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Assess the strengths and limitations of using questionnaires to investigate how cultural and material factors affect educational attainment.

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Introduction

A.L. Assess the strengths and limitations of using questionnaires to investigate how cultural and material factors affect educational attainment. A questionnaire is a set list of questions. Positivists see questionnaires as useful because they produce statistical data which correlations and cause and effect relationships can be drawn. Positivists in particular see questionnaires because they produce statistical data from which correlations and cause and effects relationships can be drawn. Advantages of using questionnaires are very useful for getting large quantities of basic educational information quickly and cheaply. The pupils are geographically scattered group. It is easier to research a large sample size of pupils. This can easily be done by posting the questionnaires to them. Positivists see this as useful because they want to be able to make generalisation by using a representative group. ...read more.

Middle

Also, questionnaires are particularly useful for testing hypothesis about cause and effect relationships between different variables. For instance, analysis of respondent's answers could show whether there is a correlation between children's attainment and adequate housing and income. We might find, for example, pupils who lac material necessities such as adequate and housing and income tend to be low achievers. From this analysis we can make statements about the possible causes of low achievement and predictions about which children are most likely to under achieve. Because questionnaires enable us to identify the possible causes, they are favoured by positivist as they see to discover laws of cause and effect. A disadvantage would be the researcher might be culturally biased. ...read more.

Conclusion

For example, respondents may lie. In this case, the researcher might ask questions about the pupils values of their children?s' education. Some would give 'respectable' answers they feel ought to give rather than the truth. So, this will eventually produce inaccurate data. In conclusion, using questionnaires on investigating cultural and material factors on educational attainment is useful method because it provides a reliable data. That is, if repeated by another researcher, a questionnaire should give similar results to those gained by the researcher. On the other hand, using questionnaire can be a disadvantage because the respondent may lie and so it will affect the accuracy. Also, Interpretivist would reject the use of questionnaires because they impose the researcher?s framework of ideas of the respondents. Questionnaires fail to achieve the main interepretivist goal of validity. Thus, interpretivist would prefer a method that would produce valid date e.g. unstructured interview. ...read more.

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