ERIC Number: ED275759
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Apr
Differences That Make a Difference: The Artistic versus the Scientific Approach to Qualitative Research.
Thornton, Stephen J.
This paper serves two purposes: (1) it outlines some of the conflicting characterizations of the differences among scientific and artistic approaches to qualitative research; and (2) it provides some illustrations from conceptual and empirical research to demonstrate that these are indeed differences that matter. The following four ways in which artistic and scientific approaches are different are discussed: (1) the language of disclosure in an artistic study is one where form and content are complementary, whereas in social science the language is value-free and dispassionate; (2) goals of scientific research are to advance scientific information, while in an artistic inquiry the goal is to improve educational practices; (3) the perspective in artistic research is normative and descriptive, while scientific studies focus on appraisal; (4) ethical difficulties, which are unlikely to occur in scientific approaches, are encountered often in artistic practices. The conclusions are made that artistic and scientific approaches serve somewhat different purposes and provide various perspectives and that artistic approaches are an important complement to the existing ways of seeing the educational world. (JAZ)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (67th, San Francisco, CA, April 16-20, 1986).