On the differences between scientific and artistic approaches to qualitative research
My intention in this paper is to identify 10 dimensions in which artistic and scientific approaches to qualitative research differ.
The term qualitative research does not have a long history in the field of education and in many ways it not only hides the important distinctions which need to be made, but it is, itself, misleading. The major distinction we seek is not between qualitative and nonqualitative forms of research since all empirical research must of necessity pay attention to qualities, but between what is studied in a scientific mode and what is studied artistically. There can be no empirical research, that form of research that addresses problems in a material universe, that does not aim to describe, interpret, predict, or control qualities. The major distinction to be made in the conduct of research is not located in the phenomenon of study but in the mode in which that study occurs. The difference that counts is between what is studied artistically and what is studied scientifically. These differences are the ones to which this paper is addressed.