of Educational Research
Babbie, E. (1995). The
Practice of Social Research.
7th ed. Belmont, NY: Wadsworth
Creswell, J.W. (1998). Qualitative inquiry and
Choosing among five traditions. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage
Gall, M.D., Borg, W.R. and
Gall, J.P. (1996). Educational Research:
An Introduction. 6th ed.
White Plains, NY: Longman Publishers.
Lagemann, E.C. (1997).
Contested terrain: A history of education research
in the United States,
1890-1990. Educational Researcher, December.
National Academy of
Education (1999). Recommendations regarding research priorities:
advisory report to the National Educational Research Policy and
Priorities Board, May.
Olsen, L. (1999). NRC seeks
new agenda for research.
Education Week. April 14,
The purpose of educational
research is to provide descriptive, predictive, or explanative
information with the goal of improving learning.
between qualitative and quantitative:
|question starts with why
||question starts with how or what
|variables are easily identified
||topic needs to be explored
|theories are available to provide a starting point
||theories need to be developed
|can be in natural setting
||requires natural setting
|intended audience is receptive to quantitative
||intended audience is receptive to qualitative
|limited time and resources
||sufficient time and resources
This is based on Creswell (1998, pp. 17-18) but changes have been
made to reflect my beliefs. Creswell states that you should choose a
"qualitative approach in order to study individuals in their
natural setting" implying that quantitative studies would never be
conducted in a natural setting which I disagree with. He also states
that a compelling reason for choosing a qualitative approach is when you
have an interest in writing in a literary style; I don't believe that
this is exclusive to qualitative studies and that traditional alone is
the reason for the current reporting of quantitative studies -- that a
quantitative study can be shared in forms other than those usually seen.
So I have eliminated this requirement as a deciding factor. Finally, he
implies that a quantitative study is reported from an
"experts" view while a qualitative study is reported from an
"active learner" view. Again, I think this is a matter of
tradition, not a function of the methodology so I have eliminated it as
a deciding factor.