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The University of Southampton
Southampton Education School

Research project: Capacity building in social science research methods: Researching teaching and learning processes - Dormant - Dormant

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This project forms part of a programme of research undertaken by the NCRM hub. It follows on from recent research on the nature of innovation in social science qualitative research methods and it complements the hub work on the methodological research and training needs of the UK social science community undertaken to inform policy and practice in research methods capacity-building in the UK. Such capacity-building requires effective dissemination of, and training or teaching and learning in, new or advanced methods. It is as yet unclear whether innovation in research methods also requires some innovation in the ways in which methods are taught and learned. Research on the teaching of research methods to date has largely focused on undergraduate or postgraduate students and not on advanced or innovative methods or on short courses for people already working as researchers.

The current study is aimed at better understanding the pedagogical demands of teaching a range of advanced social science research methods. The research team are particularly interested in the following research questions:

  1. What distinctive pedagogical challenges arise in teaching advanced, or innovative, social science research methods?
  2. How do teachers and learners respond to those challenges?
  3. How do those with advanced methodological competence translate their knowledge of methods into a form that will enable others to comprehend and be able to use them?
  4. Does innovation in research methods demand innovation in teaching and learning methods?
  5. Where teachers are innovating in their teaching of social science research methods what is driving this and what is unfolding?

We are addressing these questions by seeking the engagement of teachers and learners in exploring them with us. Vehicles for this include focus groups, observations, and video-stimulated recall and reflection. Ultimately this research will enhance knowledge regarding how capacity is built in the teaching and learning of advanced social science research methods.

Funding body: ESRC National Centre for Research Methods

Duration: 1 May 2013 – 30 September 2014

Findings: See our papers:

Learning as researchers and teachers: the development of a pedagogical culture for social science research methods.British Journal of Educational Studies, 62, (2), 191-207. (doi:10.1080/00071005.2014.918576).


Related research groups

Centre for Research in Inclusion
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