[NLA] research: long and technical
George E. Demetrion
sophocles5 at juno.com
Mon Jun 24 12:10:18 EDT 2002
Andrea, Eileen, others:
Andrea, what you're suggesting here in terms of possibly correlating the
traditionally more positivistic concepts of "reliability" and "validity"
with the ethnographic concept of "thick description" could be quite
illuminating, though that would be a stretching of those categories well
beyond their traditional meanings.
Also, I would want to factor in those many naturalistic dimensions of
inquiry that Eileen has so nicely detailed. Those working out of the
qualitative tradition point to the significance of coherence rather than
strict correlatability (is that a word?) in linking evidence with
interpretation, what Nicholas Rescher (2001. Philosophical Reasoning: A
Study in the Methodology of Philosophizing, refers to as "coherence with
Still, when these various research traditions (positivistic versus
naturalistic) are pushed, a significant issue remains, which paradigm
pertains as the underlying source of legitimacy.
Whether such a polarity *has* to drive the field is another matter,
though it's difficult to separate the scholarship from the politics of
literacy in which it is embedded. Nonetheless, what you're suggesting
here, a certain bi-lingiualism of research traditions as manifested in
actual studies that in their totality legitimize their findings (as much
by narrative persuasion as by "hard" data), could represent a profound
pragmatism through which to work through some of the knotty problems that
perplex the field. Though I remain extremely suspicious of the
political intent of the Bush-Page Department of Education in their siren
call of "scientifically-based research and their trashing of educational
research that is not based on the hard sciences.
sophocles5 at juno.com
On Sun, 23 Jun 2002 21:30:44 EDT AWilder106 at aol.com writes:
>For heaven's sake, before you trash what I say and toss it in the
>dustbin, please read my latest email. I describe there "valid and
>research! Your criteria match, as far as I can tell, the procedures
>in the two research studies. "Validity and reliability" has MANY
>depending on the type of research design. "Thick description" is a
>taken from Christopher Geertz. His "The Balinese Cockfight" is often
>as a model for thick description. You might look at Purcell-Gates
>Read, We See, We Speak" for a superb example of "thick description,"
>example of how validity and reliability are played out in an
>adult literacy. .The book is a virtual roadmap for how to do this
>work, not just the research, but the teaching described.
>I would be interested to know what studies you are citing as examples
>sort of work you admire, that would be very useful for all of us on
>NLA mailing list: NLA at lists.literacytent.org
>LiteracyTent: web hosting, news, community and goodies for literacy
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