“do you know … …” or “you do not know …” or “你（知）不知道 … …?”
these are epistemological questions. but such philosophical question often appears in our day-to-day encounter. if i/we use the above question in attempt to tell someone that s/he is in the wrong, and the problem and/or consequence that leads on from there, i/we should first ask ourselves:
“did i/we do anything to enable this person to know (what i assumed s/he should know)? 我们做了什么让他知道了呢？”
often, what we know is limited by the access to (privileged) information. if i have not maintained high level of transparency, nor have frequent open conversations, i cannot expect others to know (what i assumed s/he should know).
in short, the lessons here are:
1. conversation/dialogues (cf. 1-way monologue) are important to attain transparency
2. don’t ask the 1st question if i have not done the 2nd.
research methodologies can largely be classified into 3 categories: quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods. saw this quote while reading Teddlie and Tashakkori (2011)’s chapter on MMR (mixed methods research):
“A change in paradigmatic postures involves a personal odyssey, that is we each have a personal history with our preferred paradigm and this needs to be honored.” (Denzin, 2008, p.322, as cited in Teddie & Tashakkori, p.287)
yes, we respect others’ preference of methodology, for we each live a different personal history (: (cf. serial-numbered robots)
Teddlie, C. & Tashakkori, A. (2011). Mixed methods research. In Denzin, N. K., & Lincoln, Y. S. (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of qualitative research (4th ed., pp. 285-299). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.
i believe there is no absolute answer to this, but it is a common argument between qualitative vs. quantitative researchers in the field of education. was reading Chapter 17 on Case Study, and saw the following sentence:
“…in the study of human affairs, there appears to exist only context-dependent knowledge, which thus presently rules out the possibility for social science to emulate natural science in developing epstemic theory, that is, theory that is explanatory and predictive.” (Bent Flyvbjerg, 2011, p.302)
source: Flyvbjerg, B. (2011). Case study. In Denzin, N. K., & Lincoln, Y. S. (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of qualitative research (4th ed., pp. 301-316). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.
this view basically represents my (world)view of our learners, as a teacher and teacher educator. every person has an unique sociocultural-historical background. while our individual experiences may overlap, it is unique from person-to-person, either as a learner or as a person. we are not factory products that can be standardised nor serial-numbered. in short, claiming representations or meanings in numbers where learners are concerned, is probably short of the full-er story.
(acknowledgement: photo by pompi)