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ERIC Number: ED246123
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Numbers and Words: Combining Quantitative and Qualitative Methods in a Single Large-Scale Study.
Rossman, Gretchen B.; Wilson, Bruce L.
Using qualitative and quantitative methods in a single research project has been the subject of controversy. Purists argue that qualitative and quantitative approaches derive from different, mutually exclusive epistemologic and ontologic assumptions, and cannot be combined. Situationalists focus on methodology and assume that data collection and types of evidence flow logically from a particular methodology. Although both approaches may be used in a single study, quantitative and qualitative data cannot be combined. Pragmatists argue for the integration of methods in a single study. The authors agree with the pragmatic view, and further argue that both methods can be used fruitfully for corroboration, elaboration, or initiation, and that neither necessarily takes precedence over the other. To illustrate this point, specific examples of the contributions of qualitative and quantitative methods to corroboration, elaboration, and initiation are presented. They are taken from a large scale, three-year study of regional educational service agencies. The data collection methods included surveys as sources of quantitative data and open-ended interviews and reviews of documents as the primary sources of qualitative information. (BW)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Research for Better Schools, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.
Identifiers: Qualitative Research; Quantitative Research; Triangulation
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (68th, New Orleans, LA, April 23-27, 1984).