The Beginning of a New Research Era (Qualitative Research)

Those of you who are familiar with me will know that I love numbers. I feel like the world of numbers can bring insights into phenomena in our lives that we can not see or understand. I do feel however that this is not the only process to understand our world of course. Qualitative inquiry and research is an emerging discipline to conduct educational research based largely from anthropologists. I’m really trying to wrap my head around this idea and its implications for my research. How to control for bias within the researcher seems to be much harder to understand even though this bias is articulated in almost all qualitative studies. In most statistical studies this bias is controlled for through instruments that measure quantities; however, surveys have been seen to have bias in their wording.
Moving from generalizability to transferability is definitely a different concept than what I have experienced. From my past experiences I would have said that this is useless, but I’m beginning to feel differently. Even though a study may be of a small sample size or sample a population that doesn’t relate to my life, there could be implications that transfer to my own. I’m looking forward to this approach to research. Looking through qualitative Inquiry and Research Design by John Creswell, I am definitely a postpostitivist and similarly see the quality in phenomenological studies. I’m interested see how my views change as I progress through my PhD in math education.


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