A teacher librarian's learning journey

Intro and bits…Research designs (Bryman, 2012) Chapter 3 April 9, 2013

Filed under: EER500 Introduction to Educational Research — Jennifer Baccon @ 1:11 pm
  • Focus on differing kinds of research design is about examining frameworks for data collection and analysis
  • A research design is a framework for producing evidence that fits a set of criteria and the research question
  • Criteria refers to reliability, replication and validity re. assessing the quality of social research
  • Criteria mainly applies to quantitative research
  • Alternate criteria for qualitative research based on issue of trustworthiness

Research design – framework for collection and analysis of data. Reflective of priorities in the research process. Particular import given to:

  • causal connections between variables
  • generalising beyond the investigation
  • understanding behaviours in a social context
  • building temporal appreciation of social phenomenon and how they interconnect

Research method – a technique for collecting data

Variable – an attribute on which different cases vary. If it doesn’t vary it is called a constant. Independent variables have a causal influence on dependent variables. Variable types included interval/ratio variables (distances between categories identical across range); ordinal variables (can rank order but inconsistent distances); nominal variables (cannot be rank ordered – categorical);  dichotomous variables (data has only 2 categories)

N.B. p. 336 chart for categorising a variable.

Naturalism – 3 different meanings

  1. Naturalism see objects of study as belonging to the same “realm” and consequent commitment to natural scientific method. Unity viewed between objects of the natural and social sciences.
  2. Naturalism means “being true” to the nature of the investigated phenomenon. Recognises subjectivity of meaning in interpreting behaviours – “authors” not passive objects of their social world
  3. Naturalism works to minimise use of artificial methods of data collection which are viewed as intrusive
  • 2 and 3 not compatable and can be viewed as opposed to the meaning in 1.
  • Antinaturalists dispute invariably 1.
  • Naturalism often the stance of qualitative researchers. Ecological validity a feature of qualitative study often

Evaluation research – Considers whether the intervention achieved its anticipated goals.

  • Uses principles of critical realism and views the outcome of an intervention as resultant from generative mechanisms and their contexts. Examing causal factors that inhibit/cause change after an intervention

So what is realism? – 2 types empirical and critical

  • Empirical realism (naive realism) close correspondence between reality and terms used to describe it. Through the right methods reality can be understood.Fails to acknowledge structures and generative mechanisms underlying/producing phenomenon
  • Critical realisms implies 2 things – positivists view scientific conceptualisation of reality actually directly reflects reality. Realists argue that the scientist’s conceptualisation is simply a way of knowing that reality
  • Generative mechanisms are included/acknowledged by realists but not positivists. Realists accept  generative mechanisms are not always observable
  • Context significant as it interacts with the generative mechanisms to produce an effect on the the causal mechanism
  • Offers prospect of change through identification of the generaive mechanisms
  • Neither inductive or deductive but retroductive reasoning – inferencing about the causal mechanisms in operation and responsible for the regularities observed in the social world

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