Understanding and Applying Research Paradigms in Educational Contexts

Charles Kivunja, Ahmed Bawa Kuyini

Abstract


The concept of research paradigm is one that many higher degree research students, and even early career researchers, find elusive to articulate, and challenging to apply in their research proposals. Adopting an ethnographic and hermeneutic methodology, the present paper draws upon our experiences as lecturers in Research Methods over many years, and upon pertinent literature to explain the meaning of research paradigm. The paper elucidates the key aspects of research paradigms that researchers should understand well to be able to address this concept adequately in their research proposals. It offers suggestions on how researchers can locate their research into a paradigm and the justification needed for paradigm choice. With the explicit purpose of helping higher degree research (HDR) students design effective research proposals, the paper also discusses the different research methodologies best suited to conduct research in each of the paradigms discussed. 


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/ijhe.v6n5p26

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International Journal of Higher Education
ISSN 1927-6044 (Print) ISSN 1927-6052 (Online)

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