Psychology of Action Research for Mindful Educational Improvement
Chapter 2. Examining Assumptions: New Psychology of Research
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New Psychology of Research
Becoming an Educational Researcher
In this chapter, you will critically examine your own assumptions about educational research and explore the path you are taking in your action research. In doing so, we will discuss widely held assumptions that underlie traditional educational research by contrasting them with the key assumptions that underlie action research. Discussing different types of assumptions that underlie educational research will allow you to avoid a variety of traps that could be waiting for you when you actually plan and conduct your action research project.
First, let me introduce the concept of paradigm. Paradigm is a specific way of perceiving and approaching reality with a certain set of epistemological assumptions. This is an important concept because your ways of perceiving and approaching reality can greatly influence how you plan and conduct your action research project.
There are different types of paradigms in the world. In the history of scientific research, many new paradigms have emerged and replaced previous ones (see Wallerstein, 1991). For example, in the eighteenth century, Newtonian physics became a new paradigm for comprehending physical laws governing motions in the universe. This meant the death of the assumption that it is impossible for ← 15 | 16 → humans to fully comprehend physical laws created by God. At that time, the Newtonian paradigm replaced the old paradigm that had defined how people perceived and approached reality. In the history of science, this kind of change is called...
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