Foundations for Research: Methods of Inquiry in Education and the Social Sciences

Foundations for Research: Methods of Inquiry in Education and the Social Sciences

Foundations for Research: Methods of Inquiry in Education and the Social Sciences

Foundations for Research: Methods of Inquiry in Education and the Social Sciences

Synopsis

Designed for introductory research courses in the professional fields and social sciences, this text acquaints students and beginning researchers with a broad view of research methodologies and an understanding of the assumptions that inform each of these approaches. More experienced researchers will also find the book useful in acquainting them with methodologies and theoretical frameworks that are new to them.

The text is distinguished by its avoidance of using the discreet categories of qualitative and quantitative methods to organize the chapters. While some chapter authors rely more on one or the other, many employ multiple methodologies to investigate particular problems and questions. Further, the book is not organized into single, contradictory positivist-interpretivist categories of research; chapter authors often situate methodologies within a variety of, and sometimes multiple, theoretical positions, particularly as these approaches are shaped by the historical context of social science research.

Focus points in Foundations for Research: Methods of Inquiry in Education and the Social Sciences:

• research ethics.

• intertwined relationship of theory and research design.

• systematic examination of ways to design and implement high-quality, trustworthy research across varying research designs.

• specific methods for implementing research within various frameworks.

• pedagogical strategies.

Excerpt

This text is designed for use in introductory research courses in the professional fields and social sciences. The major goal of the book is to acquaint students and beginning researchers with a broad view of research methodologies, as well as an understanding of the assumptions that inform each of these approaches. Because the book presents such diverse approaches to research, more experienced researchers will also find the book useful in acquainting them with research methodologies and theoretical frameworks that are new to them. In designing this book, the editors invited research methodologists from diverse theoretical and methodological locations to write essays that would invite novice researchers to examine both the perspective underlying differing research traditions, as well as the specific methods utilized in particular research approaches.

FOCUS POINTS

One of the strengths of this volume is its focus on research ethics. The volume begins with a chapter detailing multiple ways of approaching ethical principles and the roles of researchers and participants within research projects. Subsequently, these ethical considerations are addressed explicitly or implicitly in each of the following chapters within specific research methodologies. Readers leave the volume with an understanding of the controversies and complexities of creating ethical research to address social problems across a variety of sociopolitical contexts.

Another strength of the book is the consistent focus throughout on the intertwined relationship of theory and research design. Epistemological stances and theoretical frameworks inform the research process no matter what design and methods are selected for use in a particular study. The authors emphasize the necessity for researchers to clearly articulate their assumptions, beliefs, and values about the nature of reality, knowledge, and research. Each of the chapters engages readers in the sociohistorical context of a specific research methodology, presents . . .

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