Gondwe, P. M. K. (2013). Educational Research Methods: an Assignment. Rumphi, Mw: University of Livingstonia

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UNIVERSITY OF LIVINGSTONIA
Laws Campus – Faculty of Education
Department Of Humanities

to:

Dr. C. Kaluwa(lecturer)
from:

PENJANI M. K. Gondwe (bed/008/10) (student)
Subject:
EDUCATION

Course title:
RESEARCH METHODS

COURSE CODE:
EDU 3602

Task:
ONE

Task:
CRITICALLY EVALUATE THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ONTOLOGY AND EPISTEMOLOGY IN RESEARCH AND HOW THESE INFLUENCE THE METHODOLOGY OF CONDUCTING RESEARCH.

CAUTION! ACKNOWLEDGEMENT REQUIRED: UNMARKED PAPER
This paper has been written by an undergraduate student as an ASSIGNMENT! This implies that every work in this paper has to be cited with reference to Bibliography including some authors who have not been cited but contributed some knowledge in the paper. Therefore, it is of great importance that you read this not as a published document but rather a paper that has not been marked yet!

SUBMISSION DATE: FRIDAY, 8TH MARCH, 2013

According  to  Worthen  &  Sanders  (2002)  research  is  the  activity  aimed  at  obtaining  generalisable knowledge  by  contriving  and  testing  claims   about  relationships  among  variables  or  describing generalisable  phenomena.  This  knowledge,  which  may  result  in  theoretical  models,  functional relationships,  or descriptions, may be obtained by empirical or other systematic methods and may or may  not  have  immediate  application.  Methodology  reflects  an  underlying  philosophy  comprising  an ontological  view  and  associated  epistemological  assumptions.  Thus,  the  most  fundamental consideration  in  posing  and  answering  research  questions  is  the  philosophical  or  meta­theoretical position  of  the  researcher.  Ontological  assumptions affect the way a researcher views the world and what  they  consider  to  be  real. Deriving from ontology is epistemology, which concerns the theory  of knowledge,  its  nature  and  limits  (Blackburn  1996),  and  how  people acquire and accept  knowledge about  the  world.  Thus  researchers’  ontological  viewpoints  shape  their  epistemological  beliefs  in terms  of  how  knowing and understanding reality can be developed, and of the relationships between the  researcher  and  that  which  is  researched.  Broadly  speaking,  the  traditional  opposing  viewpoints on  the  nature  of  reality  can  be  characterised  as  either  materialistic  or  idealistic. Within metaphysics, the  materialistic  view  suggests  that  reality  is  objective  and  concrete,  that  is,  reality  is  material. Therefore,  this  paper  attempts  to  critically  examine  the  relationship   between  ontology  and epistemology in research and how these influence the methodology of conducting research.

CAUTION! ACKNOWLEDGEMENT REQUIRED: UNMARKED PAPER
This paper has been written by an undergraduate student as an ASSIGNMENT! This implies that every work in this paper has to be cited with reference to Bibliography including some authors who have not been cited but contributed some knowledge in the paper. Therefore, it is of great importance that you read this not as a published document but rather a paper that has not been marked yet!

To  begin  with,  the  ability  to  identify  the  relationship  between  the  ontological,  epistemological foundations  of  a  research and the methods as well as the methodologies employed in conducting it is critical in order for research to be truly meaningful. The foundations on which most researchers work are  their  ontological  and  epistemological  positions.  They  are  not  always  spelt  out  and  are  rather implicit  than  explicit,  but show themselves in the matter  of methodology and approach. According  to Marsh  &  Furlong  (2002),  these  stances  a  researcher  takes  are  pivotal  to  his   or  her research, since they  shape  the  approach  to  theory  and  the  methods  that  have  been  utilised.  Furthermore,  they  are grounded  deeply  in  the  beliefs  of  a  researcher  about  the  world, ...
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