Qualitative Research College Essay

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Researchers have the option of choosing among quantitative, qualitative or mixed method approaches to educational research. These approaches have been developed over a long period of time due to various kinds of research needs. While the emphasis of quantitative research is to ascertain fact and figures based findings, the stress on quantitative research attempts to build deeper understanding of the social world and revolves around the researcher's hypothesis.


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 ...
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