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1. Why Does Sociology Need Numbers?
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about the use of numbers in social research, focusing particularly on: (i) the importance of numerical data in identifying patterns of stratification and differentiation, both in education and in society more broadly; (ii) the distinction between qualitative and quantitative in social research, and whether this binary is helpful; (iii) some important factors to consider when evaluating the quality of research, whether “qualitative” or “quantitative”.
In this course, Professor Stephen Gorard (Durham University) explores the use of numerical data in education research. In the first module, we think about why numbers are important in sociology and whether the distinction between qualitative and quantitative research is useful. In the second and third modules, we look at two ways in which numerical data is used – comparing frequencies and identifying differences between groups – with examples from education research. In the fourth module, we examine the concepts of correlation and causation by exploring the relationship between Free School Meal eligibility and attainment in school exams. In the final module, we put these different methods together to discuss more broadly the unfairness of life chances.
Professor Stephen Gorard is Professor of Education and Public Policy and Director of the Evidence Centre for Education at Durham University. He has written very widely on educational inequalities, education policy, and research methods. His recent publications include How to Make Sense of Statistics (2021), How Can We Get Educators to Use Research Evidence? (2019, co-author), and Education Policy: Evidence of Equity and Effectiveness (2018).
Cite this Lecture
Gorard, S. (2021, September 30). Quantitative Methods in Education Research - Why Does Sociology Need Numbers? [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/quantitative-methods-in-education-research/why-does-sociology-need-numbers
Gorard, S. "Quantitative Methods in Education Research – Why Does Sociology Need Numbers?." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 30 Sep 2021, https://www.massolit.io/courses/quantitative-methods-in-education-research/why-does-sociology-need-numbers