PreprintPDF Available

A Review of key paradigms: positivism, interpretivism and critical inquiry.

Preprints and early-stage research may not have been peer reviewed yet.


Nowadays, one of the most popular dialogues in many educational events and conferences around the world is how to effectively deal with new trends influenced on approaches of educators and teachers to define the who, what and how in learning and teaching activity. Profoundly, these fast-changing trends as globalisation, digitalisation and diversifications of learning and teaching demands have vividly challenged our current understanding about the learners and required us to continuously innovate our curriculum and pedagogy, assessment and evaluation as well as improve overall leadership to ensure the most effectiveness of education system (Tan, Parsons, Hinson & Brown, 2011, p74). From this view, research has played a critical role in providing key insights about demands and unmet needs of students and teachers; then shaping the strategies, policies and innovations in educational sector. Within the scope of this paper, it is focused to discuss key theoretical perspectives that considered as the foundation of research: positivism, interpretivism and critical inquiry, especially draw a deeper view on advantages and disadvantages of each of these paradigms.
Correspondent to
Lan Thi Mai Pham
School of Education
MEd Program 2017-2018
A review of advantages and disadvantages
of three paradigms:
positivism, interpretivism and critical inquiry
Nowadays, one of the most popular dialogues in many educational events and conferences around the world
is how to effectively deal with new trends influenced on approaches of educators and teachers to define the
who, what and how in learning and teaching activity. Profoundly, these fast-changing trends as
globalisation, digitalisation and diversifications of learning and teaching demands have vividly challenged
our current understanding about the learners and required us to continuously innovate our curriculum and
pedagogy, assessment and evaluation as well as improve overall leadership to ensure the most effectiveness
of education system (Tan, Parsons, Hinson & Brown, 2011, p74). From this view, research has played a
critical role in providing key insights about demands and unmet needs of students and teachers; then shaping
the strategies, policies and innovations in educational sector. Within the scope of this paper, it is focused to
discuss key theoretical perspectives that considered as the foundation of research: positivism, interpretivism
and critical inquiry, especially draw a deeper view on advantages and disadvantages of each of these
First, positivism paradigm which under objectivism epistemology is a methodological philosophy in
quantitative research where we will apply the methods of natural sciences to discover the study of social
science (Crotty, 1998, p8-9). In this respect, understanding of phenomena in reality must be measured and
supported by evidence (Hammersley, 2013, p22-23). To illustrate, within the process of studying the
phenomena, the relationship between an independent variable and one or more dependent variables will be
discovered by causal inferences as the results of experimental designs and be fully determined through the
way of how researchers maximize the influence of the independent variable on the dependent variable and
events through this process (Cohen, Manion & Marison, 2011). Alternatively, this paradigm helps positivist
researchers clearly understand the objects by empirical tests and methods as sampling, measurement,
questionnaire, focus group discussion. This suggests that insights provided by positivist researchers may
have high quality standard of validity and reliability (Cohen, 2007) and be generalised to the large scale of
population (Johnson & Onwuegbuzie, 2004). For better decision of using this theoretical approach in
research, let discuss its advantages and disadvantages on its application in social research. First, with the
methodologies and methods of collecting and analysing data based on evidence and statistic, the result of
the same phenomena or event may be allowed to “replicate for different groups or subgroups of population
in social contexts. As the result, the researchers can save time and investments for using the findings of
specific study for future quantitative predictions (Johnson & Onwuegbuzie, 2004). Second, as being
collected under the view of objectivism epistemology, the findings of research can be reliable and support
researchers to make scientific assumptions (Johnson, 2014). Indeed, Dörnyei (2007) finds that reliability
can be estimated by statistical analysis via identifying the internal consistency or correlation among the
variables, using Cronbachs alpha reliability coefficient. Additionally, it is worth to conclude the validity
of research results is one of key strength of this approach. Virtually, by employing key methodologies as
Experimental Research or Survey Research and then applying appropriate methods of sampling,
instrumentations and statistical treatments of data, the quantitative findings will help to provide an intensive
answer for any research questions (Cohen, Manion & Morrison, 2011, p. 179). Given its advantages in
helping researchers to continuously developing their understanding about humans and events in the areas
of social research based on the clear evidence; this paradigm still maintains some limitations. The first
concerns of using this paradigm in social research projects is that it could be impossible to measure
phenomena related to intention, attitudes, thoughts of a human because these concepts profoundly may not
explicitly be observed or measured with sense experience or without evidence (Hammersley, 2013, pp. 23-
24). For this reason, it clearly causes some constraints in further exploring abstract conceptualisation
commonly developed around human relationship in educational contexts. The second disadvantage is
driven by its own fundamental theoretical perspective in conducting research. Literally, since the objective
of positivism aims to generalise the result of the research at the large degree, there should be a risk that
individuals whose understanding and interpretation related to any events, phenomena or issues can reveal
a lot of truth about reality may be neglected. Similarly, with the general finding of research outcome, it will
be a challenge for researchers to directly apply for understanding the phenomena in particularly local
context (Johnson & Onwuegbuzie, 2004). Last but not least, the inaccuracy of scientific data collected
within this paradigm should be carefully reviewed as in some situations where the respondents may choose
random answers rather than authentic responses or they could not be allowed to have the flexibility to give
their answers which more relevant to their personal cases.
Moving to the next interpretivist paradigm, it is originally rooted in the fact that methods used to
understanding knowledge related to human and social sciences cannot be the same as its usage in physical
sciences because human interprets their world and then acts based on such interpretation while the world
does not (Hammersley, 2013, p. 26). Consequently, interpretivists adapt a relativist ontology in which a
single phenomenon may have multiple interpretations rather than a truth that can be determined by a process
of measurement. Virtually, with interpretivism perspective, researchers tend to gain a deeper understanding
of the phenomenon and its complexity in its unique context instead of trying to generalise the base of
understanding for the whole population (Creswell, 2007). In the same way, Hammersley (2013) emphasises
that since multiple interpretation is developed among humans’ relationship, interpretivist researchers should
try to understand the diverse ways of seeing and experiencing the world through different contexts and
cultures and try to avoid the bias in studying the events and people with their own interpretations. From
this aspect, it is highlighted some advantages of this paradigm in coming discussion. The first advantage is
that with the diversifying views to look into phenomena, interpretivist researchers can not only describe
objects, human or events, but also deeply understand them in social context. In addition, researchers also
can conduct these types of research in natural setting via utilising key methodologies as grounded theory,
ethnography, case study or life history to gain the insider’s insights of research’s objects (Tuli, 2010) to
provide with more authentic information related to the object of research. Second, as leveraging key method
of interactive interview which “allows researcher to investigate and prompt things that we cannot observe,
researchers can probe an interviewee’s thoughts, values, prejudices, perceptions, views, feelings and
perspectives” (Wellington & Szczerbinski, 2007). Thus, valuable data collected will provide researchers
with better insights for further action later. Despite of above key strengths, this paradigm also remains some
disadvantages. One of these limitations is that the intepretivists aim to gain the deeper understanding and
knowledge of phenomena within its complexity of the context rather than generalise these results to other
people and other contexts (Cohen, Manion & Marison, 2011), hence it tends to leave out a gap in verifying
validity and usefulness of research outcomes with using scientific procedures. The second criticism of
interpretivism is that its ontological view tends to be subjective rather than objective (Mack, 2010). For this
reason, research outcomes are unquestionally affected by the researcher’s own interpretation, own belief
system, ways of thinking or cultural preference which causes to many bias. The last limitation of
interpretivism is about the lack of addressing the political and ideological impact on knowledge and social
reality. This paradigm targets to understanding of current phenomena rather than focusing the problems
related to empowerment of individuals and societies. Mack (2010) refers that this theoretical perspective
implicitly neglects the issues of power and agency, which are features of our society. Interestingly, this
specific limitation has potentially led to the role of critical inquiry in further enhancing the practicability of
Finally, the approach of critical inquiry is also known as the “transformative paradigm” (Riyami, 2015)
which its ontology is based on relativism. From this aspect, it is referred that reality is socially constructed
through the media, institutions and society. Accordingly, critical researchers intentionally adopt the ethical,
moral, political standard to judge the situation and practice their research with consideration of social,
economic, political and cultural context for specific research’s objects or events (Hammersely, 2013, p30).
In other words, Creswell (2007) believes that “research should contain an action agenda for reform that
may change the lives of participants”. From this aspect, this paradigm has been used by many researchers
as two following advantages. First, with great attempts to develop connections among interdiscipline of
the economic, political, social, and cultural standard of contemporary societies, the critical theorists have
created “global visions of contemporary societies” and cutting-edge themes for social theories during the
last six decades (Kellner, 1993) considered as the crucial foundation for researchers to continuously explore
and solve contemporary issues of today’s social contexts. Profoundly, educational researchers can benefit
from this ground to achieve their understanding about how learning and teaching issues have been changing
interactively with other social factors as economy, politics and culture. The second advantage of this
approach has been drawn upon its objective is to identify, contest and help solving “gross power imbalance”
in society in order to contribute to the system in equalities and justices as social, economic exclusion (Taylor
& Medina, 2013). Therefore, this paradigm helps researchers to focus on rising the conscious awareness of
teachers about core values and beliefs developed and influenced their natural roles as teacher centered
classroom rules (Taylor, 2008). When this process is underway, teachers’ creative thinking about designing
all teaching activities as curriculum or assessment will be articulated toward student centric approach,
inquiry oriented, culturally sensitive and community oriented via key methodologies as critical action
research, critical discourse analysis and ideology critique (Riyami, 2015). Although the findings of critical
research can potentially resolve society’s issue, especially of educational sectors in this contemporary
context, it is worth to highlight some limitations. The first limitation is the claim that suggesting the role of
teachers can affect the whole society based on the outcome of action research (Riyami, 2015). Conversely,
the fact is that we still are living in a world that teachers’ roles are restricted to their schools or their classes.
Indeed, as a key stakeholder who conducts many action researches, they mainly cannot participate in
decision-making processes (Cohen, Manion & Morrison, 2011). This practice has been implicitly
challenging the actionable role of this paradigm in application of educational research. Second, despite this
theoretical perspective intentionally aims to empower people and achieve equality in society based on
research findings, it is not easy to observe these changes as results of action may take time for reflection in
reality. Consequently, it is strongly recommended that critical researchers should ensure strong self-
awareness and understanding of complexity of social issues and nourish a vision that can benefit for a better
way of teaching and learning.
To summarise, while each of paradigm has both advantages and disadvantages, it is admitted that each of
them has its own unique role contributing to provide researchers with a holistic framework and multiple
view to address key social issues, specifically in educational context. Thus, it is strongly believed that an
interrelated application of these paradigms in research studies in today context is a must to ensure the best
quality of these studies in delivering its notion of validity, reliability, relevancy and oriented action.
Cohen, L., Manion. L., & Morrison, K. (2011). Research methods in education. London: Routledge.
Creswell, J.,W. (2007). Research design. Qualitative and mixed methods approaches. London: Sage.
Crotty, M. (1998). The Foundations of Social Research: Meaning and Perspective in the Research
Process. St Leonards: Allen & Unwin.
Dönyei, Z. (2007). Research methods in applied linguistics. New York: Oxford University.
Hammersley, M. (2013). What is Qualitative Research? London and New York: Bloomsburry.
Johnson, R., B. & Onwuegbuzie, A., J. (2004). Mixed Methods Research: A Research Paradigm Whose
Time Has Come. Educational Researcher , 33 (7), p 14-26.
Johnson.S (2014). Advantages and Disadvantages of Positivism. eHow. Retrieved from
Kellner, D. (1993). Critical Theory Today: Revisiting the Classics. SAGE Journals,
10 (2). Retrieved from
Mack, L. (2010). The philosophical underpinnings of educational research. Polyglossia,19. Retrieved
Riyami, A., T (2015). Main Approaches to Educational Research. International Journal of Innovation
and Research in Educational Sciences, 2(5). Retrieved from
Taylor, P.C., & Medina, M.N.D. (2013). Educational research paradigms: From positivism to
multiparadigmatic. Journal for MeaningCentered Education,1. Retrieved from
Taylor, P. C. (2008). Multi-paradigmatic research design spaces for cultural studies researchers
embodying postcolonial theorising. Cultural Studies in Science Education, 4(3), p 881-889.
Tan, O.S., Parsons, R.D., Hinson, S.L. & Brown, D. S. (2011). Educational Psychology. A Practitioner-
Research Approach. An Asian Edition. Singapore: Cengage Learning Asia.
Tuli, F. (2010). The basis of distinction between quantitative and qualitative in social science: reflection
on ontological, epistemological and methodological perspectives. Ethiop.journal of education and
science, 6 (1), pp. 97-108.
Wellington, J., & Szczerbinski, M. (2007). Research methods for the social sciences, London:
... Various types of questions related to the aim of the study were used to answer the research questions (Bengtsson, 2016). The interpretive design allows for a deep understanding of the needs of the participants through thematic analysis (Lan, 2018). The phenomenological approach emphasises lived experiences of participants and is in line with the bioecological framework. ...
Full-text available
Through the bioecological framework, Gr 1 teachers of second language learners' needs for personal development were determined and delineated.
... Observations should be quantifiable, and the use of scientific methods yields universalised answers, while positivistic researchers believe that the knowledge gained through direct observation is more realistic, trustworthy and factual (Hammersley, 2012). Thus, a positivistic research paradigm was followed where the researcher analysed completed questionnaires from individuals to acquire a trustworthy understanding of the phenomena in question (Pham, 2018). The following sections within the methodology represent the research approach and instrument used, the sample size, formulated hypothesis and statistical analysis. ...
Full-text available
Insurers tend to misunderstand the perceptions of the policyholders and inevitably lose clients. In South Africa, very little research has investigated the perceptions and attitudes expressed by insurance policyholders. Therefore, to bridge this gap, the purpose of this research study is to analyse the exogenous factors that influence the risk perception of insurance policyholders in Gauteng. This will inevitably assist insurers to retain more clients as they will have a better understanding of what influences the risk perception of their insurance policyholders. Exogenous factors relate to external factors influencing the risk perception of insurance policyholders namely, political-legal, market fluctuations, crime and unemployment. The questionnaire was distributed to private insurance policyholders in Gauteng, South Africa. Political events and market fluctuations and volatility had significant relationships with the risk perception of policyholders. It can be assumed that the more market volatility exists, or extreme international events take place the more the level of perceived risk by the insurer will be. In terms of demographics, there were also significant relationships between age, level of education, policy type and gender and risk perception. The empirical findings of this research study will furthermore be of benefit to the insurance industry as it provides an analysis of the exogenous factors influencing the risk perception of the insurance policyholders. This can assist insurers to tailor insurance products accordingly for each policyholder in order to maximise customer satisfaction, especially in unprecedented market conditions.
... The main advantage of interpretive approach is diversifying the views and the researcher cannot only describe objects, human or events but also deeply understand the variables and data in the social context. The next advantage of this approach is that we can conduct a research in natural setting and can analyze the data using grounded theory (Pham, 2018). In this paradigm, ontology is relativistic, epistemology is subjective and methodology is naturalist. ...
Full-text available
The main objectives of this study is to explore the equity practices in science classroom. Implementation of equity provision in science classroom is very important. Equity means ensuring the needs of the students according to their necessities. It focuses on individual teaching. All students are different and having the specific capacity and capacity of learning and teacher should facilitate them all according to their ability and they should have rights to equal access in resources and other extra supports for their improvement and also should have the equality in achievement. To reveal such practices in learning science researcher used phenomenological study. Two secondary science teachers were selected using purposive and convenient sampling method. The in-depth interview was taken for data collection two times to saturate the data. Collected data were analyzed using thematic analysis. Practices of equity provision were found weaker. Teacher were found little bit concerned about the equity in pedagogy but it was limited only to sitting arrangement and group division. They could not provide the adequate concern on homework checkup, and individual teaching. And they were found less concerned about the equity in achievement. Hence, it is necessary to organize workshops and training on professional development issues to implementation of equity provision; equity in access, equity in process as well as equity achievement in the science classroom.
... Secondly, this research followed the philosophy of positivism, which has some drawback related to the influence of researcher emotions and behaviour on research. Positivists, philosophy tends to ignore unexplained experience or events (Pham, 2018). ...
Full-text available
Self-service technologies are increasing everywhere, and customers are proactively embracing them. For retailers, large-scale use is a prerequisite for successful investment in such technologies. This study attempts to investigate the factors in shoppers’ intentions to use self-checkout systems (SCSs) across Dublin grocery stores. It also identifies the relationship between their intention and actual usage of SCSs. Furthermore, it examines the influence of control variables (i.e. age, gender, education level, and the number of items purchased) on SCSs usage. The research builds on the technology acceptance model (TAM) (Davis et al., 1989) by developing a conceptual framework. The base TAM model has been expanded by incorporating additional constructs derived from prior literature on self-service technologies (SSTs). Thus, this thesis followed a deductive research approach with a quantitative methodology. Data was collected using a structured online questionnaire with a sample of 315 study participants. Six hypotheses were tested using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) technique. Most of the research hypotheses were supported. The association between intention to use SCSs and actual use was partially confirmed. Findings indicated that perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, shorter perceived waiting time, and negative technology anxiety strongly supports customers who intend to use SCSs. While a customer may have a high intention to use the SCSs, it is less probable to use them without situational triggers like shopper's basket size. Perceived ease of use of SCSs has a significant effect on SCSs customers' usage. To conclude, shoppers' actual usage of SCSs depends on various motivations from situational factors to demographic characteristics. Thus, to get SCS usage, retailers should ensure that SCSs interfaces are user-friendly and reduce queuing time. Retailers must regularly facilitate shoppers' ease of using SCSs to enhance the perceived usefulness and reduce technology anxiety, leveraging customer analytics for implementing shopper’s specific adoption strategies. A strong push by the Irish government to promote such SSTs, collaborating technology providers and retailers to engage with the new breed of shoppers. Finally, based on the findings, it was suggested for future research into situational factors and SCSs technical characteristics, to explore the more in-depth connection between intention to use and actual utilization of SCSs.
... TA is used in research involving interpretative analysis to demonstrate the complexity, depth, and nuance of a person's individual perspective (Boyatzis 1998) and to search for repeating patterns both in people's lived experience and in the context to which they refer (Chambers et al. 2020;Willig 1999). The interpretivist paradigm (Creswell 2014;Hammersley 2013;Pham 2018) emphasises the importance of contextual analysis (Botham and Nicholson 2014): data is interpreted and patterns identified by drawing from a broader discourse (Gephart 1999). The analysis was conducted in two stages: deductive and inductive. ...
Full-text available
The purpose of the study was to enrich our understanding of how personal and master narratives ‘met’ in stories of individuals who experienced schizophrenia. Qualitative, in-depth and semi-structured interviews conducted in Poland with people diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia were processed using the thematic analysis method. Interview analysis yielded three ways in which the master and the personal narratives of schizophrenia met: reception of master narrative content, its negotiation within personal narratives, and application, i.e. using phrases from the master narrative to fill in or supplement descriptions of own experience. We emphasize the importance of self-awareness in using master narrative in encounters with individuals diagnosed with mental illness and its associated consequences. We point out the need to support the construction of personal narratives and, as postulated by phenomenological psychiatry, we stress the need to recognize subjective stories of the experience of schizophrenia as a special mode of human existence. • Points of Interest • This article looks in detail into stories created by people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia about their experiences and into the way they construct their narratives. • Participants of this study recall in their stories statements of medical specialists and people from social environment talking about schizophrenia. • Terms and phrases about schizophrenia cause versatile reactions among people with this diagnosis. Sometimes participants accept them, often they disagree with them, other times, however, they ascribe new meanings to them. • It is important to be attentive in our use of language when speaking about schizophrenia and when talking to people with this diagnosis. • The accounts of the participants in our study are another voice in the debate on the idea of abandoning the label of ‘schizophrenia’.
... In this quantitative approach, understanding of facts must be measured and assisted by proof. This paradigm helps the researchers to clearly acknowledge the objects by empirical test and methods such as questionnaire and FGDs; hence, the perceptions provided by positivist researchers may have high standard of rationality and be generalized to a larger scale of population (Pham, 2018). The approach of transformative paradigm has been seen as another alternative; it is also referred to as critical inquiry (Riyami, 2015). ...
Full-text available
This Dissertation examines the level of participation of community members in COVID-19 emergency relief projects led by Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). Many efforts have been made to engage local community members in community development and emergency response projects in KRI. Yet, the impacts of this participation have not been thoroughly evaluated.; that research gap is addressed here. The Dissertation investigates community participation levels in local NGO projects seeking to respond to the COVID-19 crisis in KRI. An interpretivist approach was taken, through evaluation of documentary evidence of 19 projects as secondary data. It rates participation of community members using a proposed participation model. These secondary findings are linked to primary data generated from 10 Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) with involved community members. As a result of the research process, a low participation level was identified in many projects implemented by local NGOs in KRI. In addition, other key deficits were found including lack of systematic mechanisms to collect community feedback and overlooking of the role of community members in designing and assessing the projects. Furthermore, the research generated a categorization for project beneficiaries based on their level of engagement and investigated numerous factors and drivers for this engagement; these traits involved characteristics and methods of community engagement in projects, details of core activities carried out by the local NGOs, and impact of key engagement methods adopted by community members to deliver their tasks on effectiveness of the participation. Lastly, the findings of this research are compared to the cases elsewhere and key areas of concurrence and disagreement with the existing literature are highlighted. Ultimately, critical recommendations are made to enhance the community participation in the future interventions; the recommendations include recognizing and reflecting the diversity of the community in the interventions and considering the community views in all stages of the projects.
... We incorporated the grounded theory strategy of focusing on the participants' perceptions of the contexts and processes of the ACAP phenomenon (Charmaz, 2014;Lawrence & Tar, 2013;Nowell, 2017). We sought to gain insight into participants' thoughts, emotions, and perspectives, following an interpretivist research paradigm (Pham, 2018). All study procedures were approved by an urban, health campus Institutional review board. ...
Full-text available
Child Welfare (CW) provides an array of services to meet the needs of families, requiring agencies to be malleable in their ability to absorb new practices. Absorptive capacity (ACAP) refers to the routines and processes in which an organization acquires, assimilates, and applies new knowledge. ACAP has yet to be the focus of implementation research in CW settings. This exploratory study elicited feedback from CW staff in determining factors to consider when absorbing a new practice. Themes of logistic support, agency culture, and feedback from families emerged. Findings offer insights for CW agencies to consider when adopting a new practice.
Full-text available
At present, head teachers’ role as an instructional resource for the staff has been given a great emphasis to be carried out worldwide. However, a number of false practices of head teachers are often narrated by the school staffs which have hindered the creation of a motivating working environment. Hence, this paper aims at exploring what experiences the head teacher and teacher have assembled in the course of head teacher leadership practices as an instructional resource for the staff. The paper is based on narrative inquiry where a head teacher and the teacher from the same school were selected purposively as research participants for in-depth interview. From prolonged engagement with the participants, this study explored that head teacher leadership practice which was expected to act as an instructional resource for the staff was found counter-practiced though they narrated their awareness about the discourse. These pitfalls were narrated so considering the head teacher leadership’s major engagement in administrative tasks rather than in instruction pedagogy, instruction practice and CAS evaluation and implementation as inculcated by the three indicators of Step II of Effective Instructional Leadership. Moreover, failure of the head teacher to monitor and supervise the team’s performance was also recounted. Hence, the study implies the practices of head teacher leadership as an instructional resource for the staff as inevitable to help school prosper and strive towards excellence in teaching and learning setting.
Full-text available
This article presents the results of a narrative analysis that looked into some EFL students’ experiences related to their English learning processes and the use of ICT (Information and Communication Technologies). The study was carried out at a university in southern Colombia. The main objective was to understand the participants’ experiences in the institutional English courses at a university while using ICT during their language learning process. The data was collected through in-depth interviews and life stories. The English students’ experiences are relevant to validating a new teaching tool or strategy in a specific context. The main conclusion indicates that ICT in language teaching needs to be articulated with other appropriate tools, practices, methodologies, and approaches to achieve meaningful learning.
Full-text available
Objective: According to many experts, methodological weakness is one of the weaknesses of master and doctoral dissertations in Iran. A meta-methodological study is a kind of comprehensive study that examines and compares the methodological aspects of previous researches. Accordingly, the purpose of this study is to identify and evaluate the status of the methodological components of master and doctoral dissertations in the field of industrial management at Shiraz University from 1991 to 2019. Methods: This research is a descriptive and analytical type that used Meta-method to review the dissertations in the field of industrial management. VOS viewer software is used to analyze data from Excel software and keyword co-event. Results: The results of the data analysis showed that 89% of the dissertations were applied research t and the most used tool of the researchers was questionnaire (31%). In addition, the results indicated the dominance of quantitative methods (79%), positivism paradigm (80%) and survey strategy (57%) and Statistical test methods (30%) in the analysis of findings in industrial management researches. Finally, by extracting 713 unique keywords, 56 words were repeated at least 5 times, including applied research, descriptive, quantitative, positivism, library and field research, survey, documentation and questionnaire. Conclusion: The results of this study can lead to understanding the past situation and by presenting a picture of trends in the selection of methods used in dissertations, identify the existing gaps and be used for future educational and research planning.
Full-text available
The purpose of this paper is to discuss three approaches to educational research. First, I will start with a discussion of the research paradigm, providing its definition and its role in conducting research. Then I will discuss positivism, interpretivism and the critical theory approach to research in terms of their underpinning assumptions, quality standards and limitations. I will follow that with my own position regarding research.
Full-text available
This article examines methodological issues associated with qualitative and quantitative research. In doing this, I briefly begin by outlining the philosophical and conceptual framework that informed the two research methodologies and discusses how ontological and epistemological issues were translated in to specific methodological strategies and influence researchers methodological decision. My purpose in writing this article is not to promote one methodology over the other rather to describe and reflect on thedifferences between the two research methodologies from Ontological, Epistemological and Methodological Perspectives and how they will be selected for research.
Full-text available
In this paper we provide an overview of the characteristics of major educational research paradigms shaping contemporary educational research, ranging from the traditional positivist perspective to the latest multi-paradigmatic worldview. Our purpose is to orient students, faculty and beginning researchers to the newer paradigms that enable researchers to undertake uniquely powerful and insightful inquiries that contribute to transforming the landscape of education.
Full-text available
This issue of Cultural Studies of Science Education focuses on postcolonial theorising as a means of envisioning how science education can contribute substantially to fostering cultural diversity, identity and inclusivity in an era of economic globalization. A radically reconceptualised non/essentialist science education that discontinues its 20th Century culturally imperialistic practice of distributing worldwide (and nationwide) an hegemonic Western Modern Worldview. The issue comprises four papers and a review essay written by leading international scholars in the field of cultural studies of science education, followed by a Forum in which three early career cultural studies workers adopt key postcolonial concepts – hybridity, border crossing, identity and space – to examine their own evolving professional praxes as science and mathematics teacher educators. In this editorial I outline the main focus of the four papers and review essay, provide an executive summary of the Forum, and then propose a multi-paradigmatic approach to educational research that enables graduate students to embody postcolonial theorising as transformative professional development.
Full-text available
The purposes of this article are to position mixed methods research (mixed research is a synonym) as the natural complement to traditional qualitative and quantitative research, to present pragmatism as offering an attractive philosophical partner for mixed methods research, and to provide a framework for designing and conducting mixed methods research. In doing this, we briefly review the paradigm “wars” and incompatibility thesis, we show some commonalities between quantitative and qualitative research, we explain the tenets of pragmatism, we explain the fundamental principle of mixed research and how to apply it, we provide specific sets of designs for the two major types of mixed methods research (mixed-model designs and mixed-method designs), and, finally, we explain mixed methods research as following (recursively) an eight-step process. A key feature of mixed methods research is its methodological pluralism or eclecticism, which frequently results in superior research (compared to monomethod research). Mixed methods research will be successful as more investigators study and help advance its concepts and as they regularly practice it.