The Delphi Method was originally designed to collect data from a panel of experts to aid in decision making in government settings. Delphi has been described as a qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods approach. The anonymous collection of narrative group opinion coupled with the tightly structured nature of the process and quantitatively described results renders the approach difficult to situate in a methodological category. The purpose of this article is not to settle the debate. Rather, the aim is twofold: to present a modification of Delphi that is definitively qualitative, and to provide a worked example to demonstrate the proposed method.


Delphi Method, Qualitative

Author Bio(s)

Dr. Dia Sekayi earned a Ph.D. in the Social Foundations of Education with foci on qualitative research and the sociology of education from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1996. Dia has held multiple full-time faculty positions, each with a focus on doctoral education and qualitative research. Dr. Sekayi joined Morgan State University as an Associate Professor in the School of Education and Urban Studies in 2016. She has published books, articles, and book chapters in the social foundations of education and has made local, national, and international presentations related to qualitative research. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: dsdiasek12@gmail.com.

Ms. Arleen Kennedy is a Middle School Administrator with Baltimore City Public Schools. With over 25 years’ experience in K-12 public education spanning three states, aspiring to complete a Doctorate in Urban Educational Leadership was a natural course of action. Ms. Kennedy is currently writing her proposal to investigate whether or not there is a “Glass Ceiling” effect on African American Women Superintendents. Her research is a qualitative study and her methodology intent is narrative inquiry. She has worked with numerous African American women Superintendents and has always wondered the role, if any, the “glass ceiling effect” plays in the experiences of these women. Ms. Kennedy has worked as a school administrator in three states and began her career as a High School Social Studies teacher in South Carolina. She is the mother of one son and has an affinity for writing curriculum.


I would like to thank Dr. Margaret Wilder for her personal and professional encouragement.

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