quantitative methods 23

  • Philosophically, quantitative methods assume that human behavior is measurable and “knowable”–that there are universal truths to be gained. In keeping with this philosophy, quantitative methods rely on numerical data sources (such as Likert-style surveys, and other measures and scales) and employ statistics to determine trends, relationships, and effects of different variables.
  • Qualitative methods, just to recap from before, assume that human behavior is not measurable, and that different types of people experience their world differently. There may not be underlying “truths” of human behavior. They also assume that the “why” and “how” of human behavior is more important than the “what”. In keeping with this philosophy, qualitative methods rely on data sources that use words to describe and/or reflect experience and perspectives of various groups of people. Interviews, observations, and documents undergo thematic or content analysis to determine the common themes or patterns describing these experiences or perspectives.

You have already discussed the ways in which these methods do and do not appeal to you. In this discussion, think of a specific research study that you think would be interesting to design in the field of education.

  • Describe the purpose, research question(s) and general rationale for a study you think would be interesting to conduct. Identify the type of study (qualitative or quantitative) and specific method that you believe would be most appropriate for your study idea.

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