Glossary

Constructivism, Cognitive or Radical. An epistemological stance in which knowledge is considered to be a subjective construction of an individual based upon prior experiences, prior knowledge, etc.

Constructivism, Social. See Intersubjectivity.

Empiricism. An epistemological stance at the basis of all scientific inquiry in which knowledge is considered to be derived chiefly from sense experiences (e.g., observation) rather than pure reason. Compare to Rationalism.

Feminism. A research paradigm that seeks to understand how gender influences our social institutions and methods of knowing and also seeks to correct economic, political, educational, social, and other inequalities that negatively impact women.

Intersubjectivity. An epistemological stance common in qualitative research paradigms in which knowledge is considered to be a co-construction between people’s subjective perceptions of the world, which they interpret through personal, social, institutional, and other lenses. See also Subjectivity and Objectivity.

Objectivity. An epistemological stance common in positivist and postpositivist research in which the study’s results are not influenced by the biases, feelings, or opinions of the researcher. Compare to Subjectivity and Intersubjectivity.

Rationalism. An epistemological stance in which knowledge is considered to be derived chiefly from reason (e.g., logic) rather than empirical evidence. Compare to Empiricism.

Research. Any formal, systematic approach to empirical inquiry that is amenable to validation and scrutiny.

Research Paradigm. The commonly accepted understandings of a group of researchers about their practice, including their accepted ontology, epistemology, and methods.

Social Sciences. A group of disciplines that scientifically study people, societies, and relationships (e.g., education, sociology, psychology, anthropology).

Social Constructivism. See Constructivism, Social.

Subjectivity. An epistemological stance in qualitative research paradigms in which the study’s results are understood to be shaped by the biases, feelings, and opinions of the researcher. Compare to Objectivity and Intersubjectivity.

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Navigating Education Research Copyright © by Royce Kimmons. All Rights Reserved.

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