April 3, 2017
College of Education faculty member publishes second book
Kakali Bhattacharya, associate professor of educational leadership, published a book on qualitative research, her second in four months. The first received an international award; the second will be an asset to new and seasoned researchers and teachers alike.
"Fundamentals of Qualitative Research: A Practical Guide" released March 22 by Routledge publishing is about how to conduct a qualitative research project – from conception to completion – and offers practical exercises throughout.
"This book did not start out as a book at all," Bhattacharya said. "I was creating handouts each week for my students to help them do interactive exercises, summarize key points, and understand how to bridge between different readings in the class when I learned there was a greater interest and need for the information. This book actually took 10 years to produce."
The author sees many applications for the material in her book.
"I think qualitative research is an important form of inquiry especially when we want to be engaged in narratives, social structures of oppression, policy work, or work that could be considered socially responsible research," she said. "If we do not place ourselves in these arenas, knowledge would be constructed anyway from other methodological perspectives, and a lot will be missed without qualitative researchers being at the table. Newcomers to qualitative research need an introduction that is not too watered down or too complex so that they engage with the material meaningfully."
David C. Thompson, professor and chair of the department of educational leadership, believes this book will only expand her influence.
"Dr. Bhattacharya's reputation as a rigorous qualitative researcher is wide in both national and international circles," Thompson said. "This is the second book she has published in a very short while, the first earning a major award and now followed by this new book that confirms her reputation on a wide scale. The impact is large — she is to be congratulated."
Her first book, "Power, Race and Higher Education: A Cross Cultural Parallel Narrative," received the 2017 Outstanding Book Award from the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, or ICQI.