In this paper the authors describe how the use of multiple methods of qualitative data collection over a two-year period, including interviews, concept maps and journals, and the analysis of data through visual inquiry, categorizing (constant comparison thematic analysis), and connecting (narrative analysis) provided a more comprehensive understanding of the process of evolution in college teachers’ perspectives on teaching and learning within a professional development program than would have emerged with only a single method . Concept maps provided an initial visual footprint of teachers’ emerging perspectives. Categorization revealed four major patterns across teachers’ perspectives. Connecting the data through narrative summaries exposed a contextualized rendition of aspects of individual teachers’ perspectives. Each of these three approaches offers a unique lens into qualitative data analysis, and when used together, they clarify important aspects of the phenomenon under investigation.


Visual Inquiry, Categorizing Strategies, Connecting Strategies, Professional Development, Teacher Perspectives, Higher Education

Author Bio(s)

Susan Kerwin-Boudreau (PhD McGill) is Professor of Psychology at Champlain College-Saint-Lambert, Quebec. She also teaches professional development courses in the Faculty of Education at the Université de Sherbrooke and at McGill University. Her manuscript, The Professional Development of College Teachers, was published by Mellen Press in 2010. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: Dr. Susan Kerwin-Boudreau, Department of Psychology, Champlain Regional College, 900 Riverside Drive, St. Lambert, QC, J4P 3P2 Canada. Email: Boudreau@crcmail.net

Lynn Butler-Kisber (B.Ed, M.Ed. McGill; Ed.D. Harvard) is a Professor of Education at McGill University. Her work includes qualitative methodologies, leadership, multiliteracies, and professional development. She is Director of the Graduate Certificates in Educational Leadership, and founding and current editor of the journal LEARNing Landscapes which is celebrating its tenth year in 2017 www.learninglandscapes.ca. Among a number of projects, she is currently working on a second edition of her book, Qualitative Inquiry: Thematic, Narrative and Arts-Formed Perspectives (Sage). Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: Dr. Lynn Butler-Kisber, Department of Integrated Studies in Education, McGill University, 3700 McTavish, Montreal, QC, H3A 1YZ Canada. Email: lynn.butlerkisber@mcgill.ca

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