A Case Study: A Focused Study of Homeless Students
Toni R. Brent-Willis
ED8102 – Introduction to Qualitative Research,
Dr. Patricia Ryan
August 4, 2013
Case study research is designed to bring a greater understanding of a specific phenomena or experience. It can also serve to deepen the understanding of an experience that is already known. Yin (1984) defines case study as research method as an empirical inquiry that investigates a contemporary phenomenon within its real-life context; when the boundaries between phenomenon and context are not clearly evident; and in which multiple sources of evidence are used (p. 23). It presents details on a bounded ...view middle of the document...
The purpose of this study is to examine the experiences of being a homeless student and investigate how and why some homeless students flourish in spite of their situation and others succumb to the challenges. This study will be conducted as a multi-case study focusing on 3 homeless students between 13 and 17.
Need for the Study
The goal is to understand what factors contribute to the success of some homeless students in an effort to recreate these circumstances for others. The intent is to understand more about what resources and coping strategies, homeless students use and in doing so devise a network of resources to help more students living in this struggle to thrive both academically and socially. Focusing on specific students in a multi-case study format, will provide specific data on the differences between students who thrive and those who fail to.
Research Questions – Sub-Questions
What are the academic and social challenges that homeless students face? How do students navigate these challenges? What factors contribute to the success of students facing homelessness? What resources exist to support homeless students? What resources do you use on a regular basis? What network of support do you use on a regular basis? How do you maintain focus on academics?
Sampling, Participants, Research site and Data Collection
One possible site is the Open Hearts Youth Homeless Shelter. They invite dialogue with educational professionals and communities in hopes that a focus on the needs of homeless students will increase awareness and make additional resources available. The participants range in age from 13-19 and include students who are still navigating homelessness and those who have completed k-12 and an examination of their current status. The sampling of participants would be through randomly chosen from a pool of volunteer subjects. Data collection would be a combination of observation, unstructured interviews, and examination of artifacts such as...