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Sources of Knowledge

Imran Niazi
M.Phil Education
GCET Mianwali


Doubtless to say that the secret of our
cultural development has been
research. Pushing back the areas of
ignorance by discovering new truth,
which in turn, lead to better ways of
doing things and better products.
There is no alternative to truth and
therefore ,to research.
To research is to get nearer to truth


Human knowledge works at two levels.
At the primary level, it functions as the basis
of useful human activities, as when a teacher
solves the mathematical problems for the
students or as when a doctor uses his
knowledge to cure diseases.
At secondary level, knowledge is employed to
obtain increments in the existing knowledge.
The activity that produce this knowledge is
known as Research.

Brain storming  How do you try to understand . explain and control the things and events around you? . discuss .

Sources of knowledge •Common sense: Every one knows that it is so •Intuition: I just know it •Beliefs: it is based on personal conviction •Tenacity: verification over the years •Tradition: practice through generations •Personal Experience: personal testing and experience •Authority: the word of experts •Divine and supernatural powers: the revelations of God and of other powers •Reason and logic: the intellect can capture truth and knowledge directly •Scientific methods: knowledge is derived through empirical procedures .

Sources of knowledge   The quest for knowledge stems from human desire to settle the irritation of doubt by moving into a state of belief. There are different sources of knowledge. Some of them are mentioned here  Sense perception/Personal experience  Tradition & custom  Experts and authorities  Logic (i) Inductive (ii) Deductive  The scientific method Obj.2 . 1.

Limitations  How one is affected by an event depends on who one is. .   The earliest understanding of the environment probably came through sense. The sense perception may be defined as a connected series of concepts that help people to make sense about environment to function more effectively in it.  One frequently needs to know something that cannot by learned through experience.

Custom & Tradition    Doing things as they have always been done The dependence on tradition or custom is also necessary. Limitations   Traditions are often based on an idealized past Traditions can be distant from current realities and the complexities associated with them Obj. We often refer to custom and tradition in the event of solving a problem. It largely determines our mode of facing the situation and mode of making adjustments. Generally we obey them and avoid violating them. 1.2 .

They are better informed than other people. So contact and discussion with experts are also helpful to get knowledge. Limitations   Experts can disagree among themselves Experts can be wrong .Expert and Authority     Relying on the expertise or authority of others because of their intellect. experience or aptitude. seminars and workshops and listening to learned experts are helpful in getting knowledge. The participation in conferences. training. expertness.

No one questioned the word of Aristotle. that Aristotle caught fly just happened to be missed a leg! .Flies have five legs……   Some of the problems associated with experience and authority are illustrated by a story told about Aristotle. He then announced that flies have five legs. For years his finding was uncritically accepted. Of course. According to story. one day Aristotle caught a fly and carefully counted and recounted the legs.

Deductive reasoning and Inductive Reasoning .e. They don't believe that it is necessary to verify knowledge either by faith or experience. it deals with the causes and principles of existing things. There are two types of reasoning i. It is also called metaphysics.Rationality     Rationalism is a system by which knowledge is gained by reason and not by experiencing the world. Rationalism regards human reason as the only reliable guide to knowledge. not with experience.

Deductive Reasoning  The first systematic approach to reasoning . . attributed to Aristotle. This method moved from general assumption to the specific application. This approach made an important contribution to the development of modern problem solving methods.   Reasoning from the general to the specific. was the deductive reasoning.

Socrates is mortal. . (major premise) Socrates is a man. (minor premise) Therefore. (conclusion) The above is an example of a syllogism.Deductive Reasoning   A type of logic in which one goes from a general statement to a specific instance. The classic example is All men are mortal.

this book contain a chapter on sampling.(Specific) . (General) This book is a research textbook. Therefore.Deductive Reasoning   Deductive reasoning involves essentially process. Example: All research textbook contain a chapter on sampling. arriving at specific conclusion based on generalizations.

Limitation of Deductive Method It was not fruitful in arriving at new truth  You must begin with true premises in order to arrive at true conclusions  Deductive reasoning only organizes what is already known  .

1. Francis Bacon advocated direct observation of phenomena.Inductive Reasoning Centuries later. arriving at conclusions or generalization through the evidence of many individual observations. This was called inductive reasoning  Reasoning from the specific to the general Obj.2 .

.  The conclusion in an inductive argument is never guaranteed.Inductive Reasoning  It involves going from a series of specific cases to a general statement.

all research textbook contain a chapter on sampling (General) . Example: Every research textbook examined contain a chapter on sampling.Inductive Reasoning   Inductive reasoning involves formulation of generalizations based on observation of a limited number of specific events. (Specific) Therefore.

Limitations of Inductive method   In order to be certain of a conclusion one must observe all examples All examples can be observed only in very limited situations where there are few members of the group .

it is violating the Law of the Sea. or both. Therefore.S. Coast Guard intercepts boats coming from Cuba or Haiti more than 12 miles from the U. So. when the U.Inductive & deductive reasoning  Inductive Reasoning A sample of fifty motorists revealed that one in four drivers were either uninsured. coast.  Deductive Reasoning The Law of the Sea treaty states that any ship beyond a 12 mile limit is in international waters. Thus.S. . drunk. it cannot be legally stopped or boarded. if you get involved in an accident on the freeway there is a 25% chance the other motorist will be drunk or uninsured or both.

The Scientific Method    The major premise of the older Deductive was gradually replaced by an assumption. This deductive-inductive method is now recognized as an example of a scientific approach. that was subsequently tested by the collection and logical analysis of data. or hypothesis. .

predict.The Scientific Method    The goal of the scientific method is to explain. and/or control phenomena This involves the acquisition of knowledge and the development and testing of theory The use of the scientific method is more efficient and reliable than any other source of knowledge .

John Dewey(1938) suggested a pattern that is helpful in identifying the elements of a deductive-inductive process Identification and definition of the problem Formulation of hypothesis. 5. or modification of the hypothesis .an intelligent guess Collection. 3.The Scientific Method  1. rejection. organization and analysis of data Formulation of conclusions Verification. 2. 4.

Scientific Method

Identify a Problem
Form Hypothesis
Design Experiment

The most

Conduct Experiment
Hypothesis Testing
Reject Hypothesis

Accept Hypothesis

© Jeff Offutt, 2007


The Scientific Method

Limitations of the scientific method

Inability to answer value-based
questions involving “should”
Inability to capture the full richness
and complexities of the participants
Limitations of our measurement
Ethical and legal responsibilities

Known is a drop, Unknown
is an ocean

Research its purpose & Characteristics By Imran Niazi M.Phil Education GCET Mianwali .

Best (1992) “ Research is an intellectual activity which brings to light new knowledge or correct previous error and misconceptions and add in an orderly way to the existing corpus of knowledge” .Research  According to J.W.

Moreover. . it seeks to answer them by following a fairly definite procedure.Concept of Research   The term research and scientific method are often used synonymously and research is considered to be more formal systematic intensive process of carrying on the scientific method of analysis. It asks questions which have not been asked . research is a point of view. an attitude of inquiry or a frame of mind .

Educational research is the formal. R. systematic application of the scientific method to the study of educational problem .Research According to L. systematic application of the scientific method to the study of problem. Gay “ Research is the formal.

Expertness     . Mathematical precision and accuracy O…. Objectivity V….MOVIE  Research may also be explained with the five characterizations spelling out of word MOVIE:  M…. Verification I…. Impartiality E….

2003) .Propose of Research is Review or synthesize existing knowledge to…         Investigate existing situations or problems Provide solutions to problems Explore and analyze more general issues Construct or create new procedures or systems Explain new phenomenon Generate new knowledge …or a combination of any of the above! (Collis & Hussey.

Characteristic of Research  1) 2) 3) 4) The characteristics of research are described as under: Research directs toward the solution of a problem. principles or theories that will be helpful in predicting future occurrences. Research is based upon observable experience or empirical evidence. . Research emphasizes the development of generalization. Research demands accurate observation and description.

6) Research involves data analysis. 9) Research is patient and unhurried activity. 8) Research involves the quest for answers to unsolved problems. 7) Research require expertise. 10) Research is objective and logical & carefully recorded and reported.Characteristic of Research 5) Research involve gathering new data from primary or first _hand sources or using existing data for a new purpose. .

and/or control educational phenomena .Educational Research   The application of the scientific method to study educational problems The goal is to explain. predict.

7 .Educational Research  Steps for conducting educational research      Selection of a problem Use of specific research procedures to design and collect data Analysis of data Statement of conclusions based on the results of the data analyses Parallels the steps in the scientific method Obj. 1.

Educational Research  Difficulties conducting educational research      Involves human beings and the complexities associated with them Difficulties generalizing from specific studies Problems when imposing sufficient controls to conduct research in educational settings Complications when observing in educational settings Indirect measurement of the variables being studied Obj.8 . 1.

Classifying Research  Two helpful ways to view research  Purpose   The degree of direct applicability of research to educational practices and settings Method  The overall strategies followed to collect and analyze data Obj.1. 3.5 .2 & 3. 3.

3.3 .The Purposes of Research  Five categories      Basic Applied Evaluation Research and development (R & D) Action Obj.

4 . 3.The Purposes of Research  Basic research   Collection and analysis of data to develop or enhance theory Examples related to learning theory     Piaget Constructivism Mastery learning Gardner’s multiple intelligences Obj.

4 .The Purposes of Research  Applied research   Collection and analysis of data to examine the usefulness of theory in solving practical educational problems Examples    Developing a seventh grade social studies curriculum around a problem-solving approach to learning Examining the effectiveness of a computer-based algebra program developed around a mastery learning approach Accommodating varied learning styles when teaching lessons in modern literature Obj. 3.

3.4 .The Purposes of Research  The interaction of basic and applied research   Basic research provides the theory that produces the concepts for solving educational problems Applied research provides the data to help support. guide. and revise the development theory Obj.

4 . 3.The Purposes of Research  Evaluation research  The collection and analysis of data to make decisions related to the merit or worth of a specific program   Merit relates to a program accomplishing what it was supposed to accomplish Worth relates to the value attached to a program by those using it Obj.

The Purposes of Research  Evaluation research  Types of evaluation   Formative evaluation is designed to inform and improve a program while it is being developed or implemented Summative evaluation is designed to make decisions regarding the overall quality of the program being evaluated Obj. 3.4 .

is being used properly. 3. and student achievement is increasing as a result of its use The computerized algebra program being used in Williams Middle School is perceived to be an efficient and effective expenditure of district funds Obj.4 .The Purposes of Research  Evaluation research  Examples   The computerized algebra program being used in Williams Middle School has been installed properly.

The Purposes of Research  Research and development   The development of effective products for use in schools Examples   The development of the software to create a computerized algebra program that incorporates an individualized mastery learning approach to teaching basic algebraic concepts The development of a Smart Board to enhance a teacher’s use of technology in the classroom Obj. 3.4 .

The Purposes of Research  Action research   The collection and analysis of data to provide a solution to the practical.4 . valued problems of educators within their own school or organization Examples   How can our college move to a performance based model for undergraduate teacher preparation programs? How can disciplinary policies be enforced consistently in our school? Obj. 3.

Research Methods  Two general categories of methods currently being used in educational research   Quantitative Qualitative Obj. 3.5 .

Quantitative Methods  General purpose  Collect and analyze data to explain. uniform.1 . 3. understand. and coherent world We can measure.6 & 5. predict. and generalize about our world Generally regarded as a positivistic perspective Obj. or control phenomena of interest     Describe current conditions Investigate relationships Study causes and effects Assumptions of the researcher    We live in a stable.

3. etc.1 . questionnaires.Quantitative Methods  Characteristics       Numerical data Use of formally stated hypotheses and procedures Use of controls to minimize the effects of factors that could interfere with the outcome of the research Large numbers of participating subjects An objective. Obj. detached researcher Use of pencil and paper tests.6 & 5.

Quantitative Methods  Five basic designs      Descriptive Correlational Causal-comparative Experimental Single subject Obj. 3.7 .

students. and teachers concerning an extended school year? What kinds of activities typically occur in sixthgrade art classes.7 & 4. 3.1 .Quantitative Designs  Descriptive   Purpose – to describe the current status of a variable of interest to the researcher Examples     How many students drop out of school in Louisiana? What are the attitudes of parents. and how frequently does each occur? To what extent are elementary teachers using math manipulatives? Obj.

7 & 4. 3.Quantitative Designs  Correlational   Purpose – to ascertain the extent to which two or more variables are statistically related Examples     What is the relationship between ACT scores and freshman grades? Is a teacher’s sense of efficacy related to his/her effectiveness? Do significant relationships exist between the types of activities used in math classrooms and student achievement? This design does NOT imply causation Obj.1 .

7 & 4. 3.Quantitative Designs  Causal-comparative   Purpose – to explore relationships among variables that cannot be actively manipulated or controlled by the researcher Examples     What is the effect of part-time employment on the achievement of high school students? What characteristics differentiate students who drop out from those who do not? What is the effect of attending a magnet school on student attitude? An important characteristic is that the independent variable has already been manipulated Obj.1 .

1 . a traditional algorithm approach on students’ test scores? The important characteristics are that the researcher manipulates the independent variable and controls extraneous variables Obj. 3.7 & 4.Quantitative Designs  Experimental   Purpose – to establish cause and effect relationships between variables Examples    What is the effect of teaching with (1) a co-operative groups strategy or (2) a traditional lecture approach on students’ achievement? What is the effect of teaching with manipulatives vs.

Quantitative Designs  Single subject   Purpose – to investigate cause and effect relationships with samples of one (1) Examples    What is the effect of a behavior modification program on John’s conduct in class? What is the effect of a behavioral training program on Joan’s ability to complete her performance tasks? The important characteristic is the use of specific interventions to cause behavioral changes in low incidence populations (e. special education) Obj..1 .g. 3.7 & 4.

and how participants perceive them   The need to create a sustained. in-depth. so there are many different meanings in the world Generally regarded as a post-positivistic perspective Obj.8 & 5.1 . why they are like that. 3.Qualitative Methods  General purpose  To probe deeply into the research setting to obtain in-depth understandings about the way things are. less overt personal understandings Assumptions of the researcher    All meaning is situated in a particular perspective or context Different people and groups often have different perspectives and contexts. in context study that allows the researcher to uncover subtle.

rather a general issue known as the foreshadowed problem suggests the general issues of concern Problems and methods tend to evolve over the course of the study as understanding of the research context and participants deepens Phenomena are examined as they exist in a natural context.1 . 3. and they are viewed from the participants’ perspectives There are few participants involved in the study Data analysis is interpretative in nature The researcher interacts extensively with the participants Obj.8 & 5.Qualitative Methods  Characteristics       There are no hypotheses guiding the researcher.

9 . 3.Qualitative Methods  Two basic designs   Narrative Ethnography Obj.

Qualitative Designs  Narrative   Purpose – focus on studying a single person and gathering data through the collection of stories that are used to construct a narrative about the individual’s experience and the meanings he/she attributes to them Examples   What are the experiences of a veteran teacher who has been moved into an administrative position in her school? What does “inclusion” mean to a special needs child who is placed in a regular education classroom? Obj. 3.2 .9 & 4.

2 .9 & 4.Qualitative Designs  Ethnography   Purpose – to obtain an understanding of the shared beliefs and practices of a particular group or culture Examples   What is the nature of the problems teachers encounter when they begin using a constructivist approach to instruction after having taught using a very traditional approach for ten years? Why does a sense of failure permeate everything about this particular high school? Obj. 3.

Quantitative and Qualitative Methods  Complementary nature of quantitative and qualitative approaches  Different purposes of research     Explanatory Exploratory Consideration of the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches for specific purposes Quantitative versus Qualitative Researc h Obj.1 . 3.11 & 5.

Quantitative and Qualitative Methods  The ultimate goal when choosing a design is to produce a credible answer to the research question   The research question drives the choice of a research design The characteristics of specific designs suggest they will produce more credible answers to specific types of research questions than other designs   Specific purposes Specific procedures and analyses for each design .

categorize them as descriptive. correlational.Using Your Knowledge    Examine the following studies and categorize them as quantitative or qualitative If quantitative. experimental. or single subject If qualitative. categorize them as narrative or ethnography . causalcomparative.

Using Your Knowledge  Thinking about Brown and Walberg’s article as well as Wolfe’s article…   Why would you consider the first a quantitative study and the second a qualitative study? What would you suggest is the purpose of each article using the five categories described by the authors of the text? .

"Tradition". possibly religious. . "custom" is more like a habit. on the other hand. is something with a deeper meaning. something you don't really think about you just do it.Custom vs tradition   They basically mean the same but there might be some differences in the contexts where they are typically used. cultural or family-specific that guides the person's/groups way of behaviour or performance in certain situations.