Naturalistic Inquiry

Naturalistic inquiry refers to research that takes place in research participants’ natural settings (i.e., in a school or home rather than in a laboratory or contrived space outside of participants’ daily lives and routines). Many qualitative research genres adhere to the principles of naturalistic inquiry, and ethnography, with its primary method of participant observation, is probably the genre of qualitative research that is most emblematic of naturalistic inquiry. However, many approaches to qualitative research place a primacy on conducting research in natural settings and strive to deeply understand people and phenomena. Naturalistic inquiry involves a methodological pursuit of understanding the ways individuals view, approach, and experience the world and make meaning of their experiences. Those engaged in naturalistic inquiry do not believe in or attempt ...

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