Edev_501 Response wk5_2

I find myself agreeing with most of what you say, and there are a couple of places where I’d appreciate a little more clarification. You say, “the ideal quantitative research is designed to prove an expected solution to a hypothesis”. You then provide what I assume to be a typology of hypotheses, “a problem or a challenge, or to verify the cause of a phenomenon”. What is your opinion about quantitative research models’ ability to build hypotheses, or is this a role only for qualitative research? Most of science from Comte to Popper (at least) has used quantitative methods to build and to test. Is this possible, in your opinion, in social or educational research?

When you write that “qualitative method limit itself by the problems of case selection and transferability”, I was reminded of the excellent article by Harper and Kuh (2007) that tries to dispel the ‘myth’ that “subjectivity compromises accuracy and trustworthiness” (p. 7). The title of the article is appealing, “Myths and misconceptions about using qualitative methods in assessment”. Would you say that the issue of transferability is a problem or a feature of qualitative research?

On a lighter note, I was particularly impressed by the way you could take the best of Atieno’s article and present her position positively. This article needs some serious proof reading (misplaced and missing full-stops and strange paragraph breaks between sentences), and the lack of any premise building prior to the article’s conclusion (“The eclectic approach is thus not an option in education research” (Atieno, 2009, p. 18), note the lack of a final full-stop!) leads me to wonder about the nature of any ‘peer review’ process involved. Furthermore, the strength of such a claim really needs to have a lot of supporting evidence. Yet, you could find the couple of appropriate statements in the article. Being serious for a moment, I would personally exercise caution about referencing this article.


Harper, S. R. & Kuh, G. D. (2007). Myths and misconceptions about using qualitative methods in assessment. New Directions for Institutional Research, 136, 5 – 14.

About theCaledonian

Scot living in north Japan teaching at a national university.
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