Grappling with methodologies in educational research: science and engineering educators finding their way

 

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dc.contributor.author Jawitz, Jeff
dc.contributor.author Case, Jennifer
dc.contributor.author Marshall, Delia
dc.contributor.editor Kgeti Setati en_ZA
dc.contributor.editor Renuka Vithal en_ZA
dc.contributor.editor Cliff Malcolm en_ZA
dc.contributor.editor Rubby Dhunpath en_ZA
dc.coverage.spatial South Africa en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2014-10-27T06:05:42Z
dc.date.available 2014-10-27T06:05:42Z
dc.date.issued 2009
dc.identifier.citation Jawitz, J., Case, J. & Marshall, D. 2009. <i>Grappling with methodologies in educational research: Science and engineering educators finding their way</i>.New York:Nova Science Publishers. http://hdl.handle.net/11427/8794. en_ZA
dc.identifier.isbn 978-1-60692-292-7 en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11427/8794
dc.description.abstract Science and Engineering faculties at South African tertiary institutions have seen dramatic changes since the 1980’s due to a changing student body as a result of equity and redress measures. There has also been an increasing interest in educational research that might help improve student learning. Some of these researchers are disciplinary experts taking an interest in teaching and learning, while others have moved from undergraduate scientific work to postgraduate educational qualifications. Many of these researchers have no foundations in social science research. As a result much of the research produced by this group tends to unproblematically apply the ‘scientific method’ to problems in the social sciences. As authors of this chapter, we fit the above description, and describe our journeys in developing more appropriate and critical ways of conducting research in these complex and changing higher education contexts. Our initial research efforts were conducted in largely positivist frames. While there were many opportunities to develop (and publish) within this framework, we became increasingly aware that this framework offered superficial understandings of the student experience and failed to engage with broader societal issues. Interpretivist and critical perspectives appeared to offer more productive frames within which to work, yet we struggled to make sense of and gain access to these discourses. In this chapter we analyse and describe the experiences gained from two different research projects we have pursued during the 1990’s. The first theme concerns issues around gender and engineering education, and began with a narrow focus on why women choose to study engineering and shifted to grappling more critically with notions of gender and race. The second theme concerns students’ experiences of learning, initially exploring the approaches to learning framework and in later work responding more critically to the dominant theories in this area. Some of the questions which we address include: What are the methodological challenges involved in shifting to a more interpretive and critical paradigm? Is critical theory a useful framework for researching tertiary science and engineering education? en_ZA
dc.language eng en_ZA
dc.publisher Nova Science Publishers en_ZA
dc.subject equity in higher education en_ZA
dc.subject educational research en_ZA
dc.subject positivist social science research en_ZA
dc.subject gender in engineering education en_ZA
dc.subject interpretivism en_ZA
dc.subject critical paradigm en_ZA
dc.title Grappling with methodologies in educational research: science and engineering educators finding their way en_ZA
dc.type Book en_ZA
uct.type.publication Research en_ZA
uct.type.resource Book chapter en_ZA
dc.publisher.institution University of Cape Town
dc.publisher.faculty Centre for Higher Education Development en_ZA
dc.publisher.location New York en_ZA
uct.type.filetype Text
uct.type.filetype Image
dc.identifier.apacitation Jawitz, J., Case, J., & Marshall, D. (2009). <i>Grappling with methodologies in educational research: Science and engineering educators finding their way</i>. New York: Nova Science Publishers. http://hdl.handle.net/11427/8794 en_ZA
dc.identifier.chicagocitation Jawitz, Jeff, Jennifer Case, and Delia Marshall. <i>Grappling with methodologies in educational research: Science and engineering educators finding their way</i>. New York: Nova Science Publishers. 2009. http://hdl.handle.net/11427/8794. en_ZA
dc.identifier.vancouvercitation Jawitz J, Case J, Marshall D. Grappling with methodologies in educational research: Science and engineering educators finding their way. New York: Nova Science Publishers; 2009.http://hdl.handle.net/11427/8794 en_ZA
dc.identifier.ris TY - Book AU - Jawitz, Jeff AU - Case, Jennifer AU - Marshall, Delia AB - Science and Engineering faculties at South African tertiary institutions have seen dramatic changes since the 1980’s due to a changing student body as a result of equity and redress measures. There has also been an increasing interest in educational research that might help improve student learning. Some of these researchers are disciplinary experts taking an interest in teaching and learning, while others have moved from undergraduate scientific work to postgraduate educational qualifications. Many of these researchers have no foundations in social science research. As a result much of the research produced by this group tends to unproblematically apply the ‘scientific method’ to problems in the social sciences. As authors of this chapter, we fit the above description, and describe our journeys in developing more appropriate and critical ways of conducting research in these complex and changing higher education contexts. Our initial research efforts were conducted in largely positivist frames. While there were many opportunities to develop (and publish) within this framework, we became increasingly aware that this framework offered superficial understandings of the student experience and failed to engage with broader societal issues. Interpretivist and critical perspectives appeared to offer more productive frames within which to work, yet we struggled to make sense of and gain access to these discourses. In this chapter we analyse and describe the experiences gained from two different research projects we have pursued during the 1990’s. The first theme concerns issues around gender and engineering education, and began with a narrow focus on why women choose to study engineering and shifted to grappling more critically with notions of gender and race. The second theme concerns students’ experiences of learning, initially exploring the approaches to learning framework and in later work responding more critically to the dominant theories in this area. Some of the questions which we address include: What are the methodological challenges involved in shifting to a more interpretive and critical paradigm? Is critical theory a useful framework for researching tertiary science and engineering education? CY - New York DA - 2009 DB - OpenUCT DP - University of Cape Town ED - Kgeti Setati ED - Renuka Vithal ED - Cliff Malcolm ED - Rubby Dhunpath KW - equity in higher education KW - educational research KW - positivist social science research KW - gender in engineering education KW - interpretivism KW - critical paradigm LK - https://open.uct.ac.za PB - University of Cape Town PP - New York PY - 2009 SM - 978-1-60692-292-7 T1 - Grappling with methodologies in educational research: science and engineering educators finding their way TI - Grappling with methodologies in educational research: science and engineering educators finding their way UR - http://hdl.handle.net/11427/8794 ER - en_ZA


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