Interviewing the Interpretive Researcher: A Method for Addressing the Crises of Representation, Legitimation, and Praxis

  • Anthony John Onwuegbuzie Sam Houston State University
  • Nancy L. Leech University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center
  • Kathleen M. T. Collins University of Arkansas


In this article the authors outline five types of debriefing and introduce a new type of debriefing, namely, that of debriefing the interpretive researcher. Next they present eight main areas accompanied by example questions to guide the interviewer when debriefing the researcher. They also present five authenticity criteria developed by Guba and Lincoln (1989) and include possible interview questions to document the degree to which the researcher has met these criteria. Finally, using Miles and Huberman’s (1994) framework, they illustrate how displays such as matrices can be used to collect, analyze, and interpret debriefing interview data as well as leave an audit trail.

Author Biographies

Anthony John Onwuegbuzie, Sam Houston State University
Anthony Onwuegbuzie, Ph.D., is professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Counseling at Sam Houston State University. He teaches courses in qualitative, quantitative, and mixed research, and writes extensively on topics related to all three areas. Dr. Onwuegbuzie has secured more than 200 refereed journal articles and book chapters, and has made approximately 400 presentations and keynote addresses at regional, national, and international conferences and venues. He is editor of Educational Researcher and co-editor of Research in the Schools.
Nancy L. Leech, University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center
School of Education
Kathleen M. T. Collins, University of Arkansas
Department of Curriculum & Instruction