Showing posts with label Research. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Research. Show all posts

Sunday, 5 March 2017

What is “Data Collection”?

What is “Data Collection”?

Data Collection

Data collection is a process of gathering information. It is an important component in any kind of research. The process of data collection brings forth various pool of information and helps the researchers to formulate a notion for a research. Depending on the nature of information to be gathered, different instruments are administered for different data collection process.

Saturday, 4 March 2017

What is Educational Research?

Educational Research:

In order to understand educational research, we have to first look at what a research is. A research is “planned”, “systematic”, and “rigorous” activity which is carried out to make known whatever is unknown. A research activity is also undertaken to verify whatever is known.
Planned refers to thinking about something or preparing a roadmap prior to carrying out a research; systematic means a logical order; and rigorous refers to pain-taking exercise which requires certain kind of competence, knowledge base and specific skills.
According to Best and Kahn, a research is directed towards the solution of a problem. It may attempt to answer a question or to determine the relation between two or more variable. Research involves gathering new data from primary sources or using existing data for a new purpose.
Educational Research
What is Educational Research?
When a research is concerned with human efforts towards solving the problems related to educational sphere in a society is termed as “educational research”. Thus, educational research refers to a systematic attempt to gain a better understanding of the educational process, generally with a view to improving its efficiency.
The main concerns of educational research are to understand, explain, predict, and control human behavior in individual and social situations so that events or situations can be improved further.

Need for Educational Research:

Educational research (or research in the field of education) is vital for providing helpful and dependable knowledge through which the process of education can be made more effective. As we know that education depends on amount of knowledge, there is a need to add new knowledge which has to be scientific, to enrich and improve education with different dimensions.
Research in education helps in clarifying and reinterpreting existing knowledge. The discipline of education finds its roots in philosophy, psychology and sociology. It is through an intensive process of scientific inquiry about the philosophical, psychological and sociological impact on various aspects of education that sound educational theories can be established. Therefore, there is a need for educational research because of changing conception of education.

Summary of general kinds of research: 

What are the Different Types of Research?

Types of Research:

Generally, research is classified into the following categories based on the objectives the researcher intends to accomplish.

Basic or Fundamental Research:  

Basic research is aimed at generating fundamental knowledge and theoretical understanding about basic human and other natural processes. The purpose of basic or fundamental research is generation of new knowledge for the sake of knowledge. It is not directed towards the solution of immediate practical problems. Basic research is usually conducted by using the most rigorous research methods (e.g., experimental) under tightly controlled laboratory conditions.
Fundamental Research

Objectives of Educational Research

Objectives of Educational Research:

There are various objectives of Educational Research. These are the following:

Educational Objectives


It is focused on describing the nature of something that previously was unknown; it is also used when the researcher tries to understand the specifics of some phenomenon or some situation to develop tentative hypotheses or generalization about it.


It attempting to learn about and generate ideas about phenomena) is especially important in the early phases of research because researchers must generate ideas about phenomena before additional research can progress.


It refers to attempting to describe the characteristics of a phenomenon. Description is one of the most basic activities in research. It might simply involve observing a phenomenon and recording what one sees.


It attempts to show how and why a phenomenon operates as it does.


It is prediction or attempting to predict or forecast a phenomenon. A researcher is able to make a prediction when certain information that is known in advance can be used to determine what will happen at a later point in time. Sometimes predictions can also be made from research studies in which the primary focus is on explanation. That is, when researchers determine cause-and-effect operation (explanations), the can use this information to form predictions.


It attempts to apply research to make certain outcomes occur. This objective refers to the application of research knowledge rather than the generation of research knowledge. It refers to the application of previous research to control various aspects of the world. 

Friday, 3 March 2017

Hypothesis, Theory, Exploratory Method, Confirmatory Method

Key Terms


It is a prediction or educated guess. It is a formal statement of the researcher’s prediction of the relationship that exists among the variables under the investigation.


It refers to an explanation that discusses how a phenomenon operates and why it operates as it does. Theory often refers to a generalization or set of generalizations that are used systematically to explain some phenomenon. In other words, a well-developed theory explains how something operates in general.
    Research: Exploratory Method
    Research: Exploratory Method

Exploratory method: 

It is a bottom-up (i.e., movement from data to patterns to theory) or theory-generation approach to research. It includes three steps—first, the researcher starts by making observations; second, the researcher studies the observations and searches for patterns (i.e., a statement of what is occurring); and third, the researcher makes a tentative conclusion or a generalization about the pattern or how some aspect of the world operates. This exploratory method is sometimes called the inductive method because it moves from the “particular to the general”.

Confirmatory method: 

It is a top-down (i.e., movement from theory to hypothesis to data) or theory-testing approach to research. It also includes three steps—first, the researcher states a hypothesis; second, the researcher collects data to be used to test the hypothesis empirically; and third, the researcher decides tentatively to accept or reject the hypothesis on the basis of the data. This confirmatory method is sometimes called the deductive method because it moves from the “general to the particular”.

Criterion of falsifiability: 

The criterion of falsifiability is the property of a statement or theory that it is capable of being refuted by experience. It also says that we should not selectively search for confirming evidence for our beliefs and explanations and then stop with that so-called evidence. Good researchers carefully search for and examine any negative evidence that operates against their beliefs, research conclusions, and theoretical explanations.

Rule of parsimony: 

It is another criterion for evaluating theories. A theory is parsimonious when it is simple, concise, and succinct. For example, if two competing theories explain and predict a phenomenon equally well, then the more parsimonious theory is to be preferred according to the rule of parsimony. In other words, simple theories are preferred over highly complex ones, other things being equal.


It refers to research examining the same variables with different people. Replication by other researchers should make you more confident about a research finding because the resulting evidence is much stronger.

Principle of evidence: 

It refers to the philosophical idea that empirical research provides evidence, not proof. Therefore, from now onwards, whenever you want to use the world proof, just use the word evidence. In research, slogan goes like this: “It is about evidence, not proof!” We call this idea the principle of evidence.

Note: Both methods—Exploratory as well as Confirmatory—use empirical data, but their purpose is different.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Types of Philosophical Research & Philosophical Research Paradigms

Types of Philosophical Research:

Philosophical Research Paradigms

According to Wingo, there are three types of philosophical researches: These are the following:

Descriptive Philosophical Research: It includes study of history of philosophy, study of different philosophers, and general development of philosophical thought. For example: Educational issues looked at from the viewpoint of different philosophers.

Normative Philosophical Research: It includes to establish, norms, standards or guidelines, for conduct of human affairs with reference to knowledge of reality. It involves identification of human dispositions which are worthy of cultivation, pointing out arguments for why these dispositions are to be considered excellence and discussing how these excellence are to be nurtured or cultivated.

Analytical Philosophical Research: It includes analysis of concepts, theories, language etc. It also includes analyzing positivism, anti-positivism etc.

Philosophical Research Paradigms:

Before explaining Philosophical Research Paradigms, it is important to under the following terms first: 

1. Ontology: They study what we mean when we say something exists. According to Blaikie, “Claims and assumptions that are made about nature of social reality, claims about what exists, what it looks like, what units make it up and how these units interact with each other.”

2. Epistemology: They study what we mean when we say we know something. According to Crotty, “the theory of knowledge embedded in theoretical perspective and thereby in the methodology.”

Therefore, paradigm can be defined in the following manner:

"Ontological + Epistemological Assumptions= Paradigm"

After a brief description about ontology and epistemology, now we are going to discuss various paradigms of philosophical research. These are:


·         It is also called scientific paradigm.
·         The purpose of research is to prove or disprove a hypothesis
·         Emphasis on scientific method, statistical analysis and generalize findings
·         It usually has a control and experimental group and pre/test post method.
·    It was coined by French philosopher Auguste Comte who believed that realty can be observed.

Positive Thinkers
Deductive Reasoning
Scientific Method
Auguste Comte
Francis Bacon
Inductive Reasoning
Karl Popper
Post Positivism

Ontological Assumptions
Epistemology Assumptions
Reality is external to researcher and represented by objects in space
The methodology of natural science should be employed to study social reality
Objects have meaning independently of any consciousness of them
Truth can be attained because knowledge rests on a set of firm, unquestionable, indisputable truths from which our belief may be deduced
Reality can be captured by our senses and predicted
Knowledge is generated deductively from a theory or hypothesis

Knowledge is objective


There has been criticism of positivist paradigm for applying scientific method to research on human affairs (casual links that can be established in the study of natural science cannot be made in world of classroom where teacher and learner constructed meaning).

Popper argued that we should not quickly disregard all good qualities of scientific method. Rather, we can make small adjustments that can be improved upon to provide objective research within social science.

·       No matter how stringently a scientist adheres to scientific method, there is never an outcome that is objective.

·       The critical theorists Habermas emphasizes the determinist view of science as the “the ideal knowledge” which ignores the moral choices, values and judgments scientist make.

·         Ideology of Parsimony Theory: Simple and concise as possible.


It is also called “Anti-Positivist Paradigm”, because it was developed as a reaction to the Positivism. It is also sometimes referred to as “Constructivism” because it emphasizes the ability of individual to construct meaning.

Edmund Huserl
Arthur Schultz Wilhelm
dilthey, Han Georg Gadamer
Harold Garfinkel

Ontological Assumptions
Epistemology Assumptions
Reality is indirectly constructed based on
individual interpretation and is subjective.
Knowledge is gained through a strategy that “respects the differences between people and objects of natural science and
therefore requires the social scientist to grasp the subjective meaning of social action.
People interpret and make their own meaning of events.
Knowledge is gained inductively to create a theory
Events are distinctive and cannot be generalized.
Knowledge arises from particular situations and is not reducible to simplistic interpretation.
There are multiple perspectives on one incident
Knowledge is gained through personal experience.
Causation in social science is determined by interpreted meaning and symbols.


·   It abandons the scientific procedure of verification and therefore results cannot be generalized to other situations.
·         It is biased because of its subjectivity

·       It neglected to acknowledge the political and ideological influence on knowledge and social realty.

What is Philosophical Research?

Philosophical Research

Meaning of Philosophy:

There are three conceptions of philosophy. These are the following: 

1. Philosophy as Wisdom: Philosophy as thoughtful response to a question or situation. It is of two types :
                                i.            Personal reflection on broad questions
                             ii.            Prophetic wisdoms

2. Philosophy as Ideology:  It is a more highly organized body of opinion. It usually
serves programs of action and organizational needs.

3. Philosophy as Critical Inquiry: It treats knowledge as tentative. It is a method, not personal authority that establishes truth; it does not encourage us to become followers. Each person is required to think for himself/herself.

Emmanuel Kant ascribed a “critical” function to philosophy that is inquiry. Philosophical inquiry is reflection upon human experience in order to decipher the fundamental principles of reality and principle of existence itself.

Methodology of Philosophical Research:

The educational researches are designed to achieve following four objectives:

  • To formulate new theory, principles and laws
  • To establish new truth or reality
  •  To find out new facts
  •  To suggest new applications.

These objectives are achieved by conducting Historical, Experimental Surveys, and Philosophical Researches.

Major Approaches in Philosophical Research:

·         A System of Thought
·         A Critical Appraisal of the Thought of Great Personage

The philosophical inquiry is usually made at least into these following areas:

  • Logic
  • Metaphysics
  • Epistemology
  • Psychology
  • Ethics
  • Theodicy
  • Aesthetic.

What is Correlation coefficient?

To understand how to study the relationship between two variables when both are quantitative, one needs a basic understanding of a correlation coefficient.

Correlation is the relationship between two or more paired variables or two or more sets of data. The degree of relationship is measured and represented by the coefficient of correlation.

It is a numerical index that provides information about the strength and direction of the relationship between two variables. It provides information about how two variables are associated.

More specifically, a correlation coefficient is a number that can range from -1 to 1, with zero standing for no correlation at all.

Positive Correlation:

If the number is greater than zero, there is a positive correlation. (A positive correlation is present when scores on two variables tend to move in the same direction).

Negative Correlation:

If the number is less than zero, there is a negative correlation. (A negative correlation is present when scores on two variables tend to move in opposite directions—as one variable goes up, the other tends to go down and vice versa)

No Correlation:

If the number is equal to zero, then there is no correlation between the two variables being correlated.

Perfect Correlation:

If the number is equal to +1 or equal to -1, the correlation is called perfect; that is, it is as strong as possible.

Data analysis for Correlation Research:

Pearson product-moment—when you have two interval or ratio scale variables

Spearman—when variables are at least ordinal

Multiple correlation—relationship between one variable and a set of variables

Canonical correlation—relationship between two sets of variables

Partial correlation—correlation of one variable with another after statistically removing the effects of a third variable

Coefficient of determination—squared correlation—explains the variability in the first variable (proportion of variance accounted for)

Spurious correlation—significant correlation between two variables that is likely due to coincidence, i.e., there is no obvious reason why the two variables should be correlated but they are. 

What is Correlational Research?

What is Correlational Research?
Correlational Research
Correlational Research is a non-experimental research method. In this research method, there is no manipulation of an independent variable. 

In correlational research, the researcher studies the relationship between one or more quantitative independent variables and one or more quantitative dependent variables; that is, in correlational research, the independent and dependent variables are quantitative.
It is important to stress that correlations refer to measures of association and do not necessarily indicate causal relationships between variables.

Mouly puts it like this: “The correlation simply implies concomitance; it is not synonymous with causation. It may suggest causation in the same sense that the variables involved are part of a cause and effect system, but the nature of the system and the direction in which the components operate is not specified in the correlation. The two variables are not necessarily (or perhaps even commonly) the cause and effect of each other. The correlation between X and Y is often nothing more than the reflection of the operation of a third factor.”

When correlational research is appropriate:

Correlational research is appropriate in the following two instances:

First, it is appropriate when there is need to discover or clarify relationships and where correlation coefficients will achieve these ends. It is especially useful in this connection in the initial stages of a project where a certain amount of basic groundwork has to be covered to get some idea of the structure of relationships. In this way, it gets at degrees of relationships which may become a source of hypotheses and further research.

The correlational approach is also valuable when variables are complex and do not lend themselves therefore to the experimental method and controlled manipulation. It also permits the measurement of several variables and their relationships simultaneously in realistic settings.

Second, correlational research is appropriate where objective, or one of a set of objectives, is to achieve some degree of prediction. (prediction studies are appropriate where a firm basis of previous knowledge is present, the assumption being that at least some of the factors will relate to the behavior to be predicted).

Advantages of Correlational Research:

Correlational research is particularly useful in tackling the problems of education and social sciences because it allows for the measurement of a number of variables and their relationships simultaneously.

The experimental approach, by contrast, is characterized by the manipulation of a single variable and is thus appropriate for dealing with problems where simple causal relationship exist.
In educational and behavioral research, it is invariably the case that a number of variables contribute to a particular outcome. Experimental research thus introduces a note of unreality into research, whereas correlational approaches, while less rigorous, allow for the study of behavior in more realistic settings.
Correlational research yields information concerning the degree of relationship between the variables being studied. It thus provides the researcher with insights into the way variables operate that cannot be gained by other means.

Limitations of Correlational Research:

Correlational research only identifies what goes with what—it only implies concomitance and therefore does not necessarily establish cause-and-effect relationships.

It is less rigorous than the experimental approach because it exercises less control over the independent variables. It is prone to identify spurious relation patterns. It adopts an atomistic approach.