Qualitative Research in Education: An Example from Greek Literature
Georgios Moutsinas, European University Cyprus (Cyprus)
Despite their consolidation amidst the methodological approaches of contemporary educational reality, reluctance has been expressed regarding the capacities of qualitative, versus quantitative research methods. Therefore, this paper discusses issues of qualitative research methodology in education through the critical review of a corresponding Greek study. At first, the specific research problem to be qualitatively investigated is illustrated. Subsequently, the strong and the weak authors’ methodological choices are analyzed and discussed, along with the reviewed study’s validity, reliability, and ethical standards. Lastly, recommending alternative solutions to the indicated methodological weaknesses, the contribution of qualitative research designs and of their particular characteristics to the exploration of the case-by-case social and educational matters, is deduced. In particular, qualitative research designs constitute a legitimate research tool for the approach of broad social and educational issues, not as alternates to quantitative methods, but sufficing the explicit theoretical parameters of each matter under debate. With this in mind, and complying with their specific methodological guidelines, qualitative studies, such as the one reviewed in the present paper, allow for the better understanding of micro-sociological educational processes that have corresponding macro-sociological implications.