The SAGE Handbook for Research in Education stimulates and encourages students, faculty, and educational practitioners, including individuals in education, government, and the private sector who conduct applied and policy-oriented educational research, to place the pursuit of ideas at the epicentre of their research-from framing meaningful problems to identifying and addressing key challenges to the reporting and dissemination of their findings.

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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