Philosophical Assumptions with Implications for Practice

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Philosophical Assumptions with Implications for Practice

(Qualitative Research)

|Assumption |Question |Characteristics |Implications for Practice (examples) |

|Ontological |What is the nature of |Reality is subjective and multiple, |Researcher uses quotes and themes in words of |

| |reality? |as seen by participants in the study.|participants and provides evidence of different|

| | | |perspectives. |

|Epistemological |What is the relationship |Researcher attempts to lessen |Researcher collaborates, spends time in field |

| |between the researcher and |distance between himself or herself |with participants, and becomes an “insider.” |

| |that being researched? |and that being researched. | |

|Axiological |What is the role of values? |Researcher acknowledges that research|Researcher openly discusses values that shape |

| | |is value laden and that biases are |the narrative and includes own interpretation |

| | |present. |in conjunction with interpretations of |

| | | |participants. |

|Rhetorical |What is the language of |Researcher writes in a literary, |Researcher uses an engaging style of narrative,|

| |research? |informal style using the personal |may use first-person pronoun, and employs the |

| | |voice and uses qualitative terms and |language of qualitative research. |

| | |limited definitions. | |

|Methodological |What is the process of |Researcher uses inductive logic, |Researcher works with particulars (details) |

| |research? |studies the topic within its context,|before generalizations, describes in detail the|

| | |and uses an emerging design. |context of the study, and continually revises |

| | | |questions from experiences in the field. |

Source: Bill McLaughlin, RRT 506, Handout, Fall 2003

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