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ERIC Number: ED452110
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Nov-18
Pages: 25
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Positivists, Post-Positivists, Post-Structuralists, and Post-Modernists: Why Can't We All Get Along? Towards a Framework for Unifying Research Paradigms.
Onwuegbuzie, Anthony J.
Since the latter part of the 19th century, a fervent debate has ensued about quantitative and qualitative research paradigms. From these disputes, purists have emerged on both sides. Quantitative purists express assumptions that are consistent with a positivist philosophy, whereas qualitative purists (i.e., post-positivists, post-structuralists, and post-modernists) reject positivism. The major differences that exist between the two sets of purists are at the level of logic of justification. Unfortunately, much of the quantitative-qualitative debate has involved the practice of polemics, which has tended to obfuscate rather to clarify, and to divide rather than to unite educational researchers. This paper provides a historical background of the quantitative-qualitative debate. Moreover, the paper provides evidence that rejects the assertions of purists on both ends of the epistemological continuum. Further, it contends that a false dichotomy exists between the paradigms. The paper calls for researchers to strive for epistemological ecumenicalism by using mixed methodological approaches. It provides a myriad of reasons and purposes for combining research methods and outlines advantages of this pragmatic approach. (Contains 45 references.) (BT)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A