tail, thinking you can control its actions, can intrude on the inductive and holistic character of the qualitative inquiry process.


Qualitative Inquiry Pedagogies, Critical Friends Framework, Teaching Data Analysis, Reflexivity

Author Bio(s)

Thalia M. Mulvihill, Ph.D., is Professor of Higher Education and Social Foundations at Ball State University. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: Thalia M. Mulvihill at tmulvihi@bsu.edu.

Raji Swaminatha, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Educational Policy and Community Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: Raji Swaminathan at swaminar@uwm.edu.

Lucy C. Bailey, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Social Foundations and Qualitative Inquiry at Oklahoma State University. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: Lucy C. Bailey at lucy.bailey@okstate.edu.

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