This commentary outlines the efforts taken to provide doctoral students with purposeful reflection questions to help them enhance the value and utility of qualitative data. It is based upon experiences teaching a doctoral level qualitative research methods course for students enrolled in an executive format doctoral program. Reflexivity of the researcher, reflection, and research design decisions are discussed. Suggestions for purposeful reflection questions are also discussed and listed in four categories. The categories of purposeful reflection questions include (1) Research Setting Access, (2) Examining Norms and Cultures, (3) Positionality of Research Subjects, and (4) Positionality as an Observer. These four categories of questions provide a paradigm that could help many qualitative researchers take a more systematic in-depth approach to the collection, transcription, and analysis of field notes and other forms of qualitative data.


Field Notes, Reflection, Data Validation, Positionality

Author Bio(s)

David Deggs is Executive Director of College Access Programs in the Simmons School of Education and Human Development at Southern Methodist University. He also serves as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Education Policy and Leadership. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: ddeggs@smu.edu.

Frank Hernandez holds the Annette and Harold Simmons Centennial Chair in Education Policy and Leadership and serves as the Associate Dean in the Simmons School of Education & Human Development at Southern Methodist University. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: frankh@smu.edu.

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