Due to the very nature of educators all across this nation being in an age where accountability is the driving force behind educational systems, leaders must look at changing the way they do things by doing educational research to meet the standards of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). According to Lodico, Spaulding, & Voeglte (2010), meeting NCLB requirements makes knowledge of educational research an essential component of professional preparation for all educators (p2). In order for educational discrepancies to be corrected, educators must develop and deepen their skill set about the research approaches that can be used to bring reliability and validity to any program being utilized by our educational systems. Everyone must become aware of all the scientific research available so effective educational practices can be put into action (Lodico, Spaulding, & Voegtle, 2010). Therefore, stakeholders must understand educational research not only focuses on accountability but it is also attitude, behavior, and skill set developed by all those involved in the process.
Philosophy of Research
Research today has individuals looking at the vast difference between quantitative and qualitative research methods because each looks at the data from various angles. When quantitative research methodology is sought, individuals are seeking more of a mathematical or statistical analysis of the data pertaining to the social phenomena. Empiricism plays a major role in quantitative research because much of the data collection is done by completing surveys (Lodico, Spaulding, & Voegtle, 2010). The purpose of surveys is to seek out the experiences, attitudes, perceptions, or skill set of those participating in the study (Long, 2012). So empiricism is related because it helps gives researchers the numerical data needed to see the participant’s thoughts, feelings, and attitude towards concepts presented. It is believed that the scientific method derived out of empirical traditions and this allows the development of hypothesis, observations to take place, and the development of conclusions based on those scientific guesses (Long, 2012).
However, scientific method allows researchers to ask and develop hypothesis, collect and analyze data, and report the results to come up with new strategies if there is a need (Lodico, Spaulding, Voeglte, 2010). Scientific method then leads into positivism which is based on observations, testing theories, and making conclusions to determine if it supports that theory (Long, 2012). Positivism is a philosophical concept that says knowledge is based on actual experience and through strict scientific methods (Uddin & Hamiduzzaman, 2009). Positivism is rooted in objectivity and this helps alleviate researcher’s biases. Whereas the post-positivists do not agree with positivism but they believe in objectivity use multiple techniques to assure they are objective and that reliability and validity are present. Dr. Nathan Long (2012) says the idea in...