Postgraduate Course: The sources of knowledge: Understanding and analysing research literature (REDU11046)
|School||Moray House School of Education and Sport
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This course reflects the need for students to understand fundamental concepts that underpin research in order to be able to critically evaluate the strength of the research discussed throughout their programme of study. This course will explore how differing paradigms of research are reflected in research articles and publications. This will involve introducing students to contrasting genres of scholarly writing and to the research paradigms which underlie and inform the approaches taken in specific studies. Students will gain experience of undertaking some small data collection and preliminary analysis tasks in order to understand, through primary experience, the practical challenges of undertaking rigorous research.
- The purposes of educational research and the criteria for judging it.
- Purposes and genres of educational texts, paradigms and methods of research.
- Taxonomy of social research.
- Observation, interviews, ethnography, action research and case studies.
- Data collection, management.
- Sampling, representativeness, and generalisability and trustworthiness as they apply to qualitative research.
Throughout the course the need to develop well-principled grounds for, and practices in, the interpretation of research articles and publications will be fore-grounded. Students will be made aware of the diversity of approaches taken and purposes pursued within the educational literature and the need therefore to remain alert to the fact that a 'one-size' approach might not be appropriate as they read and engage critically with different genres of writing.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2021/22, Available to all students (SV1)
|Course Start Date
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 5,
Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 8,
Formative Assessment Hours 25,
Summative Assessment Hours 25,
Revision Session Hours 35,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||Assessment (2,000 words)
Assessment of the course will involve an analytical review of an article or a set of linked articles. In addition students will be encouraged to complete shorter written tasks throughout the course. These will be used by the course team to identify any student who may be finding the transition to Masters level work particularly challenging.
|No Exam Information
| By the end of the course students will be able to:
1. demonstrate critical awareness of current debates concerning the purposes and interpretation of educational research;
2. evaluate strengths and weaknesses of different research paradigms and philosophies with reference to their own professional setting;
3. demonstrate understanding and skills in the analysis, evaluation and interpretation of specific forms of educational writing;
4. collect data with consideration for issues of data management, generalisability and trustworthiness.
Allison, P. & Pomeroy, E. (2000). How shall we 'know?' Epistemological concerns in research in experiential education. Journal of Experiential Education, 23(2), 91-97.
Boyatzis, R.E. (1998). Transforming qualitative information. London: Sage Publications.
Bryman, A. (2001) Social research methods. Oxford: University Press.
Creswell, J. (1998). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five traditions. London: Sage.
Creswell, J. W. (2003). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. London: Sage.
Guba, E. G. & Lincoln, Y. S. (2008). Paradigmatic controversies, contradictions and emerging confluences. In Denzin, N. K. & Lincoln, Y. S. (Eds.), The landscape of qualitative research (pp. 255-286). London: Sage Publications.
Donaldson, S.I., Christie, C.A. and Mark, M.M. (2009) What Counts as credible evidence in applied research and evaluation practice? Thousand Oaks, CA./London: SAGE.
Flick, U. (2002) An introduction to qualitative research. (Second Edition). London: Sage.
Golden-Biddle, K. & Locke, K. D. (1997). Composing qualitative research. London: Sage.
Hammersley, M. (ed). (1998). Reading ethnographic research. 2nd Edition London: Longman.
Hammersley, M. (ed.) 2007. Educational research and evidence-based practice. London: Open University / SAGE.
Hughes, J. (1990). The philosophy of social research. Harlow: Longman.
Midgley, M. (1978/1996). Beast and man. London: Routledge.
Phillips, D. C. (1993). Subjectivity and objectivity: An objective inquiry. In M. Hammersley (Ed.), Educational research: Current issues. London: Open University.
Robson, C. (2002) Real world research. A resource for social scientists and practitioner-researchers. Second Edition. Oxford: Blackwell.
Yates, L. 2004. What does good education research look like?: Situating a field and its practices. Maidenhead: Open University Press / McGraw-Hill.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Keywords||sources of knowledge,understanding literature
|Course organiser||Dr Gale MacLeod
Tel: (0131 6)51 6448
|Course secretary||Miss Amanda Gilmour
Tel: (0131 6)51 1196