Quantocentric culture: Ramifications for social work education

Judith L. M. McCoyd (Lead Author), Yvonne M. Johnson, Shari Munch, Michael LaSala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Social work students' responses to research tend to reflect their anxiety about the acquisition of competency in statistics and research methods. Their desires to attain social work education and subsequently become practitioners are viewed by them as at odds with research as taught. Yet, within the current quantocentric culture—which the authors define as one in which quantitative research methods are privileged over other lines of inquiry—social work education is increasingly emphasizing research as a central component of practice. Using a ‘culture as disability’ framework to understand quantocentric culture and its impact on the educational environment, we suggest an educational approach designed to interest students in a broad view of research allowing for the wholehearted inclusion of non‐quantitative and practice‐related facets of research. The approach encourages students to: (a) fully articulate their perceptions of research, both positive and negative; (b) link these views and experiences to the anti‐oppressive social work literature and to examine research methods from the perspective of quantocentrism; and (c) develop an inclusive typology of research that integrates qualitative approaches encompassing historical, philosophical, narrative and other avenues that are relevant to their future social work practice careers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)811-827
Number of pages17
JournalSocial Work Education
Issue number8
Early online date23 Oct 2009
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Anti‐oppression
  • Integration of Learning
  • Research Training
  • Teaching
  • Learning

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