Case Study Analysis - Building Categories and Findings

How can one build a results category that combines different qualitative viewpoints?

Now that categories have been created, look to combine them with analytical statements to create results that help the reader understand your evaluation of the after-school program.

Example of Adding Analytic Comments to Explain Categories

Below are some examples in the case study of analytic comments paired with categories (categories are bolded for clarity):

These comments point to the hardest problems for the program in the 08-09 year: discipline problems overshadowed instructional success. Part of the discipline issue overlaps with the coordinator position and management of the program in general. For example:

Separate Coordinator

  • It might be great to have a separate coordinator that helps us to integrate the collaboration process between classes…someone like this all year would be great (Actor).
  • There was supposed to be a coordinator to help us do that (engage with one another) but she sort of fell away (Choir teacher).

Part of the discipline and organization problems stem from management’s lack of clear direction. Yet, there are many comments about management’s responsiveness to these problems. Then there is the homework problem that never seems to get fixed:

Homework

  • The homework component was a minor disaster. There was no way to force kids to do their homework, and limitless energy was required to try, so most teachers just tried to quarantine problem kids from those who worked, with limited success (Tutor/Coach).
  • The homework help can be a bit more structured. The kids just sit there and talk because they claim they have no work. Maybe work should be provided (Hip hop dance instructor).
  • In the future I’d like to see the program make more progress towards helping students in their academic work without alienating them and turning them off of an (sic) after-school environment (Futures teacher).

Some of the teacher comments, pointing towards improvement, looked at how the focus on student respect, attendance and commitment might help the program.

Respect

  • The inconsistent attendance, or arriving to find students fighting (verbally and sometimes physically) or running through the halls or outside the building or skipping class were negatives (Dance teacher).
  • A large amount of time spent on behavior issues and disruptions (Teacher).

Attendance

  • The biggest challenges I faced in Futures were inconsistent attendance and behavior problems (Futures teacher).
  • Student retention and consistency (Recording Studio teacher).

Student Commitment

  • Student commitment and participation could improve. I think this has to deal a lot with students showing/gaining respect for artform, teachers, each other and themselves (String teacher).
  • I mentioned screening earlier and I’m going to have to mention it again (Teacher).
  • Again, we only need to be taking on kids who are serious about the arts (Recording Studio teacher).
  • I abandoned a more ambitious curriculum when I realized that many of the students were just in the program to pass the time, and were not fully devoted to the art that I was teaching them. It may have been their age as well that contributed to that sense. The after-school program needs to feel more like an arts program, not an after-school holding tank (Recording Studio teacher).

In the examples above, the bolded categories are combined with analytical statements to create findings that help the reader understand the evaluation of the after-school program. These categories emerged out of the qualitative analysis, when comments from the teachers were judged as having similarities. Those similarities began to emerge as categories such as "Separate Coordinator" or "Homework," and this is the beginning analysis. Inform the reader by adding analytical comments around the categories. In summary, these categories are the first findings, or conclusions, and they can be compared with the objectives to produce results. 

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