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Underlying Theoretical And Philosophical Assumptions Education Essay

Research technique is the term used to define the overall systematic approach undertaken in the process of trying to resolve a study problem(s). Neuman (2006, pg. 60) explained that "methodology is why is social knowledge scientific". It is very important to tell apart it from research method, which is the technological techniques used in the execution of a piece of research (Sim and Wright, 2000). When research strategy is described, what is highly recommended is research method as well as the reasoning behind the research method and just why the technique was chosen (Kothari, 2004). Thus, strategy describes the overall approach taken in a piece of research, with particular emphases on the general principles of inspection that guides a study, based on its actual theoretical and philosophical assumptions (Sim and Wright, 2000). This chapter provides an insight in to the process of deciding upon the methodology to be employed in this study with strong emphases on the fundamental theoretical and philosophical assumptions and the explanation for by using a literature review as the most appropriate methodology to look at for answering the research question because of this study. Furthermore, the process of literature review as a methodological way will be reviewed.

2. 1 Research strategy

When designing a piece of social research, the most important problem for a researcher is to figure out how to create new knowledge to answer the place research question. Research strategy, generally known as the reasoning of inquiry is an essential starting place to handle this challenge. A couple of four main research strategies that can be employed in this regard; inductive, deductive, reductive or abductive strategy. Each one of these provides their own special way of going about providing response to a study question. The choice of which logic to look at will be guided by the nature of the study question under analysis and the sort of information necessary for responding to the question (Dawson, 2009; Wilson et al. , 2000). Looking at the study question for this study, it ought to be observed that the question is a 'what' question. This sort of questions requires descriptive answers that seek to find and express the characteristics of, and pattern of some communal sensation (Blaikie, 2007).

Blaikie (2007) provided a straightforward explanation on the aim of each of the four logics of inquiry in sociable science. He discussed that the purpose of inductive research strategy is to describe the characteristics of folks and social situations, and then determine the nature of the style of the relationship between these characteristics in order to establish common generalizations that can be used as patter of explanations, causeing this to be strategy very useful for answering 'what' question, the category to which our research question participate in. In brief, the deductive strategy has a relatively reverse logic to the inductive strategy, the aim of which is to test theories by locating a possible explanation or theoretical argument for the lifetime of the regularity in the sociable phenomenon under investigation. On the other hand, a reductive strategy seek to find underlying mechanisms to be able to provide description for recognized irregularities, while a abductive research strategy try to illustrate and understand sociable life so that it is useful for answering both 'what' and 'why' questions. Having said this, the author is considering both the inductive and abductive research strategy. But because the aim of this research is to provide a descriptive and not explanatory answer for the social sensation, an inductive strategy or logic of inquiry was given priority.

Although, research strategy is a very common and useful way to believe about how to handle research, it must be looked at within the broader frameworks of existing philosophical perspectives. This entails taking into consideration the epistemological and ontological assumptions bordering social research.

2. 2 Philosophical model of research

Research can be procedure in many ways and any strategy taken, represent a specific philosophical perspective on reality and the ways through which knowledge can be gained (Sim and Wright, 2000). The assumptions made about the type of actuality or in cases like this social reality is referred to as 'ontological assumptions' and that made about the way to obtain knowledge of this the truth is referred to as 'epistemological assumptions'. These two assumptions are interwoven and so need to be studied in relation to each other for understanding and characterizing the different philosophical perspectives on research.

In the context of social research, ontology is concerned with the type of cultural entities and the central issue is the question of whether sociable entities can and should be considered as objective entities which may have a reality external to the cultural actors been examined (realist ontology), a position frequently known as "Objectivism" or whether they can and should be considered as interpersonal constructions build up from the perceptions and activities of social actors, a position frequently known as "constructionism" (Bryman, 2008).

On the other palm, epistemology is realized as the school of thought of knowledge and can be explained in conditions of the nature of the relationship between your inquirer and what is to be known (Denzin and Lincoln, 2000; Guba, 1990). It really is particularly concerned with pulling conclusions from claims about how exactly we can know the world (Hughes and Sharrock, 1990). Although, it is generally agreed that the purpose of enquiry is to find a conclusion which allows for control and prediction of phenomena whether it's real human or physical (Von Wright, 1971), there's a concern concerning whether the same general concepts and procedures utilized by natural science can and should be used to review the cultural world. To the effect, the relationship between an inquirers/analysts and whatever is been researched is viewed in three basic ways. Objectivism views whatever is been investigated as using a intrinsic meaning that the analysts need to find, subjectivism view in which the researched contributes no interpretation to itself but leaves the several researchers to impose their own meaning and constructionism (rejects the previous two view) suggesting that interpretation are produced by the conversation between the researcher and the researched, with the researcher only participating in a dynamic role during the structure process (Blaikie, 2007).

Initially, inquirers focused on what later became known as 'positivism', the emphasis of which is 'objectivity' and a precise description through quantification and classification (Guba, 1990). According to Bryman (2008), both basic epistemological positions are positivism, which imitate the natural science with an objectivist epistemology and 'interpretivism', which denotes an alternative to the positivist view that have been held for decades (subjectivist epistemology). Interpretivism links mutually the views of freelance writers who belief that the subject matter of the sociable research i. e. people and their organizations, is fundamentally not the same as that of the natural knowledge and therefore requires a different logic of research process that demonstrates the distinctiveness of humans (Bryman, 2008).

The opposing epistemological and ontological positions mentioned above are the record upon which the several philosophical perspectives on research or research paradigms emerge. Theoretically, there are in least ten philosophical perspectives due to the blend of different ontological and epistemological positions (Blaikie, 2007). Interestingly, there are no right or incorrect philosophical point of view, the appropriateness of the position taken by research workers is determined by the relevant of the underlining philosophical assumptions to a person research question (Denzin and Lincoln, 2000). . The author found two philosophical perspectives / paradigm 'positivism' and 'post-positivism' to be highly relevant to the research question for this review and these will be mentioned below. Your choice to consider only both of these paradigms was based on a careful review of their ontological and epistemological positions, which appeared to be highly relevant to providing the descriptive answer required by the study question because of this review. Other philosophical perspective / paradigm weren't reviewed here because these were of little or no relevance to responding to the research questions but could be found elsewhere (See Bryman, 2008).

2. 2. 1 Positivism

One primary feature of positivist philosophies of research is the think that progression in knowledge is the merchandise of empirical research; through the gradual accumulation of factual statements about the world to create the generalisations known as clinical laws (Hughes and Sharrock, 1990). This is actually the basis for the epistemological position of positivism, which advocates the utilization of the methods of natural research to study social reality. According to Sim and Wright (2000), the ontological position of positivism is the existence of a single objective certainty, which is similar for everyone, irrespective of individual value, behaviour or conception. This helps it be impossible to evaluate non-observable entities. Denzin and Lincoln (2000) attempted to make clear this position by stating that the different ways of defining real life are rooted in phenomena existing outside the human head but can be considered, experienced or detected even though they are occasionally beyond immediate apprehension. Neuman (2006) characterized positivism by its predetermined belief in objectivity and attributes the inability of social research to be as thorough as natural sciences, to its immaturity.

It is deduced therefore that positivism assumes a realist ontology, which holds the fact that there is a single objective certainty; a target epistemology that requires the inquirer to be detached from that which has been inquired into, and for that reason an empirical experimental methodology. With regards to my research question, an empirical experimental design might not exactly be befitting providing the mandatory answer. It is because I belief that the objective reality (this is the social happening been explored) will be subjectively reported predicated on the knowledge of each social celebrities (poultry handlers) making it a subjective truth. On the other hand, no two experts reason equally. Therefore, the interpretation of an subjective truth (data collected by the inquirer) can also be interpreted with slight variations by different inquirers.

2. 2. 2 Post-positivism

In respond to criticism confronted by positivist, a improved version of positivism emerged. Although, it still keeps the same basics with positivism with relation to the presence of a real world driven by natural laws and regulations, the essence of this new position is the realisation that the public world can't be fully comprehended and so inquirers need to be critical in the process of the enquiry in concern of the imperfect dynamics of humans (Guba, 1990; Denzin and Lincoln 2000). As opposed to positivist ontological assumption of an objective reality which exist out there holding out to be determined, post-positivism adopt believe that reality can't be completely discover. Wisker (2008) added that certainty can only be comprehended by interpretations in the framework of data collected inductively. This is in recognition that it is unrealistic for inquirers to be completely objective while performing public research, instead a sociable researcher can try to be as objective as possible.

Although, post-positivism and positivism are similar in their approach to solving sociable research question, in that they take up a predetermined procedure that is pre-structured with specific research questions (as in a questionnaire) to provide specialized and predictive results, the position of the previous will fit better and proves to be the most appropriate position to look at for answering the study question for this research. Post-positivism assumes a crucial realist ontology, which holds that reality powered by natural laws exists but can't be completely apprehended; a customized objectivist epistemology, which is regulatory with special emphasis put on external guardian, and a manipulative strategy that seek to handle inquiry in a more natural setting (Guba, 1990). This position is apparently more appropriate for answering the research question because it agrees that certainty cannot be totally apprehended therefore the social actors can only reported that part that they understand, whereas inquirers, understanding that they cannot be completely detached from the inquired into, can only just make an effort to be object and could need to rely on peer review to ensure that a critical in their interpretations.

2. 3 Research Strategy / Design

Although, it's quite common practice to divide research into two main types; that which employ quantitative approach and that which employs qualitative strategy, it's advocated that a research only is commonly more quantitative than qualitative (quantitative research) or more qualitative than quantitative (qualitative research) and so there is absolutely no clear distinction between your both types (Bryman, 2008; Creswell, 2009). This is actually the bases for the mix method research, which is the newest in the group refers to research that reside in the middle because it incorporates a comparable amount of both quantitative and qualitative strategy. While quantitative research can be perceived as a research strategy that stresses more on the quantification in the collection and examination of data (research method), qualitative research is regarded as a research strategy that emphasizes more on words in the collection and analysis of data (Bryman, 2008).

In the interconnection of philosophical perspective / research paradigm with research strategy and research method into a construction of research design, it was deduced from Creswell (2009, pg. 16-17) that in real human and social research:

Quantitative approach tend to use post-positivist knowledge claim (philosophical perspective); employ study and experimental strategy of inquiry; and use closed-ended questions, predetermined techniques with numeric data.

Qualitative approach have a tendency to use constructivist / advocacy / participatory knowledge case (philosophical perspective); use phenomenology, grounded theory, ethnography, circumstance control or narrative strategy of inquiry; and employ open-ended questions, observation, rising techniques or use of text message / images.

Mixed method methodology have a tendency to use pragmatic knowledge lay claim; hire concurrent and transformative strategy of inquiry; and utilize both open-and-closed- finished questions, both appearing and predetermined techniques, and both quantitative and qualitative data and analysis.

Judging from the component of these three possible frameworks, the Quantitative methodology appears to be most appropriate for the research strategy and the philosophical perspective that is considered by the research in the previous sections. At this time the reader should understand that the route taken by interpersonal researchers is affected by a variety of factors; research strategy, ontology, and epistemology. They are the methodological concerns or reasoning behind the technique of data collection that should be employed. The author believes that so far, the roles played out by these factors have been made explicit. Against this backdrop, the quantitative research procedure that takes the position of any post-positivist, employs a survey strategy of inquiry as against experimental strategy (because the thing of analysis is real human), using predetermined approaches (closed-ended questions) is the preferred approach. Therefore a survey technique.

2. 4 Rationale for the chosen Methodology

With esteem to the study question and goal of this research which is to look for the knowledge, frame of mind and techniques of chicken handlers regarding avian influenza. Several reasons were considered before arriving at a defined method for data collection. Although, the sort of data had a need to answer the study question, their source, and approach to collection is dependent to a great amount on the methodological factors, there were lots of pragmatic factors that also would have to be considered. Essentially the most relevant in the framework of the particular analysis were the research question and aim of this research, time and budget concerns and the skills of the researcher. It was important that due consideration is given to each one of these factors because there is also significant influence on the foundation and approach to data collection. Take note however that these factors do not change the philosophical assumptions underpinning this research. It only affects the method of data collection to be implemented from lots of methods that can be used under a quantitative strategy with a post-positivist position. Hence, establishes the research technique.

Evaluating the success and efficiency of the quantitative (study) research method as well as a desk-based research method (both of which is often used under a quantitative research methodology), a desk-based research method which entails the use of any literature review as the precise data collection approach with secondary research appeared to be a very important contender. However, several reasons led to the final decision to utilize this method.

Firstly, reflecting back on the nature of the research question and the aim of this study, an assessment of then knowledge, frame of mind and routines of poultry handlers which brings together the findings of several studies is important because the planning, implementation, and analysis of a non-therapeutic treatment has cost implications in terms of your time, money, and resources. Therefore, sufficient and reliable evidences are essential (by / for your choice manufacturers) for an involvement to be fully justified. Further, the studies are also important in order to ensure that the intervention is prepared strategically and customized to produce the required outcome.

Secondly, there was a restricted time range within which this study must be completed. It is only an integral part of the requirement of an one year Experts programme and most important research may be frustrating and expensive (Stewart and Kamins, 1993). In interpersonal science, female research relating to the participation of men and women must pass through a challenging and unpredictable research (Neale, 2009; Aveyard, 2007) prior to the research process can be began. Meanwhile, a books review supplementary data collection process does not have to go through such long method, except that the work of the authors whose studies are been evaluated must be recognized and properly referenced. Furthermore, the principal data collection and examination process are also time-consuming when compared to a second data collection and evaluation process.

Finally, the level of my experience was also considered because at the time of having to carry out this study, I had been a beginner researcher. Interestingly, literature review is a perfect way of exploring how different research methods are used in providing empirical evidences using different methods. But most of all, books review can allow a new researcher like me to provide a more conclusive data than a single research would. It offers a broader picture, offers a comprehensive summary of the existing knowledge or understanding, and can make new insights into the area been explored (Neale, 2009).

Based on the theoretical and philosophical factors which have been presented so far, a books review (literature review strategy) which also allows the acquire of quantitative data from the work of other researcher (Neale, 2009) for extra examination was chosen more than a survey (survey technique) as the precise data collection way for this review. Hence, a books review methodology will be used.

2. 5 Books Review as a study Methodology

Literature review was defined by Aveyard (2007: 5) as a comprehensive analysis and interpretation of books that relate with a particular issue. She added that if carried out systematically, a books review becomes a strategy in its own right. As a research methodology, it entails a organized, explicit, and reproducible way for identifying, analyzing, and synthesizing the existing body of completed and recorded work made by research workers, scholars and specialists (Fink, 2010). Quite simply, it seek to review, analyse and then summerise the body of existing books relating to a particular theme in a format that can be easy to get at and comprehendible by pros, who want to be up-to-date with current research or research on the topic but do not have the time to read and assimilate all the informations needed to achieve this task (Aveyard, 2007).

Although, books review as a desk-base research method has been flourishing for centuries now, the emergence of organized review and meta-analysis have brought up questions about the academics credibility of literature review as a research method with some promises that the method is sloppy, biased and imperfect (Greenhalgh, 1997). It is probably in response to such criticisms, that the importance of approaching literature review systematic have been argued by some (Aveyard, 2007), while some have sought to develop systematic reviewing techniques. However, Neale (2009) argued that the reason and use of literature review is completely different from that of a systematic review and so should be regarded as two important and diverse methods in their own right. He added that whereas organized reviews tend to be more suited for responding to very specific questions on the result of particular insurance plan, practice or medical treatment; literature view (which should be referred to as critical books review because it is also carried out systematically and critically) is more suited for handling broader and more technical topics by providing a map of research in a particular field.

2. 5. 1 Searching the Literature

Having undertaken a preliminary books review and determined an obvious research question that can be answered by way of a literature review research method; the next thing is to build up a search strategy to guide the books searching, locating and identifying relevant literatures that can dwelling address the research question. But in order to target the literature looking process, predefined selection requirements that will narrow the literature search towards literatures that can solve the research question may also be needed. The standards will include both inclusion and exclusion requirements, both which rely upon and are specific for each and every specific research question of a study (Aveyard, 2007). Away, centering the literature search process, inclusion and exclusion conditions avoids a researcher from becoming distracted by interesting articles that are not relevant to the research question under analysis. Aveyard (2007) argued that used, such criteria are made up of a combo of necessary as well as pragmatic limits (considered based on the availability of resource) that must be justified.

Although, databases are the most common source of books and are regarded as the starting point, there are many other sources from which literatures can be searched for. It was reported that the majority of relevant journal in many research areas, particularly social science, may not be indexed in electronic digital directories but will be present in unpublished accounts as gray literatures (Petticrew and Roberts, 2006). For this reason it's important to find different sources in order to locate almost all of the relevant books. The electronic digital searching is an extremely useful approach which includes made searching for literature, an even more easier and reliable process. It requires using computer-held directories which are made up of huge subject index of journal articles and books. Not surprisingly, it's possible for electronic databases to carry most literature related to a particular topic appealing. But because electronic digital literatures are categorised and recognized using different key term, it is possible to miss related/relevant studies if the focus of the study is not immediately recognized by the main element words or title used to carry out the search. Hence, Aveyard (2007) suggested other methods like side looking relevant journal, gray literature and searching research list as an efficient means of picking right up missed literature. Sources and citations looking are extremely important key sources of relevant articles, since it is improbable that relevant studies related to the study topic will not guide other related articles or be cited by following literatures in the same area except were this article is an extremely recent one. These very helpful strategies are recognized by some databases like Web of Knowledge, making them both effective and useful.

Because there are several digital databases from which literatures can be retrieved and almost all of these are subject matter specific, it is highly recommended to first of all identify those that are highly relevant to a research question. the directories available to me as students of Oxford Brookes College or university through the Corporations website, are grouped into different subject areas and include brief information of the content of the directories to your choice making process for determining relevant databases. Whatever the database selected, research question will need to have its specific search conditions/keywords for retrieving relevant studies. It is because databases contain huge assortment of articles that means it is practically impossible to search for specific studies without needing keywords. These keywords and there synonym then need to be combined collectively in a logical way to make sure they are capable of identifying relevant studies somewhat than simply any studies comprising the keywords. This is what Boolean logic providers are used for. These reasoning providers are three in amount 'OR', 'AND', & 'NOT' and all have specific functions. The reasoning operator 'OR' means that any or every one of the keywords inserted in a search are sought out, whereas 'AND' means that all keywords inserted in a search are searched for (Aveyard, 2007).

2. 5. 2 Critically Appraising Selected Studies

Having chosen some related studies could be utilized to answer the study question, this is a requirement for all critical literature review that the studies to be assessed are critically appraised to determine the extent of their relevance to responding to the research goal as well as determine their strengths and limitations. The process of ensuring that all the studies contained in a review is properly critiqued, is believed to distinguish books reviews from traditional because thus giving a reader evidence of the appropriateness of the research sited to the argument been made (Aveyard, 2007). There are a great number of critiquing tools open to guide analysts (especially new researchers) during the process of assessing research papers, all of which are made of questions a research needs to ask to make sense of a study. While some critiquing tools tend to be specific, universal critical appraisal tools are also available for use in analyzing different research designs. Your choice to use any of the available tools should hinge largely on the type of paperwork to be analyzed so the questions making up such tool could be more related to the analysis design of such documents.

2. 5. 3 Evaluation and Synthesis of Research Findings

Ethical consideration

The need to be up-to-date became very important because of the massive amount information designed for health care pros, which is still expanding on a regular basis making research information to become outdated in a brief period of your energy.

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