Qualitative or Quantitative?

There are a number of reasons for conducting research. Doing research contributes to revealing lies or truths, building knowledge and efficient learning, as well as testing the validity and reliability of certain claims. Research becomes a must to uncover the issues unnoticed or hidden by society. And thereby it brings positive alterations into the life of the community.

There exist qualitative and quantitative research methods that aid to achieve the aforementioned goals. Each of them has its own benefits and drawbacks. Hence, it is difficult or even impossible to claim that one method is more valuable than the other. But more importantly, they need to be used in a balanced way so that they can provide a fuller context for the current situation.

Kazakhstan acknowledges the importance of research and, therefore, has devoted increasing attention to its development in all realms of life. As a student who reads a lot of research papers on different topics, I have become convinced that the country concentrates more on carrying out a quantitative research study. Most of the articles I have found contain statistical data. For instance, if we talk specifically about Inclusive education, there are numerous papers which tell about the overall number of children excluded from going to school, or about the amount of finance allocated to train teachers or to improve the conditions of facilities at schools. Consequently, the quantitative research instruments usually provide numerical descriptions that can be generalized to some larger population but are limited in details. Thus, there is a need to apply qualitative research method which would give more detailed and deeper explanations of certain issues happening in the country.

Qualitative research aims to analyze the deeper meaning of people’s behavior, experiences, beliefs, perceptions, feelings, and emotions. This method gives people a certain degree of freedom and confidence and creates the right atmosphere to enable people to express their voice through in-depth interviews, participant observation, and focus groups. That’s why I have chosen to apply the qualitative type of research for my thesis which touches an issue of training pre-service teachers. In my work, I am intending to include teacher educators as participants whose views and beliefs are not taken into consideration in designing policy reforms. By using qualitative research, I can give them more freedom and allow spontaneity rather than make them select from a set of “pre-determined responses”. I believe this investigation will help policymakers, researchers, teachers and me, as a future leader in education, realize the actual reasons of arising problems around the preparation of pre-service teachers.

2 thoughts on “Qualitative or Quantitative?

  1. Aisha, thank you for this informative and reflective post about different approaches to research. I agree that local officials focus mainly on statistical data as quantitative studies appear more convincing by recruiting a bigger number of participants. However, my study also follows the qualitative methodology due to allowing freedom to share the stories of participants in a more meaningful way. Luckily, we have this opportunity at the Master’s level without being forced to conduct statistical overviews. As for the structure of your post, it is very clear and well-written. The only sentence which seems a bit wordy is the example of the quantitative studies you have read. I suggest slightly different word choice:
    In the area of inclusive education, numerous papers cover the overall number of children excluded from schools, funding allocated for teacher training or for improvement of school facilities.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great job, Aisha. I appreciate that you managed to be the first to complete the post and comments on this task. Your post is here thorough and moves rather smoothly from a overview of the role of research in Kazakhstan to your own work. Nicely done!


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