Essay Sample on Locating Research Paradigm

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1213 Words
Date:  2022-10-19


Over the last few years, the number of international students has been on the rise, there are tremendous differences in these populations ranging from cultural diversities, differences in their abilities to speak the same language, educational goals, and family incomes. Regardless of the differences, these students are subject to the same set of rules with the same regulatory and legal constraints. This paper aims at exploring the experiences of international students' trailing partners in foreign countries.

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Deciding on the ontology, epistemology, and methodology

There are three research paradigms, which include; ontological, epistemological and methodological. Ontology is a system of believes that deal with the nature of reality, the believes reflect interpretations of individuals on what constitutes facts. There are two ontological assumptions, they include; realist assumptions and relativist (Willig, 2008). A realist ontology views that there are cause-effect relationships between structures and objects. It also pertains the assumptions about the nature of realities and to the extent that each reality can be observed and measured. In contrast, a relativist ontology believes that not everything is as organized or well-laid out as how the realists had hoped it to be. A relativist ontology queries the 'out-there-ness' of everything, accentuating the mixture of various interpretations. From a relativist position, there are multiple realities, instead of one reality, each created from the personal and social experiences of those involved (Creswell, 2009; Denzin & Lincoln, 1998; Guba, 1990).

Epistemology is a research method that is dependent on psychological factors, the research method is focused on ensuring the researcher is able to know a lot of things from a study to find reality. The method is used to differentiate the forms of knowledge and reality. It is set by questioning "What is the relationship between the inquirer and the inquired?" and "How do we know?" (Creswell, 2009; Willig, 2008). Epistemology subdivided into two: objectivism and subjectivism. Where objectivism is when the researcher is positioned outside of the subject in order to objectively investigate a phenomenon. Whereas, subjectivism is a perspective aimed at validating subjective interpretations, meanings, and understandings to situations when the researcher and the participants are attached as a single entity (Denzin & Lincoln, 1998).

Methodology describes the theoretical and systematic analysis of methods that should be applied in a field of study. It offers the theoretical foundation for understanding the set of methods and practices that can be applied to different cases. Qualitative inquiry is more inclined towards "exploration, discovery and inductive logic" based on a certain phenomenon (Patton, 2002, p. 55). It facilitates the in-depth study of issues about peoples' experiences with an open and detailed inquiry into the meanings of their actions in the context of one's social or interpersonal setting (Patton, 2002; Schwandt, 2007). This research method is designed to gain an understanding of people's opinions, underlying reasons and motivational factors on the lives of people. Among the research instruments available are interviews, observations and case studies (Johnson & Christensen, 2008). The method gives insights into a problem which enables the researcher to develop ideas and hypothesis for a potential quantitative research (Burrell & Morgan,1979). To effectively collect information from people to the extent that the information is satisfactory, there is a need to have prolonged involvements and extensive conversations to be able to collect as much as to what is needed. It is therefore aimed at providing a complete and detailed description of a research topic (Burrell & Morgan,1979)

Quantitative research inquiry entails measuring feedbacks of a predetermined set of structured questions. This research method targets a larger audience unlike when it is qualitative where the fewer audience is targeted. Quantitative research uses pre-existing and external instruments, where in most cases data is collected through questionnaires, surveys and manipulating existing statistical data to get the desired outcome (Burrell & Morgan,1979) It is more based on explaining on what was observed in a survey research, experimental research, comparative and correlational research. This method is objective and it is used to examine the causes and effects of relationships on existing variables.

Choosing the constructivist paradigm

The study follows a qualitative research method, which involves the use of semi-structured interviewing questionnaires as the primary method of collecting data from international doctoral students and their accompanied spouses and partners. The study involves a preliminary descriptive examination of the opinions, perceptions, and experiences international students go through while in foreign countries.

I chose a qualitative research method over the quantitative method as this method gives an insight to undercover a number of problems that need solutions. The method is helpful in exploring ideas that are used on ongoing processes. It develops an understanding of how different populations think as well as the understanding of human and social sciences. (Burrell & Morgan,1979) The study is focused on understanding how international relocation is experienced by a sample of international students. This information will be used to collectively to represent the entire population of international students with a greater degree of precision.

Given human beings have different experiences and perceptions it would be better to base the research on qualitative as it is more focused on human experiences and observations. (Burrell & Morgan,1979). Attitude explanations can easily be noted in qualitative research, thus giving better insights and conclusions that are more accurate.

I believe this research suits constructivist paradigm as it is based on scientific study and observations on how people learn. There is a belief that people construct their own knowledge, perceptions, and understanding of the world. This is achieved through what a person experiences and reflection on those experiences. Constructivism paradigm, therefore, posits that learning is a constructive as well as an active process.

Pilot Study

The pilot study was conducted on two international doctoral couples, the sampled population was randomly selected. The pilot study was meant to give me an insight into what to expect in my research as I planned for the occasion. The pilot test was meant to enable me to gather contextual information about the study to help me adjust to the whole interview process, to place me in a better position to shortcomings that may arise, add to what is missing on the study so that I could collectively get desirable feedback. The pilot testing established the need to further refine the interview protocol for both students and training partners. Only slight amendments were made to the interview protocols, involving the sequence of questions and probes, this was meant to facilitate a smoother flow of questioning

The responses from informants in the pilot study were treated as unique and priceless, hence are therefore also included in the actual research data analysis. The responses from the pilot study are included in the study since the sample was randomly selected and there was no biasness while the exercise was being carried on. They are also included to reduce the costs of targeting a bigger audience to achieve the number of targeted audiences.


Burrell G, Morgan G. Sociological Paradigms and Organizational Analysis. London: Heinemann

Books, 1979.

Johnson, B., & Christensen, L. (2008). Educational research: Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed approaches. Sage.

Patton, M. Q. (2002). Two decades of developments in qualitative inquiry: A personal, experiential perspective. Qualitative social work, 1(3), 261-283.

Creswell, J. W. (2009). Mapping the field of mixed methods research.

Denzin, N. K., & Lincoln, Y. S. (2008). Introduction: Critical methodologies and indigenous inquiry. Handbook of critical and indigenous methodologies, 1-20.

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