EDEV_504 Week 2_3

I read your post with interest. In particular, you make the point that different researchers view the same object from differing perspectives. If my interpretation is accurate you seem to be saying that the availability of multiple perspectives validates the possible rejection of quantitative approaches. I have a few questions about this for you.

The first relates to the social responsibility of the researcher. Harker (2015) discusses the place of research in society and reminds us that research has a political aspect. Research is often funded directly by the tax payer or indirectly through tax funding of universities. The general public has an interest in research knowledge, and there is a “widespread assumption which admits science as our most reliable means of generating knowledge” (Harker, 2015, p. 3)”. It may be the case that there are various perspectives on a particular issue, and Lund states that qualitative research is better suited to hypothesis generation (Lund, 2005). An implication of the connection between the researcher and the public, then, is the question of the public needing research knowledge or research questions. I suspect the former. Additionally, the public’s focus on the lay term of reliability may be rephrased in more technical terms as researchers concern with (to borrow Lund’s formation) “statistical conclusion, internal, construct, and external validity” (Lund, 2005, p. 121). This gives quantitative studies a higher social impact than qualitative ones. What do you think?

This leads to my short second question. In your opinion, is the choice of research design informed more by the perspective of the researcher or the nature of the problem itself?


Harker, D. (2015). Creating scientific controversies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Lund, T. (2005). The Qualitative–Quantitative Distinction: Some comments. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 49(2), 115–132. http://doi.org/10.1080/00313830500048790

About theCaledonian

Scot living in north Japan teaching at a national university.
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