White Rose University Consortium logo
University of Leeds logo University of Sheffield logo York University logo

Is there a shortage of quantitative work in education research?

Gorard, S., Rushforth, K. and Taylor, C. (2004) Is there a shortage of quantitative work in education research? Oxford Review of Education, 30 (3). pp. 371-395. ISSN 0305-4985

Full text not available from this repository.


This paper considers the range of research methods used by the UK education research community. Using insights from 25 interviews with key stakeholders it describes their views on the current strengths and weaknesses in methods, and of what methodological developments are needed for future improvement in this field. Using survey returns from 521 active researchers, the paper goes on to describe the techniques that are available for use, and those where further 'training' or experience is required. Using the 8,691 individual RAE returns to education, the paper then summarises the methods reported to be in actual use. Finally, it uses a brief analysis of journal contents as triangulating evidence.Our informants were generally in agreement that there is currently a widespread weakness in the quality of UK education research. Much of this weakness is attributed by them to a shortage of skills in 'quantitative' methods. Our other data sources suggest that the latter is less likely than the informants believe. A clear majority of education researchers report having used some quantitative methods, and the substantial number of publications involving quantitative methods supports this view. It is, perhaps, rather the type and quality of both quantitative and qualitative research along with unreasonable expectations by its users that leads to the poor public image of education research. Improvement is not going to come simply by enlarging the group of people using quantitative methods.

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of York
Academic Units: The University of York > Education (York)
Depositing User: York RAE Import
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2009 11:41
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2009 11:41
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0305498042000260494
Status: Published
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Identification Number: 10.1080/0305498042000260494
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/7154

Actions (repository staff only: login required)