Research Paradigms Reflection



As social work practitioners and scholars we must understand how ontology (assumptions about the nature of reality), epistemology (how knowledge is acquired and justified), and axiology (the researchers’ values in the research process) all shape one’s research (methodology and methods). In the Paradigms of Inquiry in Action Podcast on social constructivism, Dr. Grise-Owens talks about research as the “search for knowledge” inviting us to think about the research in the “traditional” sense and in exploring and assessing practice wisdom.  

Earlier in the course, you wrote a position statement exploring your own world view.  One’s own positionality influence one’s connectivity with different paradigms.  Grounding your quest for knowledge in your understanding of paradigms of inquiry, your positionality, and your practice will aid you in formulating and exploring research questions.


For the assignment you will identify and analyze three of the research paradigms we have explored in class.   Reflect on your positionality, the practice and/or social problem you identified in your positionality paper, and your practice experience.  Then select three paradigm that aligns with how you see and understand the search for knowledge and social work practice. 

Utilizing course materials regarding research paradigms, methodology guiding methods, etc. describe what research method you might use to investigate your problem of practice within each of the paradigms you selected (i.e., positivism, post-positivism, interpretivism, and/or social constructivism).  Your paper should include the each of the components listed below. 

  • Introduction
  • Overview of the practice problem or social problem you are addressing
  • Paradigm discussion, to include
    • A brief overview
    • Ontology
    • Epistemology
    • Axiology
    • Methodology
  • Discussion
    • Having explored each paradigm more in-depth, which paradigm would you select to execute your research. What are the implications for practice and knowing, including gaps in the knowledge that could arise out of the method you selected.
  • Conclusion


Your paradigms of inquiry paper should be written in 6 – 10 double-spaced pages, not including the cover page and references.  Papers are required to follow APA 7th edition guidelines.

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