Paradigm wars in educational research


The presence of several approaches to social and educational research, precisely those called quantitative & qualitative, has a long history; sometimes it becames a so strong confrontation, that in the decade of 1980 it deserved to be labelled paradigm wars.

The main thesis of this article is that the philosophical ground of the most radical positions in these arguments is very weak, with some basic confusions in ontological, epistemological and axiological matters, besides the strictly methodological ones. This work aims to clarify those issues, and to show that there is solid ground for a large consensus in the methodological dimension.

Key words: Epistemological Paradigms, Educational Research, Quantitative, Qualitative

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