Example of Data Analysis

Foertsch (1998) explains how data analysis was conducted at one local school district:

"Interviews, observations, questionnaires, student-achievement data records, and school curriculum documents were the major sources of data for this study. The teacher questionnaire provided extensive, descriptive data and further elaborated information gathered at the sites. The analysis of the teacher questionnaire involved summarizing the data according to the research questions (for example, training, impact on students, and so on), and exploring similarities and differences occurring among teachers at different school levels (i.e., elementary versus middle). Research staff examined the interview information, classroom observation reports, and teacher questionnaire data for effective practices and barriers to effective practice, as well as for consistency between the reports and questionnaires.

Data analysis began following each observation and interview, as researchers (individually) reviewed sources of information to identify recurring themes and patterns. Subsequent interviews and observations were adapted to focus on emerging themes. Data and tentative interpretations were presented and discussed during periodic meetings of the research team. Areas of major concern included (a) context and its relationship to instruction (e.g., school setting and student population factors); (b) instructional practices (with a focus on materials and procedures); and (c) teacher beliefs about reading instruction (including program goals, perceptions of strengths and weaknesses, and impact on students' ability to read)." (pp. 20-21)



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