Parker, Tara Wooten (2015). Understanding Decision Making in Private Schools: A Methodological Study Q. Doctoral Dissertation (Educational Administration and Supervision), North Carolina State University.
Summary: School responsibility has increased for both parents and students due to the availability of school options. The aim of this study was to better understand the subjectivity of the decision-making process of parents of deprived pupils. The Q methodology was used to explore this decision-making process. The research literature was reviewed and as a result, statements were developed that address factors influencing school choice decisions. These statements were printed and thirty-five private school parents ranked these statements according to how factors influenced their school choice decision. Post-triage interviews further explored the subjectivity of decision-making. Q types were analyzed to determine statistical correlations between statements. Three factors emerged as distinct school environments selected by private school parents. Data analysis explored these factors, and each factor was given a name based on the strongest impact statements.
These three factors included whole child development, a strong school environment, and a safe peer environment. The results presented many factors influencing school choice decisions. The data also provided insight into the perceived strengths and weaknesses of public and private schools. The findings have implications for public and private school administrators and policy makers. These implications can help move school reform initiatives forward. Without considering the choices of these parents, schools will not be able to compete in the market economy created by school choice.
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The Different Types of Research Gaps
While there are many types of research gaps, here are the four most common we encounter when helping students with graduate mentoring:
- The classical literature gap
- The disagreement gap
- The contextual gap and
- The methodological gap