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Methodological Naturalism and Teaching Research Methods
Stockholm university. (Läroplansteori och didaktik (SITE))ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2282-8071
2017 (English)In: NERA 2017 Abstracts: 23-25 March 2017: Learning and education – material conditions and consequences, 2017, p. 259-, article id 133Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Research topic/Aim: In this paper I discuss the consequence of a specific standpoint in the philosophy of social science, which I call methodological naturalism (MN), for teaching social research methods (and qualitative methods in particular)

Theoretical frameworks:  The theoretical framework of MN can be summarized by its main claim, according to which, despite exhibiting diversity in concrete methods, social sciences share (both internally, and externally with the natural sciences) at least a basic set of methodological core principles. One of these is that all use data to support claims in order to empirically ground their conclusions.

Methodology/research design: I start by summarizing the main current philosophical orientation in teaching qualitative research methods. This is retrieved from the analysis of 90 qualitative methods textbooks. The analysis of the textbooks provided a general picture of the philosophical orientation in qualitative research methods teaching as informed by a standpoint I call “paradigmatic approach”. According to this approach philosophical commitments that are shared within research community determine the researchers’ choice of methods. I therefore compare the standpoints of methodological naturalism with the paradigmatic approach and look for the claims in which the two standpoints diverge.

Expected conclusions/Findings: From the comparison of methodological naturalism with the paradigmatic approach I derive three prescriptions about teaching qualitative research methods (and social research methods in general).

(1)   MN discourages accounts of research methods that rest on the strong interpretation of methodological rules as inherently social.

(2)   MN recommends a double movement, going from cognitive to social issues and from social to cognitive issues of methods, as a general structure for teaching research methods.

(3)   MN recommends decomposing and problematizing stereotypes concerning the relationship between philosophy and methods, and favors differential reconstructions.

Relevance for Nordic Educational Research: I conclude by arguing that these prescriptions can make a contribution to the practice of teaching social research methods, mainly by bringing to the surface a number of issues that have been overlooked in the literature, and by providing suggestion on how to combine different aspects of social research methods that have traditionally been kept apart.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. p. 259-, article id 133
Keywords [en]
Teaching Research Methods, Paradigms, Methodological Naturalism, Interpretivism, Philosophy of Social Science
National Category
Philosophy Pedagogy
Research subject
Pedagogics and Educational Sciences, Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-73727OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-73727DiVA, id: diva2:1202522
Conference
Nordic Educational Research Association Conference 2017. Aalborg University, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Available from: 2018-04-27 Created: 2018-04-27 Last updated: 2018-05-02Bibliographically approved

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Matta, Corrado

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
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More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
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  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • asciidoc
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