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ERIC Number: ED362202
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Jan
Pages: 29
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Qualitative Research? Quantitative Research? What's the Problem? Resolving the Dilemma via a Postconstructivist Approach.
Shank, Gary
It is argued that the debate between qualitative and quantitative research for educational researchers is actually an argument between constructivism and positivism. Positivism has been the basis for most quantitative research in education. Two different things are actually meant when constructivism is discussed (constructivism and postconstructivism), making the reconciliation between constructivism and positivism nearly impossible. Constructivism holds that learning is a process of building up structures of experience. It is grounded in the works of Richard Rorty, Nelson Goodman, and Paul Feyerabend, whose philosophies are reviewed. As articulated in educational research, constructivism is a species of pragmatism. The second approach to constructivism, styled postconstructivism, is a model based on a split with the pragmatism with which constructivism is linked. The postconstructivist model says that we do not construct reality, because it is so rich and significant that all we need to do is "read" it. The postconstructivist alternative is to accept that we cannot impose our wills freely on reality, but that we are not slaves to some configuration of reality. Research into educational technology can advance when constructivism gives up the notion that the order it seeks is simply imposed by the subjectivity of the inquirer. (Contains 43 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A