Teaching and learning research methods: towards developing a deeper appreciation of their assumptions

Mendy, John P. (2016) Teaching and learning research methods: towards developing a deeper appreciation of their assumptions. In: 15th European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies, 9 - 10 June 2016, Kingston Business School, Kingston University.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Paper)
Item Status:Live Archive


Quite often the approach adopted by tutors to the teaching and learning of research methodology at undergraduate and, sometimes even at postgraduate level, is to teach students to be able to set a question and to go about trying to answer it in the way of research. This is a pragmatic approach to an important area of scholarship which deserves something more special than what is being provided in frequently used books on research methods (see Easterby-Smith et al 2002; Saunders et al 2012). Given the simplistic nature of this approach teaching and learning how to become competent researchers has been reduced to teaching students to know basic methods about setting and refining research questions, negotiating access to data collection, ways of presenting and analysing data and arriving at conclusions that answer one’s research question or validates a hypothesis. The literature (Lakatos 1999; Popper 1972) shows that there is more to becoming a successful researcher other than teaching novices some simple research techniques and some limitations to those techniques.
If novice researchers are to become more sophisticated in research methodology, those who are responsible for this developmental activity ought to embrace deeper learning of some of the beliefs, values and assumptions that provide the bedrock of academic research education. This paper problematizes some of the approaches currently used by colleagues to develop the teaching and learning of research methodology within university education. The paper posits that for researchers to become more sophisticated in their trade, a deeper appreciation of the assumptions that underpin research methodology needs to be fostered in what novice researchers think about and how they practice research methodology.

Keywords:academic research, methodology, assumptions, techniques, research education
Subjects:X Education > X200 Research and Study Skills in Education
Divisions:Lincoln International Business School
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ID Code:22202
Deposited On:05 Feb 2016 15:04

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