You are on page 1of 35

Why Study Research?

Here are a few reasons to take this course and learn about research: To become "research literate." Because we live in a society that's driven by research. To improve your critical thinking skills. To learn how to read and critically evaluate published research. To learn how to design and conduct research in case the need arises one day.

Objectives of Research
There are five major objectives of research. 1. Exploration. This is done when you are trying to generate ideas about something. 2. Description. This is done when you want to describe the characteristics of something or some phenomenon. 3. Explanation. This is done when you want to show how and why a phenomenon operates as it does. If you are interested in causality, you are usually interested in explanation.

4. Prediction. This is your objective when your primary interest is in making accurate predictions. Note that the advanced sciences make much more accurate predictions than the newer social and behavioural sciences. 5. Influence. This is done to bring impact to the lives of the people by application of research results. An example of this is the policy makingrelated research.

General Types of Research

(A) Based on Purpose 1. Basic research is aimed at generating fundamental knowledge and theoretical understanding about basic human and other natural processes.

It is also known as fundamental, pure or theoretical research, because it looks for facts, meanings and realities [that puzzled you] on a certain problem or phenomenon without having a particular use or application in mind (Reyes, 1998)meaning that you are doing it for the sake of answering a problem. Therefore, it is theoretical where the findings in your inquiry can become a part of the underlying foundations of a certain theory and knowledge

Furthermore, it is regarded as the most academic form of research, since its principal aim is to make contribution to knowledge, usually for the general good, rather than to solve a specific problem. Thus, it can be in either in these forms: Discoverywhere a totally new or novel idea or explanation (know-why) emerges, which can revolutionise thinking on a particular topic. Inventionwhere a new technique (know-how) is created for the benefits of mankind, especially in improving their activities. Reflectionwhere the existing theory, technique or group of ideas, concepts are reexamined in a different context.

2. Applied research is focused on applying a certain knowledge or theory in answering practical questions into immediate solutions. An applied research is done to verify findings or gather more information from the findings of basic or theoretical research with specific application in mind (Pagdilao, 1997).

It includes the following forms: Innovationis an applied research in which a new and better design, product or process is made out of the existing ones to improve further the human activities. Product development and packaging research are part of this type. On-farm or On-field level researchis done when theories, process or concepts are tested in the field or limited area of application prior to implementation in large-scale. Developmental researchis done when the results of applied or practical research are done at a wider scope of analysis and interpretation prior to mass implementation or production of outputs or results.

Basic and applied research can be viewed as two endpoints on a research continuum; with the centre representing the idea that the generated knowledge in basic research can be developed further leading to applied research. Whatever is discovered in the application of the outcomes can contribute at the same time to basic research and vice versa. Here is the continuum: Basic <-----------> Mixed <------->Applied

Research examining the process of cognitive "priming" is an example of relatively basic research; a comparison of the effectiveness of two approaches to counselling is an example of relatively applied research. Basic and applied researches are generally conducted by researchers at universities.

3. Evaluation or Assessment research involves determining the worth, merit or quality of an object, program / project. Other authors categorised it as Developmental research, but some group this under applied research. It involves the systematic activity of drawing off new and much improved products, processes, services or systems out of existing ones.

Evaluation is traditionally classified according to its purpose: Formative evaluation is used for the purpose of program improvement. Summative evaluation is used for the purpose of making summary judgments about a program and decisions to continue of discontinue the program.

A newer and currently popular way to classify evaluation is to divide it into five types: Needs assessment, which asks this question: Is there a need for this type of program? An example of this is the TNAs (Training Needs Analysis) among development practitioners.

Others use the following types: Ex-ante evaluationthat is assessment of the program or project before implementation. It includes the review of the program / project based on predetermined set of criteria or goals. Ex-post evaluationthat is done upon completion of the program / project to find out what has been achieved and what learning can be obtained for further improvement in the future to come.

Theory assessment, which asks this question: Is this program conceptualized in a way that it should work? Implementation assessment, which asks: Was this program implemented properly and according to the program plan? Impact assessment, which asks: Did this program have an impact on its intended targets? Efficiency assessment, which asks: Is this program cost effective?

4. Action research focuses on solving practitioners local problems or to the practical concerns of the people in an immediate problematic situation. It is generally conducted by the practitioners after they have learned about the methods of research and research concepts that are discussed in your textbook. It is important to understand that action research is also a state of mind; for example, teachers who are action researchers are constantly observing their students for patterns and thinking about ways to improve instruction, classroom management, and so forth. We hope you get this state of mind as you read more the articles in this manual!

Two approaches to action research, they are: Classical action researchbegins with the idea that the researcher wants to understand and learn when something (maybe a process) is tried to change. New paradigm researchinvolves inquiry into person/s, group/s of people and relations between them. It is based on a close relationship between the researcher and those being researched and thus can be easily carried out when the researcher is working with small group or individuals where the research work is being undertaken. It upholds the concept that the researcher can never be neutral on what he is trying to find out, if he wants change.

5. Orientational research is done for the purpose of advancing an ideological position. It is traditionally called critical theory, which upholds the concept that reality cannot be grasped without researchers bias that is caused by historical, political, societal, ethnic, or gender conditions. We use the broader term orientational research, because critical theory was originally concerned only with class inequalities and was based on the Karl Marxs theory of economics, society, and revolution.

Orientational research is focused on some form of inequality, discrimination, stratification in society, empowering or emancipatory to eliminate the causes of alienation and domination. Some areas in which inequality manifests itself are large differences in income, wealth, access to high quality education, gender, race, power and occupation. Here are some major areas of interest to orientational researchers:

A. Class stratification (i.e., inequality resulting from ones economic class in society). B. Gender stratification (i.e., inequality resulting from ones gender). C. Ethnic and racial stratification (i.e., inequality resulting from ones ethnic or racial grouping). D. Sexual orientation stratification (i.e., inequality and discrimination based on ones sexual preferences)

Many orientational researchers work for universities or interest group organisations, like peoples organisation, NGOs, marginalised groups, etc.

SCIENCE Know ledges, Theories


RESEARCH Basic, Applied, Developmental, Orientational, Action


TECHNOLOGY Soft & Hardwares

2.1. The relationship between research & development (R&D) and science & technology (S&T) continuum

B) Based on discipline and relationship between researchers It was a common observation among scientists working in isolation before. And even today, some of them are so individualistic, which keep their works cloistered in their homes basement or attic. They behaved like that, because they did not want to be disturbed, ridiculed or heckled by others. They were treated as misunderstood individuals and even until now. Thus, they also liked to keep their ideas among themselves and afraid that their works might be stolen by others

Today, a number of researchers are engaged in an open-door policy that is they engaged in collaborative works. They learned that teamwork helps them to come up with better ideas through the cross-fertilisation of their ideas and outputs.

From the examples I cited, research could be categorised based on the number of engaged researcher/s and discipline/s that composed a research program, project or study. The first one is known as monodisciplinary research, while the second one maybe a multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary research. An interdisciplinary approach involves a team of researchers / scientists that solved a particular problem by integrating or linking their findings holistically despite the differences in their fields of specialisationthey come up with a unified result despite the differences in their fields of specialisation. The multidisciplinary one is that the researchers interpret their findings with biased in their field of specialisations, yet they form the research team.

It can be noted that the three above types are more biased on the formal disciplines or university knowledge of the researchers. But, because of the increasing acceptance of traditional, folk, indigenous or rural knowledges worldwide, especially among development scientists, a new form of research has been emergingthe participatory research. In this type, the grassroots, the indigents, the peasants, the women or the ordinary folks, are involved in doing the research work. Its primary basis is that, they are more knowledgeable about their problems, social situations based from their experiences

LINKING UP Let us go through the discussed topics before going to the next! Here are some of the situations where you will link the concepts that we discussed. This is my style of doing a brain-check to my students.

Classify the following research situations based on general types of research e.g. purpose and disciplinarity. Please dont forget to reason out why you have classified this as this and underline the key word/s or group of words in the given cases that lead to you to decide with final answer! A team of social workers works on the status and productive roles of the elderly in the coastal areas of Sta. Cruz, Marinduque. They like to learn why they are remaining productive and what are their common problems, socio-cultural, health, political, etc.

A study revealed that mine tailings have 85% silica, which can be utilised in the production of good quality glazed for ceramics. A group of material scientists and environment scientists was organised as team to see the possibility of converting this abundant waste into profitable community-based livelihood, which at the same helps mitigate the hazardous effect to the environment and health of the community people. Maria is a rural health practitioner. She also earned a degree in Chemistry with specialisation in Phytochemistry.

As rural health worker, she has continuous contact with herbolarios in the uplands. Maria was fascinated by the herbal medicines that the herbolarios used, so she works on the isolation of active chemicals present in these plants without the knowledge of the herbolarios she is working with. A classroom teacher in Hinapulan, Boac found out that majority of her Grade III pupils have drastic decreased in attendance during the months of June to July and January to February. Majority of her students are from subsistence farming families, who have swiddens in the remaining forest of Baliis Bantay and Hinapulan

The teacher decided to visit the families of these children during weekends to gather information regarding this perennial problem that she is encountering with her pupils.A nutritionist heard and read in a scientific journal that Bidens pilosa Linn., locally called wild cosmos or Panibat is good for goiter. So, she suspected that is a good source of iodine. At first, she surveyed the presence of plants in Tumagabok, Boac, because she hails in this area. It is an upland village in the interior part of the island, where the scarcity of seafoods as source of natural iodine is prevalent. Because the nutritionist does not have enough background in Chemistry, she sought the help of her former classmate who is a Chemist working in DoST.

Lygodium species or locally called Nito, is a common material for weaving baskets and novelty items in Marinduque. Through years of gathering this fern in the wild, its number is dwindling in the forest and nearby thickets. To solve this problem, the Marinduque State College forms a team of researchers that will study in propagating them for possible reintroduction in the wild.

Perla is a head teacher in a local elementary school. She has been a headmaster for almost three years. The performance of the pupils in her school is always at the bottom as compared to other schools in their district. Perla knows that her teachers are experts in their fields of specialisation and doing their best as reflected in her weekly observation report, based from the standard that was imposed to all public schools teachers. As headmaster, she was challenged by her immediate supervisor. So, Perla sought the help of her co-teachers in finding ways of improving the pupils performance, first by zeroing in on the pupils social situation, their families and the village where they live.

An anthropologist found out that the households in the interior villages of the province are living in extreme poverty with very limited medical and health services. They are dependent on the available crops in their fields that are naturally grown and others are gathered in the wild, through hard labour. For health problems, they sought the services of the local shamans. Heart, lungs and kidney diseases are rare among them. As a matter of fact, they have longer life span than those in the lowlands. To find more concrete answers, the anthropologist, decided to live with the village people to learn more from them and to further find answers to the situation that puzzled him.

A teacher noticed that in the interior sitios of Bayute, the women are well-represented during school meetings, social gatherings and in giving discipline to their children. She rarely met the fathers of her pupils, but only the village leader and two elected male officials. In fact, majority of the elected officials in these villages are females. When a bayanihan was organised by the school to build a study shed for the children, it was attended by all women. The teacher was puzzled by this situation, so she decided to find out why majority of the village activities are attended by women. She also likes to find out the implications of the womens role to their childrens lives.

A teacher in a local high school discovered that young boys enjoyed smoking the dried flowers of Yellow Angels Trumpet (Datura arborea Linn.). She also heard that the teeners steep this in an alcoholic drink, which makes them high. Concern about the young boys, she reported it to her headmaster. Due to lack of knowledge about the plant, the headmaster sought the help of a social worker and a chemist from a local university. In short, they form a research team to find out the substance present in the flower of the plant, the academic performance and social situation of the users.