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Reason and Rigor : How Conceptual Frameworks Guide Research



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SAGE Publications, Inc
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Reason and Rigor aims to help students and other researchers understand the functional, comprehensive role of conceptual frameworks in organizing and guiding their empirical research. We view the development of conceptual frameworks as a process through which researchers identify the questions and lines of inquiry that matter most to them, develop appropriate strategies for pursuing those questions, and monitor and reflect on their own learning and thinking as the research unfolds. As a result, readers of this book will learn how to use existing knowledge (theory, methods, and empirical research) in conjunction with your own interests and observations to ask better questions, develop robust and justifiable strategies for exploring those questions, and explain both the importance and limitations of your findings.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. xi
Prefacep. xiii
About the Authorsp. xxi
Introductionp. 1
Conceptual Frameworks Explored and Definedp. 6
Defining and Situating Conceptual Frameworks: Concluding Thoughtsp. 14
Why Conceptual Frameworks?p. 15
What (and Where) Is Theory?p. 16
The Many Levels of Theory: A Thought Experimentp. 17
Whose Theory Is It, and Where Does It Come From?p. 19
What Is a Literature Review, and What Is It for?p. 21
The Case for Conceptual Frameworks: Concluding Thoughtsp. 26
Excavating Questions: Conceptual Frameworks and Research Designp. 29
"Excavating" Research Questionsp. 29
About the Authorp. 30
Background and Context: An Overview of the Work in Focusp. 31
Spillane, J. E (2002). "Local Theories of Teacher Change: The Pedagogy of District Policies and Programs"p. 34
The Argumentp. 39
Conceptual Frameworks and Research Designp. 42
The Coevolution of Conceptual Frameworks and Research Designp. 46
Conceptual Frameworks and Research Design: Concluding Thoughtsp. 48
The Role of the Conceptual Framework in Data Collection and Fieldworkp. 51
Who You Are, How You Think, and What You Studyp. 52
About the Authorp. 53
Background and Context: An Overview of the Work in Focusp. 54
Fine, M., & Sirin, S. R. (2007). "Theorizing Hyphenated Selves: Researching Youth Development in and Across Contentious Political Contexts"p. 60
The Argumentp. 65
Hyphenated Selves as a Theoretical Frameworkp. 67
The Hyphen as Method: Positionality and Practicep. 69
Conceptual Frameworks and Fieldwork: Concluding Thoughtsp. 76
Conceptual Frameworks and the Analysis of Datap. 81
Examining the Influence of an Ever-Emerging Conceptual Frameworkp. 82
About the Authorp. 82
Background and Context: An Overview of the Work in Focusp. 83
Erickson, F. (1996). "Going for the Zone: The Social and Cognitive Ecology of Teacher-Student Interaction in Classroom Conversations"p. 86
The Argumentp. 95
From Argument to Analysisp. 97
Transcription as Data Analysisp. 98
Evolving and Shifting Frameworks of Analysisp. 101
Conceptual Frameworks and Data Analysis: Concluding Thoughtsp. 105
Expanding the Conversation, Extending the Argument: The Role of Conceptual Frameworks in Presenting, Explaining, and Contextualizing Findingsp. 107
About the Authorp. 109
Background and Context: An Overview of the Work in Focusp. 109
Being in Conversation With Theory: Influences on Thought and Actionp. 111
Spencer, M., Dupree, D., & Hartmann, T. (1997). 'A Phenomenological Variant of Ecological Systems Theory (PVEST): A Self-Organizational Perspective in Context"p. 113
The Argumentp. 124
Presenting and Discussing Findingsp. 126
Using Findings to Contextualize and Extend the Argumentp. 127
Learning From Surprises: How Findingsp. 126
Reshape Conceptual Frameworksp. 129
Conclusionp. 132
The Conceptual Framework as Guide and Ballastp. 135
Developing a Conceptual Frameworkp. 142
Starting Points: Self and Audiencep. 143
Making-and Breaking-Your Plansp. 145
The Conversation: From Listening to Speakingp. 146
Strategies and Exercises for Developing Conceptual Frameworksp. 147
Identifying Your Interests, Beliefs, and Motivations for Doing Researchp. 148
Examination of the "Conversations Already Happening"p. 148
Ongoing Questions and Concerns About the Researchp. 149
Concept Mapsp. 151
Research Memosp. 153
Research Journalp. 156
Reason & Rigorp. 158
Referencesp. 161
Author Indexp. 167
Subject Indexp. 171
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