Fadumo Mohammad BA Hons in Education & Professional Training
Module 3.1-part B
Research Methods Report
This report will provide an overview of key principles within research work. This will range from an explanation of philosophical approaches to an evaluation of methods.
Methodology and theories give us the ability to see things from a new perspective. The term ‘methodology’ defines the theory and analysis of how research should proceed. Although the positivist debate in 1960s and 1970s established that this view is not shared, it is thought that any good research should have a basis in science, and the factor that distinguishes sociological arguments from common Sense is systematic knowledge, which is developed through rigorous research processes. In doing research, people are trying to produce knowledge that is accurate; a description of some aspect of the world that is as close as possible to how it actually is. Qualitative researchers try to make sure that this knowledge is objective and value- free, meaning that the information must be gathered in a way that limits the chances of the researcher influencing or distorting the information. Having said that, there are plenty of qualitative researchers who view their work as entirely subjective and acknowledge implicit normative goals.
‘The ultimate goal of research are to formulate questions and to find answers to these questions. The immediate goals of research- exploration, description, prediction, explanation and action – provide us with a strategy for figuring out which questions to ask and which to seek’
Ontology and epistemology are both vital components of the philosophy of knowledge. Ontology can be defined as the study of reality, whereas epistemology is concerned with how knowledge is acquired (Walliman, 2006). There are two main ontological and epistemological ideologies –Potivism and Interpretivism, (Laws, Harper and Marcus, 2003b).
A perspectivist ontology enables a multi layered and rich investigation of the question while not subject to the shortcomings of a relativist approach which may undermine any research findings and conditions. The research objectives seek to understand the multiple drivers behind the success and findings, the policies, strategies, attitudes and influences of students, which are socially constructed.
In terms of research, there are two predominant methods. These are quantitative and qualitative. Having said that more recently, there has been an increased level of interest in the combination of the two approaches (Bryman, 1988, 1992; Hammersley, 1992; Tashakkori and Teddlie, 2003a). This has led to the mixed method approach. Research is rarely ever carried out that does not have a firm grounding in at least one of these methods. The mixed methods approach helps to expand the research, as the qualitative approach allows for a person’s experience and knowledge towards the research question to validate, enhance...