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Ronald H. Heck

In: The SAGE Handbook for Research in Education: Engaging Ideas and Enriching Inquiry

Chapter 21: Conceptualizing and Conducting Meaningful Research Studies in education

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Conceptualizing and Conducting Meaningful Research Studies in education
Conceptualizing and conducting meaningful research studies in education

The object of research is to understand phenomena in terms of their patterns and idiosyncratic tendencies and to formulate explanations of our experiences. Researchers construct explanations about phenomena from the interplay among their studies' conceptual underpinnings (e.g., frameworks, theories, previous research), the assumptions and methods underpinning scientific inquiry (e.g., what constitutes “evidence,” the procedures and techniques used to collect and analyze data), and the blend of contextual conditions (e.g., cultural beliefs and values, historical situations, settings) in which their investigations are carried out. Obviously, these are in flux as opposed to static, and because research is a human endeavor, examining investigators' choices about the processes underlying a study's conceptualization and ...

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