I read an article yesterday called “Getting to the Bottom of the Well: The Value of Qualitative Research into Teaching and Learning”. (You can access it HERE.) I thought this was aptly named since often, when I’m working on my research, I feel as if I’m stuck in the bottom of a deep, dark well.
But this, unsurprisingly, isn’t what the author is writing about. It’s actually about qualitative and quantitative research and how they need not be seen as contrasting opposites. She writes about the affinities between the two, and as I am a formerly tie-dye wearing BA student, one of her points really interested me:
“… science is indebted to the philosophical critique of theocracy for its repudiation of a settled God given world for a universe of puzzles to be solved through human inquiry.” (Cousin, 2013: 131)
Isn’t that cool? As I understand it, it means that that some crazy thinking on the part of philosophers laid the foundation all the scientific discoveries that have followed. Reconceptualising the nature of the universe created spaces for the most amazing discoveries about nature and science and bird migration, and desalination, and gravity, and so on.
I like this idea so much because it gives a big up to the dreamers who, in all their tie-dye splendour, dare to think of the world in a different way. They may not be scientists in labs with clipboards, but their ideas can fundamentally reshape the way we think about the world. That’s pretty sexy, me’thinks.