Learning Research & Change Methods

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Archive for the ‘Research’ Category

Is Maximizing the Impact of Research Desirable?

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Currently, there are considerable demands made upon social science to demonstrate its ‘impact.’ These are institutionalized in the requirements laid down by funding bodies and in attempts strategically to manage research within universities. Moreover, as part of campaigns designed to protect the funding of social science there have been efforts to provide evidence of its impact and thereby of its value. Underpinning all this is the generally accepted assumption that it is desirable to maximize the impact of research on policymaking and practice. But is this true?

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Written by learningchange

June 5, 2014 at 10:59 am

Posted in Research

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On Writing Academic Research Papers

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The research paper is a popular academic assignment. Forms of it are also used in various professional fields. The research paper gives you the opportunity to think seriously about some issue. Building on the research of others, you have the opportunity to contribute your own research and insights to a particular question of interest to you. It also gives you practice in important academic skills such as:

  • formulating research questions
  • conducting research
  • managing time
  • organizing information into coherent ideas
  • substantiating arguments with research in the field. and
  • presenting insights about the research

Disciplines vary in their ways of conducting research, in writing research papers, and in the form of the final copy. View sample papers and guides for documenting sources in the four major styles (humanities, social sciences, history, and sciences).

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Read also: Prewriting Strategies

The Writing Process

Inspirational Writing for Academic Publication

Written by learningchange

May 6, 2014 at 11:32 am

Posted in Research, Writing

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Getting Started as a Researcher

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In this theme you will work through a series of texts and activities and reflect on your view of research as well as the skills you are developing. Most activities are supported by textual or audio material and are there to stimulate your thinking in a given area. Through this theme you will have a broad understanding of what is expected of you, the skills you will be developing, the different approaches to research and the importance of developing a clear and mutually understood relationship with your supervisor. In this theme you will learn how to:

  • Recognise your own motivation for carrying out research;
  • Identify your belief system that underpins your view of knowledge;
  • Appreciate the broad nature of the research process within a research community;
  • Recognise the critical nature of the supervisor-student relationship in the research process.

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Written by learningchange

March 29, 2014 at 7:38 pm

Posted in Research, Researcher

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Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples

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From the vantage point of the colonized, the term “research” is inextricably linked with European colonialism; the ways in which scientific research has been implicated in the worst excesses of imperialism remains a powerful remembered history for many of the world’s colonized peoples. Here, an indigenous researcher issues a clarion call for the decolonization of research methods. The book is divided into two parts. In the first, the author critically examines the historical and philosophical base of Western research. Extending the work of Foucault, she explores the intersections of imperialism, knowledge and research, and the different ways in which imperialism is embedded in disciplines of knowledge and methodologies as “regimes of truth“.  Providing a history of knowledge from the Enlightenment to Postcoloniality, she also discusses the fate of concepts such as “discovery“, “claiming“, and “naming” through which the west has incorporated and continues to incorporate the indigenous world within its own web. The second part of the book meets the urgent need for people who are carrying out their own research projects, for literature which validates their frustrations in dealing with various western paradigms, academic traditions and methodologies, which continue to position the indigenous as “Other”. In setting an agenda for planning and implementing indigenous research, the author shows how such programmes are part of the wider project of reclaiming control over indigenous ways of knowing and being. Exploring the broad range of issues which have confronted, and continue to confront, indigenous peoples, in their encounters with western knowledge, this book also sets a standard for truly emancipatory research. It brilliantly demonstrates that “when indigenous peoples become the researchers and not merely the researched, the activity of research is transformed.”

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Written by learningchange

March 29, 2014 at 3:45 pm

Research Methods for Community Change: A Project-Based Approach

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Research Methods for Community Change: A Project-Based Approach, is an in-depth review of all of the research methods that communities can use to solve problems, develop their resources, protect their identities, and build power. With an engaging writing style and numerous real world examples, Randy Stoecker shows how to use a project-based research model in the community to: diagnose a community condition; prescribe an intervention for the condition; implement the prescription;  and evaluate its impact. At every stage of this model there are research tasks, from needs and assets assessments to process and outcome studies. Readers also learn the importance of involving community members at every stage of the project and in every aspect of the research, making the research part of the community-building process.

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Read also: Methodological Approaches to Community-Based Research

Engaging adolescent participants in academic research

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This article examines the use of photo-elicitation interviews as a qualitative research method when studying aspects of adolescent behaviour. In particular, it describes and evaluates the use of photo-elicitation interviews to investigate the outdoor education experiences of a group of 34 (12 male, 22 female) New Zealand secondary school students (aged 14–15 years old) who attended a school-based outdoor education programme, referred to throughout as ‘school camp’. Results indicate that the use of cameras, and hence photographs, are attractive features of the technique that render it suitable for engaging young people in academic research and exploring social experiences. While the inclusion of cameras also presents some methodological limitations and ethical considerations, photo-elicitation interviewing is a useful addition to the suite of qualitative research methods employed in outdoor education research.

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Written by learningchange

March 24, 2014 at 1:40 pm

An international experience of research with children: moving forward on the idea of children’s participation

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This article examines a research collaboration in which an Australian and an Italian researcher came together in order to develop a project with young children to document their standpoints on the quality of their experiences of the early childhood services they were attending. As such, this article provides a reflection on working from different international viewpoints and narrates a research story that identifies some of the questions met, both in the conceptual framework and in the research design. In order to realize this research project, the collaborators’ challenge was to construct a shared understanding of their work, which meant addressing philosophical, ethical and practical points of tension. These points are described in the article as they emerged within the research endeavour, rather than being theoretically illustrated. The aim here is to offer the reader a lived experience example of meaning-making: how the researchers worked together, exploring the commonalities and differences that characterized each individual’s research practice, with the aim to construct a synergistic approach to working with children in research.

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Written by learningchange

March 24, 2014 at 1:17 pm

Skills and competencies needed in the research field: Objectives 2020

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Politicians, business leaders and unions in all countries are unanimous in pointing to research, and the issues of how to fuel it and how to resource it, as make or break challenges. If national and/or international research policies together with skills and competencies management strategies are to succeed, they must first be reconciled. Other issues, key to predicting the outcome of current changes in the needs of the research world, include changes in education systems and increasing professionalization of research work, job appeal, and mobility and career management. In this context, APEC and Deloitte Consulting decided to conduct a joint international survey on the skills and competencies needed in research-related jobs within the next 10 years. For the first time, a forward-looking international study presents the vision and expectations of researchers and research managers with regard to skills and competencies.

This study addresses six key questions: What are the main trends in the changing organisation of research? What skills and competencies are currently sought after in a researcher? Which are specific to a junior researcher and which to an experienced researcher? How will they change over the next 10 years? What is the current degree of proficiency of these skills? What actions and strategies have been introduced or are planned to produce, attract and retain researchers? This study therefore addresses a wide audience: PhD students, researchers and research personnel, recruitment and career management professionals in every type of organisation (laboratory, business, university department, etc.), professors, newly qualified researchers, and executives keen to exercise their talents in the research world.

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Lire aussi: Les besoins en compétencesdanslesmétiers de la recherche à l’horizon 2020

Written by learningchange

November 27, 2013 at 10:48 am

Posted in Research, Skills

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