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Research Nature

Laura Estrada Gmez-Acebo

2 Pre-primary Education
Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Viclvaro

Scientific Research
The Scientific Research could be defined as the search for knowledge, or as any systematic
investigation, with an open mind, to establish novel facts, solve new or existing problems, prove
new ideas, or develop new theories.
It is based on gathering measurable data through observation and experimentation, formulating
hypotheses, and testing the hypotheses according to specific principles of reasoning.
About its characteristics we can say that it is: empirical (based on experimental studies), objective
(reduction of biased interpretations of results); coherent (based on theory and generates theory);
replicable (experiments can be reproduced to verify the results) and predictive (the theory can
predict future results of the experiments)
A Research Process follows these steps:
1.Define a research question
2.Gather information and resources (observe)
3.Form an explanatory hypothesis
4.Test the hypothesis by performing an experiment and collecting data in a reproducible manner
5.Analyze the data
6.Interpret the data and draw conclusions that serve as a starting point for new hypothesis
7.Publish results
8.Retest (frequently done by other scientists)

Educational Research
There are many different approaches which generally imply opposite poles, such as Positivist /
Interpretive, Interventionist / Non-interventionist, Experimental / Naturalistic, Case-study / Survey,
Qualitative / Quantitative, Action Research, Practitioner Research... Nowadays there is a mixture of
approaches in actual research.

Interpretive VS Positivist
Positivism aim is the objective knowledge of an external reality which is rational and independent
of the observer. So knowledge is based on sense-perception, it is objective, value-free,
generalizable, and replicable. It search fonr objective, generalizable knowledge, separating
facts from values. Writing is anonymous, with an impersonal style, attemting to mimic the
natural sciences.
On the other hand, for interpretivism the observer makes a difference to the observed and reality is a
human construct. He explores perspectives and develops insights. Writting is personal, usually
telling a story, or a case study.
Qualitative VS Quantitative
Generally speaking it can be said that quantitativeis numerical and qualitative is descriptive, but in
actual research, things are not so extreme, and both can complement each other and should be
Quantitative approach is guided by the hypothesis testing and the search for generalization. It is
objective and neutral, based on numerical evidence. Researchers are detached from the situation.
The methods used are questionnaires, surveys, experimental and interviews determined by the
Qualitative approach is guided by a grounded theory; the research is descriptive and subjective. It is
based on textual evidences where the researcher is part of the situation. The methods used are case
studies, observation and interviews, determined by participants.

Ethics: the Researchers Responsibilities

Ethic is the moral principle or code of conduct which actually governs what people do.
Regarding the researcher's responsabilities we may point out:
Concerning participants:
Informed consent: clear appreciation and understanding of the facts, implications, and future
consequences of an action
Anonymity and confidentiality: privileged information cannot be divulged
Concerning research and dissemination of findings:
Plagiarism: wrongful appropriation, close imitation, or theft and publication of another
authors language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions, and the representation of them as one's own
original work
Manipulation or filtering of data.
Results invention or disruption

Educational Research in Spain

It started before the 30s. After WWII, the Revista Espaola de Pedagoga (1943) and the
Sociedad Espaola de Pedagoga (SEP), (1949) were founded, and teacher involved on it since
the 60s.
The L.O. 2/2006 says that the Spanish Educative system is inspired, amongst other principles, on
the estimulating and promoting of research, and the experimentation and innovation on education
(Art.1). Moreover, it is noted that investigation is one of the teacher's functions (Art.91)