Methods in the Center! Methods into the Center? Potentials and Limits of University Methods Centers for the Expansion of Qualitative Teaching and Education
The ability to use scientific methods in a valid manner requires skills on many levels. In Germany, until a few years ago only a small number of methods centers within universities existed. In the last decade, as a result of governmental funding programs to increase the quality of academic teaching, their number has almost tripled. In this article, we discuss how methods centers can contribute to both the development and practice of a qualitative research and the valid application of qualitative methods. For this purpose, we have examined the offerings and activities of 11 methods centers in Germany and Austria, mainly on the basis of their websites; in addition, we conducted interviews with members of the institutions. We discovered that university methods centers hold considerable potential to broaden and deepen qualitative methods education and teaching. When structural dimensions are taken into account, limitations also become apparent; in particular, unclear perspectives for the scientific staff as well as limited course offerings due to temporary funding.
Copyright (c) 2021 Fiona Kalkstein, Günter Mey
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