Paradigmatic diversity and Research in Education

Categories: Mixed


Research in education requires a unity to face paradigmatic diversity.

According to García Ferrando (1978), from its origins, social science has been a

multiparadigmatic science, hence, education, being part of social sciences, it is obvious that

the phenomena to analyse have such a complexity, that it would be impossible to grasp and

explain them using just one method..

A researcher of education cannot avoid the complexity associated with his/her object of study..

Advantages of a paradigmatic or mixed focus

Shulman, L. (1997) Stanford University, proposes that the best research program in areas of

education will be that which makes use of a variety of investigative methods applied to the problem

raised by the research

Other prominent social researchers, such as Alan Bryman (Quantity and Quality in

Social Research, quoted by Bericat, E. 1998) and Norman Denzin , amongst others, also support

integration of diverse research methods in order to design practical, combined stategies to take

adevantage of the combined strengths of the different methods within the framework of work division.

Through integration one deals precisely with integrating one paradigm with another, with the aim of
strengthening validity by compensating for the weaknesses of one through the incorporation of

information coming from the other method, used precisely for its strength.

.Validation of a multiparadigmatic study

A very important element in carrying out an investigation when using mixed methods,

is validating the results of said investigation.

An ideal mechanism for doing so is to triangulate the information, this is to say finding

different sources in order to obtain the greatest and most precise information possible

about the investigation in question,

It is proposed therefore, that the use of elements of both qualitative and quantitative paradigms,

will only contribute to better results in education research.

Robert Gene (quoted by Bell, J. – 1999) compares the work of a researcher with that of a
detective; in the way that finding the guilty party, in this case the answer to the problem of the research,

all possible means must be utilised.