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Educational Research: Key Paradigms Originally Prepared by: Peter Taylor, Curtin University of Technology Adapted and Presented by: Bal Chandra Luitel,

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Presentation on theme: "Educational Research: Key Paradigms Originally Prepared by: Peter Taylor, Curtin University of Technology Adapted and Presented by: Bal Chandra Luitel,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Educational Research: Key Paradigms Originally Prepared by: Peter Taylor, Curtin University of Technology Adapted and Presented by: Bal Chandra Luitel, Kathmandu University

2 Paradigm?  a comprehensive belief system, world view, or framework that guides research and practice in a field. Willis, 2007, p.8

3 Paradigm?  Ontology : ways of being and becoming  Epistemology: ways of knowing  Axiology: ways of valuing

4 Paradigm?

5 Key Research Paradigms  Post-positivism  Interpretivism  Postmodernism  Criticalism  Integralism

6 Positivist Research Paradigm (Quantitative)  Goal: to explain properties (mathematical) of general social patterns of behaviour  Research Method:  hypothesis testing  experimental design = control + treatment groups  large sample size  statistical analyses: means & sd’s, t-testing, correlations, analysis of covariance, regression analysis, factor analysis, etc.

7 Positivist Research Paradigm  Quality Standards:  researcher objectivity  validity (construct, predictive, internal, generalisability)  reliability (inter-observer, replicability)  Limitations  reductionism: insensitivity to context, complexity & change (place, time, subjectivities, culture)  unresponsive, fixed research design

8 Post-Positivist Research Paradigm  Goal: to explain properties (mathematical) of general social patterns of behaviour  Research Method:  identify small set of variables  hypothesise a relationship  use propositional, deductive, analytic logic  quasi-experimental design, survey research, discourse analysis  ‘large’ sample size  statistical analyses: means & sd’s, t-testing, correlations, analysis of covariance, regression analysis, factor analysis, etc.

9 Post-Positivist Research Paradigm  Quality Standards:  researcher objectivity  validity (construct, predictive, internal, generalisability)  reliability (inter-observer, replicability, internal coherence)  triangulation, ‘mixed methods’ ( as opposed to mixed paradigms)  Limitations  reductionism: insensitivity to context, complexity & change (place, time, subjectivities, culture)  unresponsive, fixed research design  lack of researcher’s agency  uncritical reproduction of dominant (Western) culture

10 nterpretive Research Paradigm (Qualitative, Constructivist) Interpretive Research Paradigm (Qualitative, Constructivist) Goal:  To generate reflective (or self) understanding of ‘the other’ in context Research Methods:  Ethnography (Anthropology) interviewing, participant-observing  Self-Study (Phenomenology) autobiographical excavation

11 Interpretive Research Paradigm Quality Standards: Quality Standards: (4GE, Guba & Lincoln, 1989)  Is the Research Trustworthy?  deep immersion?  member checking?  participants’ voices heard?  scepticism practiced?  emergence of understanding?  transferability

12 Interpretive Research Paradigm  Is the Research Relationship Authentic? (Principles: beneficence, non-malificence, fairness)  Ethic of care respect of other? respect of self?  Ethic of fairness fair representations?  Ethic of empowerment beneficial?

13 Interpretive Research Paradigm Limitations  Contextual understanding (cf. generalisable knowledge)  Largely descriptive (cf. structurally transformative)  Often factual (cf. imaginative)

14 Critical Research Paradigm What is it?  Critical theory research tends to emphasize relationships that involve inequities and power, and a desirable aspect of critical research involves helping those without power to acquire it. (Willis, 2007, p.82)  Leading proponents of critical theory as a philosophy include Jurgen Habermas…a contemporary advocate of…a movement that goes back to the Frankfurt School…in 1929. (Willis, 2007, p. 81)

15 Critical Research Paradigm Goal:  To foster democracy by transforming unjust social structures, policies, beliefs, values & practices Principles  Universal Declaration of Human Rights http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/ http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/  freedom (from fear, to speak out)  inclusiveness (non-discrimination)  equity (fair share)  individual agency (free will)  sustainability (future generations)  peace

16 Critical Research Paradigm Focus: to identify & counteract...  social disadvantage/inequity/injustice/oppression (capitalism, feudalism, dictatorships, …)  loss/distortion of cultural capital & identity (Western imperialism, colonialism)  loss of eco-cultural well-being (unsustainable harvesting, pollution)  unfair/unjust power relations (exploitation of workers, women)  disempowering hegemonies (cultural myths, distorting discourses, false consciousness, naïve romance, enslaved imagination…advertising, childhood stories)

17 Mickey Mouse Culture The Media Education Foundation... “produces and distributes documentary films and other educational resources to inspire critical reflection on the social, political, and cultural impact of American mass media” http://www.mediaed.org/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?display=home

18 Critical Research Paradigm Research Methods:  Writing for/as critical inquiry  critical analysis (policy & practice)  critical reflection => a conscience  dialectical thinking (ethical dilemmas)  envisioning alternatives (utopic imagination)  Researcher as change agent  Researcher as change agent (praxis)  advocate, resistor, liberator, jester, magician, alchemist, healer

19 Critical Research Paradigm Quality Standards:  social complexity recognised?  socio/cultural/political critique?  critical self-reflection?  ethics of entitlement & responsibility?  standpoint of emancipation? Limitations:  where is the love & spirituality (ie, non-materialism)?  self-righteousness & intolerance  researcher hubris or arrogant pride (cf, humility)

20 Critical Research Paradigm Critical Research Issues  Gender inclusive curriculum equal opportunity - participation masculine & feminine identity construction  Culturally inclusive curriculum local (‘indigenous’) knowledge integration (TEK) language pluralism in the classroom  Internationalisation of curriculum globalisation & multiculturalism  Leadership education sociocratic school governance  Education for/as sustainability ecological, cultural, personal

21 Postmodernism  M odernism The Age of Reason (C18th-late C20th)…anti faith/superstition/revelation…Newtonian science…certainty, progress, materialism, civilisation, colonisation, imperialism…  M odernism: The Age of Reason (C18th-late C20th)…anti faith/superstition/revelation…Newtonian science…certainty, progress, materialism, civilisation, colonisation, imperialism…  P ostmodernism: contests the strong grip of the ‘grand narratives’ of modernism (eg, scientism) & awakens critical self-conscious awareness of ever unfolding alternatives. Ref: Wikipedia (22 Sep, 2009)

22 “May God us keep From single vision and Newton’s sleep” (William Blake)

23 Postmodernism Research Paradigm Aesthetic ‘turn’ in the Social Sciences – aesthetic appreciation, enjoyment, fulfilment The Arts: literature, art, film, theatre, music, dance Becoming aware of our capacity to feel is a way of discovering our humanity. Art helps us connect with personal, subjective emotions, and through such a process it enables us to discover our own interior landscape. (Eisner, 2008, p. 11) Aesthetic experience…provides adaptively useful information utilized for purposes of self-construction. (Steen, in Turner, 2006, p. 57)

24  Artful stories…give shape and meaning to experience…help us to reflect upon and redraft our plans and dreams. (Diamond & Mullen, 1999)  The many fusions of the arts and qualitative inquiry are changing the face of social science research, opening possibilities for alternative perspectives, modes, media, and genres through which to understand and represent the human condition. (Knowles & Cole, 2008, p. xii)

25 First Grade Until then, every forest had wolves in it, we thought it would be fun to wear snowshoes all the time, and we could talk to water. So who is this woman with the gray breath calling our names and pointing to the little desks we will occupy for the rest of our lives? (Ron Koertge, 2003)

26 Painful birthing of democracy It is April 2006. We have just finished breakfast in one of the small cafes outside the main gates of Kathmandu University, a campus situated spectacularly on a mountain top 30 kilometres north-east of the capital city, with panoramic views for the pleasure of the contemplative mind’s eye. The hyperbolic geometry of this undulating mountainous landscape features patterned fields of maize and wheat flowing and bending across the curvaceous contours of an ancient agrarian terrain surrounding the equally ancient town of Dhulikhel. An ethno-geometer’s visual delight! We are poring over the Kathmandu Post for the latest news of the civil uprising spreading across the country, evidencing a surprisingly determined push for the restoration of democracy in this last remaining Hindu Kingdom set high in the majestic Himal… (Luitel & Taylor, 2007, p. 621)

27 The planned two-day banda (general strike) organised by the opposition parties is now entering a worrisome second week, and despite strictly enforced curfews, which have turned the normally frantic highway into a beguilingly tranquil no-go zone of burning tyres, felled trees and spilled rubble, rallies are occurring with increasing intensity. The paper is once again full of images of violent suppression of peaceful protest marches in towns and cities throughout Nepal. Two people have been shot in Banepa’, reads Bal. ‘Wasn’t that where we walked to yesterday?’, I ask, shocked at our proximity to the violence. ‘The incident took place near the statue of the late King, in the centre of the town. The police indiscriminately opened fire targeting the rallying mass’, Bal reads out loudly. ‘The regime has lost its moral ground! The masses protesting on the streets are clear evidence of this!’ Bal is quietly passionate and can’t stop talking about the uprising; nothing else seems to matter. And why should it!

28 Postmodernism Research Paradigm Goal: To disrupt the presumed primacy of any paradigm (especially positivism) by embracing difference, pluralism & playfulness in modes of thinking and representation. Research Methods:  Writing as inquiry (unfolding discovery)  Writing as reading (audience)  Multiple logics (sense making)  Multiple genres (representations)

29 Research Paradigm Postmodernism Research Paradigm  Modes of Thinking - Multiple Logics  Propositional deductive logic (logos) (A=B+B=C=>A=C)  Perspectival (seemingly, apparently)  Narrative storying (mythos)  Metaphoric (analogical) (AasB)  Dialectical (anomalies) (A+~A)  Emotionality (empathic feeling)  Imagination (utopic envisioning)  Humour (irony) Refs: Egan (1997), Luitel (2009)

30 Postmodernism Research Paradigm  Modes of Representation - Multiple Genres  Dialogical writing (provocative)  Confessional writing (revealing)  Impressionistic writing (expressive)  Poetic writing (ineffable)  Screenplay (dramatic, tragic)  Visual images (evocative)

31 Postmodernism Research Paradigm  Quality Standards  Is the ‘story’ engaging? (dramatic, fun, odd)  Does the ‘story’ seem true? (believable, verisimilitude)  Do we gain emotional appreciation? (empathic feeling, feeling for…)  Is our understanding more complex? (subtle, deeper, nuanced)

32 Postmodernism Postmodernism Research Paradigm  Limitations  Moral relativism (no moral standpoint)  Narcissism (self-loving)  Solipsism (self-referential)  Aestheticism (star struck)

33 Integralism Paradigm Goal: To provide multi-dimensional or wholistic understanding of the subject of inquiry Research Methods:  Methods drawn from multiple research paradigms  Combined to produce a bricolage (Denzin & Lincoln, 2000; Kincheloe, 2001) Quality Standards  Multi-perspectivism – methods drawn from multiple paradigms  Coherent methodological synthesis (‘blurred genres’)  Thick & complex forms of knowledge  Humility Limitations  Resource intensive (and time consuming )

34 References  Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2001). Research methods in education (5 th ed.). London, New York: Routllege Falmer.  Denzin, N. K., & Lincoln, Y. S. (Eds.) (2005). The SAGE handbook of qualitative research (3 rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.  Diamond, C. T. P., & Mullen, C. A. (Eds.) (1999). The postmodern educator: Arts-based inquiries and teacher development. New York: Peter Lang.  Egan, K. (1997). The educated mind: How cognitive tools shape our understanding. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago.  Kincheloe, J.L. (2001). Describing the bricolage: Conceptualizing a new rigor in qualitative research. Qualitative Inquiry, 7(6), 679-692.  Knowles, J. G., & Coles, A. L. (Eds.) (2008). Handbook of the arts in qualitative research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.  Luitel, B. C., & Taylor, P. C. (2007). ‘The Shanai, the pseudosphere and other imaginings: Envisioning culturally contextualised mathematics education’. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 2, 621-655.  Reason, P., & Bradbury, H. (Eds.) (2001). Handbook of action research. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.  Taylor, P.C., Settelmaier, E., & Luitel, B. C. (in press). Multi-paradigmatic transformative research as/for teacher education: An integral perspective. In B. J. Fraser and K. G. Tobin (Eds.), International handbook of science education (2nd ed.): Dordrecht; The Netherlands: Springer.  Wilber, K. (2006). Integral spirituality: A startling new role for religion in the modern and postmodern world. Boston, MA: Shambhala.  Wilber, K. (2000). A brief history of everything. Boston, MA: Shambhala.

35 References  Taylor, P.C., Settelmaier, E., & Luitel, B.C. (in press). ‘Multi-paradigmatic transformative research as/for teacher education: An integral perspective’. In K. G. Tobin & B. J. Fraser (Eds.), International handbook of science education. Netherlands: Springer.  Taylor, P.C. & Wallace, J. (Eds.) (2007). Contemporary qualitative research: Exemplars for science and mathematics and educators. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.  Tuckman, B. (1978). Conducting educational research (2 nd ed.). New York, NY: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Publishers.  Turner, M. (Ed.) (2006). The artful mind: Cognitive science and the riddle of human creativity. Oxford University Press, New York.  Willis, J. W. (2007). Foundations of qualitative research: Interpretive and critical approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.


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