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Research Paradigms

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Peter Hobbs

on 4 August 2014

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Transcript of Research Paradigms

Research Paradigms
Instrumental Knowledge
Practical Knowledge
Emancipatory Knowledge
Peter Hobbs

Ed 6902

What is Instrumental Knowledge?
- Based on empirical investigation

- Adheres to technical rules

- Typically considered "science" research (physics, chemistry, biology, etc.)

- Hypothetical-Deductive model is typical (scientific method)

- Focuses on observable and measurable physical/social events

- Produces technically useful outcomes

Empirical-Analytical Paradigm
used to aquire this type of knowledge
- Empirical-Analytical paradigm is concerned with
cause and effect

- The form of question for this type of research is:
How does

- An example for this type of research in the Educational Field would be:
"How does gender influence the way students learn to read?"

- Research designs for this paradigm include:
Experimental Design
"deliberately imposes a treatment on a group of objects or subjects in the interest of observing the response"

Primary components of experimental study are 2 groups formed by random selection:
Control group
- group that does not recieve the treatment
Experimental group
- the group that is exposed to, or deprived of, some particular treatment

Changes in events associated with experimental group are compared with events of control group

Independent variable
= treatment
Dependent variable
= measurement to record
- Designs that vary from classical model (ex. groups are unequal in size or dimensions)

- Randomization for group selection not always possible so there are at least 4 other ways to ensure experimental control
Quasi-Experimental Design
Matching participants
with like characteristics

Homogeneous selection
- participants of the same type or with the same properties

Analysis of covariance
- control is gained by looking at differences between the research groups found in the dependent variable at the beginning and end of experiment

Individual research participant
- subjecting the same individual to two or more experimental treatments.
Correlational design (descriptive design) - is used to examine facts about people, their opinions and attitudes.

Used to draw attention to how/if two events or phenomena are related

Researcher does not manipulate variables or control environment

Purpose to describe facts and characteristics of a given phenomena, population, or area of interest

Description may include:
Collection of facts
Identification of problems
Project or product evaluation
Comparison of experience between groups
Correlational Design
Casual/Comparative Research
Researcher attempts to explain phenomena that have already taken place

Studies do not predict future events, rather, they look for relationships that may indicate cause

Researchers need to be wary of "
post-hoc fallacy
" - making assumptions that independent variables either do or don't cause outcomes shown in dependent variable

Three ways to gather descriptive research data when large populations are studied:
Sequential Sampling
Two types of correlational research:
Casual/Comparative Research

Futures Research
Data is gathered at a single point in time

People from different age groups are measured at the same point in time

Used to identify differences in people across various age groups.
Data is gathered over a long period of time

Performance of a group is compared with their own performance at another period in time

Used to examine age-related conclusions

Uses a single cohort
Sequential Sampling
Simultaneous application of cross-sectional and longitudinal factors

Age changes are assessed at the same time for several groups over a long period of time

Age changes can be contrasted with age differences between generations
Futures Research
Emphasizes the importance of using the past to illuminate the future

Principle of continuity - what is observed in the present will continue into the future

Principle of Analogy - observing reoccuring patterns or cycles of events as a means of studying the future

Three approaches to future research:
Descriptive approach (the imagined future)
Exploratory approach (the logical future)
Prescriptive approach (the willed future)
Approaches to Futures Research:
Trend Extrapolation
Delphi Technique
Scenario Writing
Simulation Gaming
Trend Extrapolation
- "A tendency for the values in a time series to increase or decrease with some steady regularity"

- Based on the Principle of Continuity

- Uses displays of significant statistical information, correlation analysis, and literature review.
- Aims to determine long-range trends and their probable effects on our society and world

- Emphasis on science and technology

- Involves series of questionnaires administered to experts in subject of study which become progressively more structured.
Delphi Technique
Scenario Writing
Seeks to attempt to paint a picture of what the future will hold

These scenarios are developed through the use of present data
Simulation Gaming
Simulation games are developed to help people express views and explain alternative situations

Simulation gaming is not for projecting, but is for explaining and helping prepare for the future

Functions are to transmit information, extract information, establish discussion, and to motivate and prepare players for future experiences
Data Collection Techniques
Survey - participants asked to respont to written/oral questions
Written =
advantages: allows for careful construction, easier to administer, permits larger group of subjects

Oral =
advantages: effective in surveying special populations, unstructured interview may lead to better information, develop rapport
Participatory Research
Feminist Research
Action Research
Based on our need to understand each other through language

Societies share and transmit knowledge

values, morals, political issues, education and social systems, government actions

Practical/Communicative knowledge is derived from shared interpretation and consensus

Interpretive Paradigm
used to aquire this type of knowledge
Interpretive Paradigm is concerned with the social construciton of meaning

Overall purpose is to achieve an understanding of how people make sense of their lives

Qualitative research usually involves field work

Interpretive paradigm used as an inductive research strategy

Data is qualitative

Some types of qualitative studies include:
Case Studies
Grounded Theory
Used to study human society and culture

Has two distinct meanings:
A set of methods used to collect data
the written product of using ethnographic techniques

Five procedures commonly used are participant observation, in-depth interviewing, life history, documentary analysis, and investigator diaries

Four variations on participant observation:
complete participant
participant as observer
observer as participant
complete observer
Case Study
Intensive description and analysis of a phenomenon or social unit such as an individual, group, institution, or community

Case study concerned with surveying many variables in a single unit

Focuses on single phenomenon (the case) to uncover the characteristics of the phenomenon

Goal is holistic description and interpretation

Used in legal, medical, psychological, social, and anthropological studies

Case studies characteristics:
- Particularistic - Descriptive - Heuristic

Group selection is not random, it is done purposefully
Grounded Theory
Researcher is primary source of data collection and analysis

Investigation is characterized by inductive field work

End result is building of a theory grounded in data

Used for investigating problems where little theory has been developed

Substantive theory - phenomena limited to real-world situations

Formal theory - more abstract and general

Data collection guided by
theoretical sampling
- where researcher collects and analyzed data to determine what data to collect next in order to develop theory
Gaining Emancipatory Knowledge is dependent on our ablities to be self-determining and self-reflective

= capacity to be both aware and critical of ourselves and our social/cultural construct

= being aware and critical of our subjective perceptions of knowledge and constraints of social knowledge

Gained through process of questioning ourselves and social systems in which we live

Question current scientific and social theories and accepted truths

Critical Paradigm
used to aquire this type of knowledge
Less conventional paradigm that differs from considered valid knowledge

Valid knowledge defined in this paradigm in terms of "doing" the knowing. Validity concerns itself both with the knower and what is to be known.

Data is qualitative

Research design for human empowerment - knowledge that helps participants in research fully understand themselves and their circumstances

Types of research include:
Action Research
Researcher serves as a facilitator for problem solving

Results of research are intended for immediate application by those involved

The design of action research is formulated while research is in progress rather than predetermined

Can solve specific practical, social, or individual problems

Designed to develop new skills or new approaches and to solve problems

Purpose is to obtain knowledge that can be applied directly to a particular situation
Research problem emerges from events that are disturbing to researcher
Problem is stated generally - seldom use hypothesis
Secondary sources of literature used extensively
Participants not systematically sampled/selected. They are part of natural "flow"
Proceedures for research are only planned generally and are altered throughout investigation
Little attention given to control and experimental conditions
Participatory Research
Intended to address human inequality

Focuses on political empowerment of people through group participation

Results intended for immediate application

Problem being studied and decision to study it originate from community affected

Goal is social or political change

Local people control the process of definining the problem, gathering information, and making decisions about action

Local people and researchers are equals in the research process
Feminist Research
Critical Research
Critical Research
Form of research intended to empower people

Aims to allow us to examine cultural and psychological assumptions we hold and move to more emancipated state through learning

Researcher assumes oppositional stance in four ways: epistemologically, cognitively, culturally, and politically

Reject positivist notions of rationaliy, objectivity and truth
Accept need to employ interpretive catagories of teachers and other participants in educational process
Provide ways of distinguishing ideologically warmed interpretations from those that are not
Address identification and exposition of aspects of social order that interfere with pursuit of rational goals
Make practical approach to educational theory and research
Form of research that focuses on human equality

Often embrace the tenants of action, participatory, and critical methodologies

Feminist inquiry is characterized by study of phenomena from women's perspectives

Idea is to discover/create new intellectual constructs other than those discovered by men

Research is guided by feminist theory and aims to create social change
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