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Clearly quantitative research paradigms are couched in a realist perspective and qualitative research paradigms are couched in an idealist perspective (Bogdan & Biklen, ).The discussion here is focused on theoretical frameworks at a much more specific and localized perspective with respect to the justification and conceptualization of a single research investigation. Indeed, the answers to these questions are the substance and culmination of Chapters I and II of the proposal and completed dissertation, or the initial sections preceding the Methods section of a research article.
That is, does the cognitive level of questioning have any effect on student achievement?
In effect, this answers the first question identified previously with respect to identification of a theoretical framework.
The following story may remind you of an experience you or one of your classmates have had.
Doctoral students live in fear of hearing these now famous words from their thesis advisor: “This sounds like a promising study, but what is your theoretical framework?
The doctoral student becomes intrigued by these equivocal findings and begins to speculate about some possible explanations.
In a blinding flash of insight, the student remembers hearing somewhere that an eccentric Frenchman named Piaget said something about students being categorized into levels of cognitive development.The answers to these questions can come from only one source, a thorough review of the literature (i.e., a review that includes both the theoretical and empirical literature as well as apparent gaps in the literature).Perhaps, a hypothetical situation can best illustrate the development and role of the theoretical framework in the formalization of a dissertation topic or research investigation.In particular, much of the research focuses on the cognitive levels of the questions asked by the teacher and how these questions influence student achievement.It appears that the research findings exhibit no clear pattern.At this point, the student has narrowed his/her interests as a result of reviewing the literature.Note that the doctoral student is now ready to write down a specific research question and that this is only possible after having conducted a thorough review of the literature.That is, in some studies, frequent questioning at higher cognitive levels has led to more achievement than frequent questioning at the lower cognitive levels.However, an equal number of investigations have shown no differences between the achievement of students who are exposed to questions at distinctly different cognitive levels, but rather the simple frequency of questions.Let us continue with the doctoral student example, keeping in mind that a parallel situation also presents itself to any researcher planning research that he/she intends to publish.As an interested reader of educational literature, a doctoral student becomes intrigued by the importance of questioning in the secondary classroom.