The Drive towards Application of Pragmatic Perspective in Educational Research: Opportunities and Challenges

John Fungulupembe Kalolo


With increased attention to the importance of educational research theories and practice in recent years, a concern has arisen about the methodological and theoretical conflicts in research. Far seen is a proliferation of other types of research theories (such as positivist, constructivist, and critical theory) and other methodologies (such as mixed methods), all of which involve research disagreements. This situation not only reduces the efficiency of each methodology and theory in the development of knowledge, but also presents a challenge in selecting the most appropriate methodology for a particular research. As such, the need has therefore been to have a research paradigm that can accommodate a variety of research methodologies and use them to achieve a deeper level of understanding about a particular phenomenon. This paper proposes an intermediary perspective (that is, pragmatism) for integrating different research methodologies even when their strengths and emphases differ substantially. The increasing demand for a pragmatic perspective in educational research is based on the idea that: Pragmatism is better equipped than any other approach because of its power of complementarity whereby the weakness of one methodology is complemented by the strengths of the other methodology; pragmatism is a foundation of mixed methods; it can be easily adopted to yield better research outcomes; and it is based on the need to enrich the research data produced. Although a number of challenges to using this perspective remain, the potential insights generated by its strengths in educational research are substantial.

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Journal of Studies in Education ISSN 2162-6952


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