Generalizing from Qualitative Research: A Reconceptualization Based on Vocational Learning Examples

Guenther, John and Falk, Ian H. (2019) Generalizing from Qualitative Research: A Reconceptualization Based on Vocational Learning Examples. Handbook of Vocational Education and Training: Developments in the Changing World of Work. pp. 1-19.

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The field of research on “generalizing from qualitative research” (for convenience
now referred to as GQR) is quite recent. It stems from an era which could be
characterized as the “discourse of self-justification” when disclaimers about not
generalizing from qualitative research were considered mandatory. Within this
discourse of self-justification, there was always – small at first – some acceptance
that generalization is possible and occurs. So from within the self-justification,
there was also a strand that said “But maybe, just maybe we do? Or we can?”. Our
point here is to review the recent field of research and then step back and look at
“generalization” in general in its historical sense and follow how generalization,
in any form, was always used – in fact it was/is mandatory for survival and
became essential as a process in the statistical and scientific communities. To
illustrate the processes of generalization in a contemporary applied vocational
learning context, we provide two case studies – one from Australia and the other
from Indonesia. To conclude, we will revisit GQR in the light of this vocational
learning context in order to conceptualize GQR processes without the constraints
of definitions based on narrowly proscribed paradigms which limit truth and
reality to what can be measured or counted.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Generalization, Qualitative research, Vocational learning, Normative truth, Evidence, Theory
Field of Research (2008): 13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130108 Technical, Further and Workplace Education
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education
16 Studies in Human Society > 1607 Social Work > 160703 Social Program Evaluation
16 Studies in Human Society > 1608 Sociology > 160807 Sociological Methodology and Research Methods
16 Studies in Human Society > 1699 Other Studies in Human Society > 169902 Studies of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Society
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Research Collaboration Area: Education
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2020 02:19
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2022 03:25

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