Let us first understand the concept, nature and philosophy behind qualitative research to appreciate its strengths and weaknesses better. Qualitative research looks for answers to naturally occurring social phenomenon and presents facts as they appear, with less chance of manipulation of the experiment. Data is collected through direct interaction with respondents to gain a good understanding of their perspectives. This research paradigm in education was developed when researchers struggled with weaknesses of quantitative research such as inability to answer questions about social phenomenon such as how, why, and in what ways. The researchers, therefore, have attempted to develop new paradigms based on the notions that were missing in quantitative research in education. Practitioners also included researcher's viewpoint in qualitative research as this factor too was completely missing from quantitative methods. A researcher's expertise, knowledge and thoughts influence the research to a large extent. There are several situations in which qualitative research is more suitable such as to gain better understanding of lesser know phenomenon, or gather more information or new viewpoints.
Since there are no standardized methods of qualitative enquiry, practiti ...Show more