In this free course, Engaging with postgraduate research: education, childhood & youth, you will build on your understanding of how to evaluate research by thinking about a fundamental part of the research process: research perspectives and approaches. Some of the different ways of researching situations that can arise when working in education and working with children and young people will be examined. You will explore distinct and influential ways in which people think about and study the complexities around working with children and young people, the practices involved in learning and teaching and the structures that support and impact on them. You will become familiar with the different theoretical tools used in research, which will enable you to begin to interrogate research literature and the research process itself.
Course learning outcomes
After studying this course, you should be able to:
appreciate why theory is relevant to and important for research
recognise how research perspectives offer ways of linking theory to the practice of research
understand what a research paradigm is and how paradigms can be distinguished from each other
recognise how the choice of a research paradigm and its associated research methodology relates to how a research problem or enquiry is conceptualised
understand how different research positions have led to different views about what counts as evidence and, as a consequence, what is judged to be valuable or reliable evidence in research
appreciate how having a clear view of the theories and concepts informing a study offers a useful framework for research.
You can start this course right now without signing-up. Click on any of the course content sections below to start at any point in this course.
If you want to be able to track your progress, earn a free Statement of Participation, and access all course quizzes and activities, sign-up.
Creative commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence.
However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These
materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions377 and our FAQs378.
Full copyright details can be found in the Acknowledgements section of each week.
For further information, take a look at our frequently asked questions which may give you the support you need.
Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University.
The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now.
Take a look at all Open University courses.
If you are new to University-level study,
we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an
Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on
Where to take your learning next for more information.