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Research Focus Area

Evaluation and Development of Methodologies

Methodology concerns the philosophical justification for a research design and a choice of data collection and analysis methods. Across all our areas of research, we use a variety of methodologies. For many of us whose initial education was in science or engineering, there is an intellectual journey to grapple with the range of methodologies in social science research. Although it might be thought that the key issue is the distinction between qualitative and quantitative data, in actual fact this is less significant than being able to coherently defend a broader methodological stance, informed by ontological and epistemological commitments. CREE members have written at the meta-level about the implications of moving from a positivist to a constructivist paradigm, and have also engaged with forms of critical and social realism. At a level somewhat closer to research methods, our scholarship has engaged with discourse and narrative analysis, phenomenography and case studies.