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Resolving the Quantitative-Qualitative Dilemma: A Critical Realist Approach

By David Scott


The philosophical issues underpinning the quantitative–qualitative divide in educational research are examined. Three types of argument which support a resolution are considered: pragmatism, false duality and warranty through triangulation. In addition a number of proposed strategies—alignment, sequencing, translation and triangulation—are critically assessed. The article concludes by suggesting that many of these ways of reconciling quantitative and qualitative methods and approaches are still deficient in relation to the development of an overarching and correct view of ontological and epistemological matters, and that critical realism offers a more coherent solution, where the reconciliation occurs at the ontological level

Year: 2007
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