For me, research is about finding the background to either prove a theory already defined or explore a new theory not yet formed. For example, I think this, who thinks the same or what are the other opinions. Or I don’t know what I think about this, what information is out there. This may seem to be a simple definition but is how I have come to view the term.
I haven’t taken a hard look at any methodologies to date nor have I stopped to consider where my queries have fit into the existing methods. This brings up some interesting ideas about who I am as a researcher and what is my way of knowing.
What I did already somewhat understand was qualitative vs quantitative research. I worked in a medical research office for a while and so was exposed to quantitative research papers based on clinical trials and controlled experiments. Qualitative research practices are what I have based my earlier small research projects on. Looking at case studies and historical research to make meaning of current trends. I am also familiar with Appreciative Inquiry methods of gathering data based on experiences as part of many focus groups.
What I don’t know is vast. “Cultures of Inquiry” is a new term for me. As I read the information I can see how it connects all the qualitative modalities into a framework of methods. Within these cultures, there are different theories, methods and research techniques that help to mold and frame the individual research project and data gathering process.
In this blog I will unpack my understanding of these methods of research and share my learning with you.
Big topic, Big learning…..