Educational research is a wide-ranging field. The most common categorizations of research are quantitative and qualitative research. Both share the goal of increasing our understanding of educational policy, practices, and persons by engaging in systematic inquiry. Beyond this global statement, there are significant differences.

Three conventional notions about research are that methods of gathering, analyzing, and reporting data are equated with defining research; that research looks the same in all instances; and that research requires using numbers. These overly simplistic notions influence people to regard qualitative research as not being “true” research because the methods look different, are changeable, are situation specific, and rarely use numbers.

Differences between Qualitative and Quantitative Research

Qualitative research, like quantitative research, its better known relative, has its own defining characteristics. Each genre ...

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