Title

From Teaching Quantitative Methods to Learning Qualitative Methods of Research: Experiences of Shifting Mind-Sets

Location

1052

Format Type

Paper

Format Type

Paper

Start Date

12-1-2017 1:15 PM

End Date

12-1-2017 3:05 PM

Abstract

Social science departments across the United States offer courses on various research methodologies. In the research world, the two general approaches to gathering and reporting information include quantitative and qualitative approaches. While quantitative research aims to explain or attribute causation to objectively defined variables, qualitative research aims to build an understanding of phenomena (McCusker & Gunaydin, 2015; Neill, 2005). As graduate students in our master’s programs, we trained and excelled in quantitative research classes, which produced opportunities for us to be teaching assistants for quantitative methods courses. Having immersed ourselves in quantitative methods, the greatest obstacle to our learning qualitative methods in our doctoral studies was our own quantitative habits of mind. This paper aims to increase understanding of students’ shifts from a quantitative to qualitative mind-set, through an examination of our experiences as graduate students who shifted from teaching quantitative methods to learning and implementing qualitative methods of research. We found that our quantitative knowledge acted as a primer for understanding research as a structured process; and although the shift from a more confining to more rich process was complicated, we now possess a more comprehensive and complex research mind-set.

Comments

Thank you for the revision suggestions! We got the abstract to under 200 words and also included findings as suggested. Please let us know of any other revisions needed.

Thank you,

Katherine and John Kainer

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Jan 12th, 1:15 PM Jan 12th, 3:05 PM

From Teaching Quantitative Methods to Learning Qualitative Methods of Research: Experiences of Shifting Mind-Sets

1052

Social science departments across the United States offer courses on various research methodologies. In the research world, the two general approaches to gathering and reporting information include quantitative and qualitative approaches. While quantitative research aims to explain or attribute causation to objectively defined variables, qualitative research aims to build an understanding of phenomena (McCusker & Gunaydin, 2015; Neill, 2005). As graduate students in our master’s programs, we trained and excelled in quantitative research classes, which produced opportunities for us to be teaching assistants for quantitative methods courses. Having immersed ourselves in quantitative methods, the greatest obstacle to our learning qualitative methods in our doctoral studies was our own quantitative habits of mind. This paper aims to increase understanding of students’ shifts from a quantitative to qualitative mind-set, through an examination of our experiences as graduate students who shifted from teaching quantitative methods to learning and implementing qualitative methods of research. We found that our quantitative knowledge acted as a primer for understanding research as a structured process; and although the shift from a more confining to more rich process was complicated, we now possess a more comprehensive and complex research mind-set.