ERIC Number: ED201425
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr-17
Reference Count: 0
Research on Rural Education: Some Philosophical and Methodological Concerns.
Pettibone, Timothy J.
Traditionally research is done via the scientific method, which is quantitative; however, qualitative research is seen by some as a better way to study rural education. Advocates of the quantitative viewpoint claim that it is the only way to develop cumulative knowledge. Advocates of the qualitative method reject the "scientific" view as not being enough and as needing subjective understandings. Popp (1975) identifies two types of educational inquiry, epistemic (concerning understanding of phenomena and dealing with questions of what is) and prescriptive (involving questions of action). Epistemic inquiry is rewarded, recognized, and encouraged among the academics, while prescriptive inquiry serves the practitioners. Progress will come when multiple approaches are used. Additional approaches which hold promise for research on rural education include ethnomethodology, case studies, anthropological field method, and policy research. Of all the methods mentioned above, policy research is the most desirable and could have the most impact, for it chooses from among conflicting means for the public good. Dealing directly with the issues confronting the decision makers and supplying timely, appropriate information, geared to various alternatives, appears to be the best approach for research on rural education. (AN)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Epistemic Research; Prescriptive Research; Qualitative Analysis; Quantitative Analysis
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Educational Research Association (Los Angeles, CA, April 17, 1981).