Perspectivas (qualitativas?) na exploração de grandes corpora


  • Miriam Soares Leite
  • Cláudia Freitas



Research methods in Education usually rely on qualitative analysis, focusing on samples of individuals or small groups. On the other hand, it is well known that education deals with large scale issues as well: in Brazil, the planning of public policies must take into account the more than 50 million students enrolled in Secondary Education. However, the quantitative approach is viewed with suspicion in Education, leading to very little development of large scale studies. Since these studies can be based on written texts, the dialogue between Education and corpus based approaches becomes highly valuable. In this paper, we briefly present the results of two studies based on corpora specifically designed to foster educational research: (i) a corpus of blogs created and maintained by public schools; (ii) a corpus of teaching materials used in public schools. When discussing the results of these researches, we draw attention to the crucial role played by corpus tools, and to the risks and potentials of the corpus based approach in Education.