Can Findings of Qualitative Research in Education be Generalized?

Can Findings of Qualitative Research in Education be Generalized? Most qualitative researchers do not recommend generalization from qualitative studies, as this research is not based on random samples and statistical controls. The objective of this study is to explore the degree to which in-service teachers understand the controversial aspects of generalization in both qualitative and quantitative educational research and as to how this can facilitate problems faced by the teachers in the classroom. The study is based on 83 participants who had registered for a 10-week course on ‘Methodology of Investigation in Education’ as part of their Master’s degree program. The course is based on 11 readings drawing on a philosophy of science perspective (positivism, constructivism, Popper, Kuhn, Lakatos). Course activities included written reports, class room discussions based on participants’ presentations, and written exams. Based on the results obtained it is concluded: (1) almost 91% of the teachers agreed that external generalization in a different social context is feasible; (2) almost 63% of the participants used a fairly inconsistent approach, that is in a theoretical context agreed that qualitative research cannot be generalized and still when asked with respect to the experience of two particular teachers, agreed that generalization was possible; (3) almost 28% of the participants used a consistent approach. Some of the reasons provided by the participants as to why generalization was feasible are discussed. An analogy is drawn with respect to Piaget’s methodology, viz., it was not based on random samples or statistical treatments and still his oeuvre has been generalized (criticisms not withstanding) in both the psychology and educational literature. Quality & Quantity Springer Journals

Can Findings of Qualitative Research in Education be Generalized?

Loading next page...
Kluwer Academic Publishers
Copyright © 2006 by Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.
Social Sciences; Methodology of the Social Sciences; Social Sciences, general
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site


You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.

DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 12 million articles from more than
10,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Unlimited reading

Read as many articles as you need. Full articles with original layout, charts and figures. Read online, from anywhere.

Stay up to date

Keep up with your field with Personalized Recommendations and Follow Journals to get automatic updates.

Organize your research

It’s easy to organize your research with our built-in tools.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

Monthly Plan

  • Read unlimited articles
  • Personalized recommendations
  • No expiration
  • Print 20 pages per month
  • 20% off on PDF purchases
  • Organize your research
  • Get updates on your journals and topic searches


Start Free Trial

14-day Free Trial

Best Deal — 39% off

Annual Plan

  • All the features of the Professional Plan, but for 39% off!
  • Billed annually
  • No expiration
  • For the normal price of 10 articles elsewhere, you get one full year of unlimited access to articles.



billed annually
Start Free Trial

14-day Free Trial