Research Methodology and Critical Thinking

Question 1: Research Methodology and Critical Thinking

            Research methodology in the wider context of educational research revolves around the question of validity - Research Methodology and Critical Thinking introduction. It could be argued that traditional research centers on a contrived objectivity in which numbers give a supposed validity, whereas qualitative data projects a subjective element which some find unacceptable. Qualitative data can, however, stand in its own right and it is the interpretation of this information, along with the resulting questioning, that gives it its validity and advantage. The validity of action research resides in the claims to knowledge offered by practitioners in the public arena. Whilst action researchers are not looking for the same outcomes as traditional research and should not be pushed into a defense of their methodology in the latter’s terms, they do not necessarily preclude the use of traditional research methods in their own practice.

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A well-researched method of reasoning with uncertain knowledge may form a unified language to express knowledge inductively generated from data as well as expert knowledge. To build a system for reasoning with probabilities based on data and expert knowledge. Research method is often as virtually synonymous with ethnography. The experience of field research has become one of the key requirements for education. Research reports are then generated by the investigator, using the recorded data as a source. The result is a written representation of the investigated culture. Interpretative research emerged during the 1960’s it’s stood as a challenge to the qualitative methodologies of the past years. The traditional me methods and styles of presentation of research were criticized for their positivist under- pinning and complicity with imperialism and colonialism. As many researchers in some other field, would typically treat the choice between qualitative and quantitative research as a methodological choice, while a further distinction is made between positivist and interpretive qualitative research. Research methods ranging from water and air testing to mapping to large-scale surveys to in-depth interviews. And they engage academic disciplines ranging from anthropology to zoology. They range widely in the types and amount of participation they exhibit. They occur at different points in a project cycle, with some focused on diagnosing a situation, others prescribing solutions to a problem, others implementing interventions and yet others evaluates outcomes.

Critical thinking is the active skill of applying knowledge to new problems and controversies. However, critical thinking does not just mean thinking hard about a problem. It means applying ideas and concepts in new ways. Critical thinking happens when a student takes a concept they have learned and applies it to a new encounter this application of knowledge in a situation that they previously had not been prepared to analyze. Consider what a student learns about the historical roots of agricultural globalization, including the green revolution that encouraged majority world countries to use high yield crops and pesticides with a focus on export rather than home consumption. That student becomes aware of the devastating impacts that this approach had for most countries, draining the quality of their soil and often poisoning their drinking water supplies. This research is not critical thinking, it is the first step in critical thought seeking out the roots of an idea. Critical thinking occurs when that same student encounters an article advocating the forgiveness of the debt of majority world countries. When that student combines these pieces of knowledge, and makes the connections between these two seemingly unconnected pieces of information, then he or she is engaged in critical thinking.

Developing the research question can be done by the individual researcher, by a group of teacher-researchers working cooperatively, or in some other manner. There is no one right way. The point is to arrive at a concrete question or limited set of questions for which an answer might reasonably be supposed to exist. Unlike in the case of most quantitative research, however, a qualitative research question can be modified during the course of the project. And research-project format includes;

Introduction-which begins your research project by understanding the assignment and your purpose for the research project. In the introduction indicates what the report is about, it main findings and their significance. Here you explain why you wanted to do the research in terms of your educational values. You outline the main findings in terms of the evidence you have generated and speak briefly about their significance for your own professional learning, as well as the learning of others, and the possible potentials for organizational development. In doing so, you are outlining your claim to knowledge and its significance for local and wider contexts. In general, the introduction offers an orientation guide to your reader, so that they know what they are going to encounter.

Problem Statement- in refining the project statement the advice is to break the problem into sub-problems. The statement must be broad and give specificity. It does not tell us which institution or which mentally ill or retarded patients are the concerns of the research. The problem is also extravagant. We can not possibly learn everything that happens after deinstitutionalization but the statement offers no way of determining what specific aspects of deinstitutionalization the researcher would like to know about,

Theoretical Framework- suffer from the familiar defect that afflicts virtue-centered approaches ascertain the theoretical framework for understanding the delicate connections between the experimental chemist, the modern chemical instrument, and molecular substance. His principle of purpose, which oversee the collective ability of judgment, plays a chiefly significant, if couched.

Research question or proposition- Studies has main empirical research, it draws on techniques such as experiments, survey, analysis that utilizes techniques such as case studies, participant observation, open interviews and a lot more. The labels quantitative and qualitative researches are interchangeable with notions like objective and subjective research. It also tends to be related to logical positivism, the traditional empirical research paradigm of the natural sciences.
Methodology or research design- Though it relies very heavily on the contents of research methodology per se, evaluation outline is now considered to be self-defined discipline in its own rights, with its own literature, techniques and skills. Methods and models of evaluation have now applied to almost every field of knowledge in our economic, health, education and political programs.

Result and findings- essential authority issues of research, measurement strength, internal soundness and external validity. The reasons go to the heart of the matter of science as a superior source of knowledge.

Conclusion and recommendation- is the summary of the completed research. The conclusion and recommendation of a research project based on the findings of the data analysis may it be in quantitatively or qualitatively. The goal of this section is to be able to relate the salient findings of the research to real-life situations and how it could be used as basis for new programs or developments that would further the issue or knowledge that the study have addressed. This is now the “so what” part, wherein the researcher must answer the question of importance of the study to what is presently known.

How would this research contribute to new knowledge in your field- knowledge does contribute in the specification of opportunities for the ultimate learning in the institution. This section presupposes that knowledge gained from the study will lead to a better understanding of the phenomena that has been studied and whether this new knowledge is worthwhile to the field in which it was conducted and applied. For most educational researches, the purpose is to apply knowledge. Research solely for knowledge is no longer the fashion today thus it is imperative that research studies should contribute to the field in some ways.

Research can be done either by group or as an individual endeavor. There are certain situations wherein group research is more favorable over individual ones especially if the research to be undertaken is complicated and requires extensive funding. Group research in this case would ease the burden of overseeing a variety of data collection methods such as experiments, large sample sizes or diverse populations. Moreover, group research provides the research with a set of analytical and creative minds which would serve as a check and balance mechanism in the whole duration of the study. More heads are better than one and in cases where the research study involves several research process and ways of analyzing data.

However, group research has its own disadvantages. For one, the larger the group, the more difficult it is to make decisions or to reach an agreement on what should be done and how the research should be done. It is imperative that the group actually have the same orientation and beliefs to avoid conflict although conflict is not entirely a bad idea. It is also more likely that group research would not have an equal distribution of resources and work responsibilities. Some of the group members may expend more effort than others but the credits would be the same for each member.

Individual research also has its own advantages, for example the decisions in how the study is carried out can be easily done, there is only one person who manages the research process and also in the event that the research may encounter problems, it can be easily resolved because a single person is in charge. The individual researcher also does not need to consult and clash ideas with others while he/she may do so in order to clarify some observations or seek the guidance of more learned researchers. On the other hand, an individual researcher has to bear the costs and the labor in conducting the research. Although numerous research grants are available to help the individual researcher, it is not always the case. One problem with an individual research is the fact that a single person may not be given credibility especially if there are no other person or experts involved in the study, it may take longer for individual researchers to get published than group researchers because they have numerous experts to back them up.

There is no right or wrong formula. The important thing to remember is that research should be ethical, it should have an impact and contribute to knowledge and it should yield more advantages than disadvantages.


Clayton, P. & Gorman, G. E. (2003). The information professional’s guide to quantitative research: a practical handbook of quantitative research for the information professional. Bookpoint Facet Publishing.

Gorman, G. E. & Clayton, P. (2004) Qualitative research for the information professional.  A practical handbook.  2nd ed. Facet Publishing.

Graziano, A. & Raulin, M. (1997). Research methods: A process of inquiry. New York: Longman.

King, G.,  Keohane, R. & Verba, S. (1994). Designing Social Inquiry: Scientific Inference in Qualitative Research. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Mitchell, M. & Jolley, J. (2004). Research design explained 5th  ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth

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