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Approaching Rigor in Applied Qualitative Research
Approaching rigor in applied qualitative research

In quantitative research, standards related to validity, reliability, generalizability, and objectivity are well established. Recent federal policy has embraced these standards, establishing guidelines for funding research about education based on the application by researchers of “scientific” principles that guide inquiry in the basic sciences. The U.S. Department of Education now essentially mandates experimental approaches and quantitative methods. These are based on the assumptions that researchers can develop and apply perfect instruments in wholly objective ways, can generalize from samples to broader populations, and should focus on replication of earlier work. Many researchers working in qualitative traditions have responded in two ways. As an initial matter, they have reminded themselves (and, I hope, others) that ...

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