The significant contribution and relevance of Comparative and International Education (CIE) mainly depends on how closely it studies the interplay between society and…
The significant contribution and relevance of Comparative and International Education (CIE) mainly depends on how closely it studies the interplay between society and education, considering what is dubbed as the global and the local. Many CIE studies including critical reviews seems to dwell on the topic, purpose, conceptual, and methodological aspects of the field, magnifying what appears to be the global. Our understanding of the role particular sociocultural, economic, and political contexts play in education seems inconclusive. Using appropriate analytical frameworks that delineate society–education dynamics, this study further problematizes the comparative and international elements of CIE area studies, with a focus on context analysis. The critical review considers area studies published over the last seven years in leading CIE journals and answers this question: How and to what extent do CIE area studies operationalize context analysis? The aim is not so much to bring consensus but to further highlight tensions and issues in conducting context-sensitive comparative and international education studies. The findings indicate that CIE research over the last seven years does not seem to live up to the expectation of producing meaningfully contextualized knowledge. The role of context analysis in CIE research seems ill defined and practiced. Alternative explanations for this and considerations for further scholarship are discussed.
Civics, as a topic of study, prompts the adoption of research techniques that can be used on any range of topics. However, the techniques chosen also have to take into…
Civics, as a topic of study, prompts the adoption of research techniques that can be used on any range of topics. However, the techniques chosen also have to take into account the fact that civics, as a curricular subject, and unlike mathematics or even science, is hard to define. It was this consideration that pushed the Civic Education Study steering committee into adopting research methods and perspectives more commonly found within the broad and amorphous area of “qualitative research.” In doing so, they organized a type of study that offers a model for future studies of international achievement.In this regard, the results of the TIMSS case study and video project point to the likelihood that future such studies will require more complex research approaches than previously used. Even though the presence of “authoritative intended” curricula for subjects like mathematics and science seemingly “serve as reasonable starting points” for research in these fields, a growing number of studies suggests that cultural considerations also need to be taken into account (see, for example, Lee, Graham & Stevenson, 1996; Tsuchida & Lewis, 1996; Stigler, Fernandez & Yoshida, 1996). As international studies of achievement grow more complex, and the methods used to collect and analyze data more refined, the impact of various cultural domains (school culture, regional cultural and/or national culture) will play an increasingly important role in the entire research process. To fully understand how achievement is contextualized in a given nation requires not only sets of complex data but also a range of analytical methods that draw out conflicting views, contested areas and shared beliefs.The last decade has seen the continued call for more culturally sensitive (appropriate) analysis and interpretation of international educational data, particularly achievement data. There has been a growing expectation that researchers who use such data sets will be either experts in or have access to expert advice in the nations selected for comparison. However, this trend alone will not affect the basic collection of the data. If there is to be a significant change in the type of data collected — a change that will allow far more sophisticated qualitative analysis to be conducted — then qualitative data collection and analysis cannot be simply relegated to the “descriptive” mode. Both the Civic Education Study and TIMSS have demonstrated that rich qualitative data, analyzed using methods derived from current qualitative educational research, can have dramatic effects on the orientation of the research process.The use to which data gathered by TIMSS have been put also offers insights for future projects. One alarming trend has been the tendency for media and policy groups to use TIMSS's qualitative data as evidence of the “real” conditions in a given country. This is particularly true of the video study conducted by Stigler. Demonstration clips of the videos have been widely shown on the implicit assumption that educators and policy-makers can directly use this type of “data” even when it has not been “interpreted” by scholars. While the aim of creating straightforward data free of disciplinary jargon is a good one, qualitative data are perhaps more easily misinterpreted than quantitative data. The impact of a five-minute video clip or an evocative quote from an interview transcript cannot be denied, but this impact may be misleading. All data, qualitative or quantitative, are representations of reality. Experienced ethnographers know that five minutes after the camera or tape-recorder is turned off, drastically different events may occur or conflicting statements may be made. The presentation of qualitative data, then, must be carefully framed within an explicit outline of the methods used to collect and analyze it.The greatest danger lies in assuming that all that can be done with qualitative data is to provide the cultural “context” for quantitative analyses. Unfortunately, this did occur with TIMSS. In contrast, the Civic Education Study researchers used the hypothesis-generating function of the qualitative work to challenge original hypotheses and to dramatically re-cast the project. This continued use of reflective analysis changed the Civic Education Study from a more traditional “input-output” study to one that was indeed truly process oriented. Moreover, because the Civic Education case studies were conducted well in advance of the survey and testing aspects, the Civic Education Study researchers were able to capitalize on the qualitative data in a way that the TIMSS researchers could not.Comparative education scholars have long been aware of the different cultural values attached to school, learning and teaching in different nations or among different groups within a given nation. However, recent international achievement studies have rarely attempted to analyze systematically the cultural components of achievement. Over 30 years ago, Jones (1971) hailed the first International Mathematics Study (FIMS), but nevertheless stressed that “because comparative education is concerned with cross-national or cross-cultural variability, one of its tasks ought to be the advancing of hypotheses which can be tested in either established or novel ways” (p. 153). The ethnographic case studies of the Civic Education Study offer established ways to use qualitative data to generate and test hypotheses. These approaches have been used for at least two decades in some areas of qualitative studies, but they present, for the field of comparative education, novel ways to think about the problems of comparison.The politically contested nature of civic education prompted the Civic Education Study's NPRs and steering committee to alter significantly the research process that has traditionally been applied to cross-national studies of achievement. Topics like democracy and citizenship evoke very different associations in different countries, and even between various groups within a given nation, a fact that fortunately clarifies rather than obscures the impact of culture on curriculum, teaching and expectations for competence. The experience of the civic education researchers suggests that the use of qualitative data for hypothesis generation and the use of a reflective research process that links qualitative and quantitative data have significant promise for the study of achievement in any subject. In addition, continued recourse to highly integrated studies that utilize a range of research methodologies promises to bring comparative studies of achievement to a new and higher level of usefulness.The Civic Education researchers incorporated a range of qualitative techniques, innovative uses of technology, and extensive literature reviews, and were highly sensitive to the impact of methodological decisions on the kinds of data collected and the interpretations arrived at. Despite the tremendous amount of material reviewed and summarized, as well as the incredible cultural, social and political diversity represented by the participating nations, the work of these researchers not only is providing crucial insights into the actualization of qualitative methods on a large scale but also is offering “comparativists” and “qualitative researchers” alike a wealth of information.
This paper aims to describe how a fuzzy qualitative comparative analysis can be used to describe which combinations of academic factors are most influential for achieving…
This paper aims to describe how a fuzzy qualitative comparative analysis can be used to describe which combinations of academic factors are most influential for achieving success in college‐level mathematics. Using a fuzzy qualitative comparative analysis allows for the comparison of all possible combinations for a collection of predictor variables, as well as strategies for determining which configurations of these sets of variables are the most consistent with success in college‐level mathematics. Recent advances in fuzzy qualitative comparative analysis techniques have now integrated traditional qualitative comparative analysis strategies with formal statistical tests, thus allowing for the analysis and comparison of complex relationships that are difficult to describe with more traditional statistical methods such as regression analysis.
Data were collected from 259 full‐time, first‐time freshmen at a large state university in the USA. They were analysed using fuzzy‐set qualitative comparative analysis (FQCA).
Findings from this study suggest that the most parsimonious configuration of college remediation status, spending less time away from mathematics, and doing better in high school mathematics are key to success in college‐level mathematics.
Although numerous studies have made great progress in describing the complex relationship between prior mathematics exposure in high school with success in college‐level mathematics, one limitation of many studies is that they rely on analytic methods that only estimate the net effect of a single predictor variable, or a very small collection of predictor variables. This study utilises fuzzy‐set qualitative comparative analysis (FQCA) which can be used to analyze more complex interrelationships among a collection of predictor variables.
Research in entrepreneurship is increasingly exploring how archetypes, taxonomies, typologies, and configurations can help scholars understand complex entrepreneurial…
Research in entrepreneurship is increasingly exploring how archetypes, taxonomies, typologies, and configurations can help scholars understand complex entrepreneurial phenomena. We illustrate the potential for set-theoretic methods to inform this literature by offering best practices regarding how qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) can be used to explore research questions of interest to entrepreneurship scholars. Specifically, we introduce QCA, document how this approach has been used in management research, and provide step-by-step guidance to empower scholars to use this family of methods. We put a particular emphasis on the analytical procedures and offer solutions to dealing with potential pitfalls when using QCA-based methods and highlight opportunities for future entrepreneurship research.
The aim of this chapter is to introduce a methodology that enables researchers to employ a set of systematic comparative tools and techniques in their multiple case study…
The aim of this chapter is to introduce a methodology that enables researchers to employ a set of systematic comparative tools and techniques in their multiple case study research that allow them to move from drawing loose comparisons towards a more formalised type of analysis, while simultaneously paying attention to within-case complexities. This methodology stands between the qualitative and the quantitative methods and helps researchers to build middle-range theories (Mjoset, 2001) from small to intermediate numbers of cases. This methodology encompasses a number of techniques including crisp and fuzzy set-theoretic qualitative comparative analyses, which have been used in a wide range of social science disciplines. However, these techniques have not received sufficient attention from higher education scholars.
Shalev's (2007) critique of the use of multiple regression in comparative research brings together and synthesizes a variety of previous critiques, ranging from those focusing on foundational issues (e.g., the persistent problem of limited diversity), to estimation issues (e.g., the unrealistic assumption of correct model specification), to narrow technical issues (e.g., the difficulty of deriving valid standard errors for regression coefficients in pooled cross-sectional time-series models). Broadly speaking, these concerns can be described as epistemological, theoretical, and methodological, respectively. While the distinctions among these three are not always clear-cut, the tripartite scheme provides a useful way to map the different kinds of critiques that may be directed at the use of regression analysis in comparative research. In the first half of this essay we build upon Shalev's discussion to clarify the conditions under which regression analysis may be epistemologically, theoretically, or methodologically inappropriate for comparative research. Our goal is to situate Shalev's specific critiques of the use of multiple regression in comparative work within the context of social research in general.
The purpose of this paper is to provide insightful evidence of phenomena in organization and management theory. Textual data sets consist of two different elements, namely…
The purpose of this paper is to provide insightful evidence of phenomena in organization and management theory. Textual data sets consist of two different elements, namely qualitative and quantitative aspects. Researchers often combine methods to harness both aspects. However, they frequently do this in a comparative, convergent, or sequential way.
The paper illustrates and discusses a hybrid textual data analysis approach employing the qualitative software application GABEK-WinRelan in a case study of an Austrian retail bank.
The paper argues that a hybrid analysis method, fully intertwining qualitative and quantitative analysis simultaneously on the same textual data set, can deliver new insight into more facets of a data set.
A hybrid approach is not a universally applicable solution to approaching research and management problems. Rather, this paper aims at triggering and intensifying scientific discussion about stronger integration of qualitative and quantitative data and analysis methods in management research.
The difficulties that MR poses for comparativists were anticipated 40 years ago in Sidney Verba's essay “Some Dilemmas of Comparative Research”, in which he called for a…
The difficulties that MR poses for comparativists were anticipated 40 years ago in Sidney Verba's essay “Some Dilemmas of Comparative Research”, in which he called for a “disciplined configurative approach…based on general rules, but on complicated combinations of them” (Verba, 1967, p. 115). Charles Ragin's (1987) book The Comparative Method eloquently spelled out the mismatch between MR and causal explanation in comparative research. At the most basic level, like most other methods of multivariate statistical analysis MR works by rendering the cases invisible, treating them simply as the source of a set of empirical observations on dependent and independent variables. However, even when scholars embrace the analytical purpose of generalizing about relationships between variables, as opposed to dwelling on specific differences between entities with proper names, the cases of interest in comparative political economy are limited in number and occupy a bounded universe.2 They are thus both knowable and manageable. Consequently, retaining named cases in the analysis is an efficient way of conveying information and letting readers evaluate it.3 Moreover, in practice most producers and consumers of comparative political economy are intrinsically interested in specific cases. Why not cater to this interest by keeping our cases visible?
Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA), initiated by Charles C. Ragin, is a research strategy with distinctive added value for organization studies. QCA constitutes in…
Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA), initiated by Charles C. Ragin, is a research strategy with distinctive added value for organization studies. QCA constitutes in essence two configurational approaches, each grounded in set theory. One approach uses crisp-sets (dichotomous variables) to analyze cases. The other approach uses fuzzy-sets. While the use of fuzzy-sets has been increasing over the last few years, the crisp-set (csQCA) approach is still used in a majority of empirical applications. This chapter discusses in-depth the application of csQCA in organization studies. This chapter starts with a stylized presentation of two dominant research strategies, case-based research and variable-based research, and how csQCA relates to them. Subsequently, csQCA is further introduced and the different applications in organization studies are discussed. This section ends with a brief step-wise “how to” presentation. The chapter then turns to a presentation of the main distinctive strengths of the approach. In the final part, the chapter discusses extensively the main criticisms which have been raised with regard to (cs)QCA and draws out some of the main implications of this discussion.