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Engaging with postgraduate research: education, childhood & youth
Engaging with postgraduate research: education, childhood & youth

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2.3 Research methodology

Research methodology is defined by Teddlie and Tashakkori (2009) as a broad approach to enquiry ‘specifying how research questions should be asked and answered’ (p. 21). The design of the research and the specific research methods used are determined by the overall methodological approach.

Different ontological and epistemological positions lead to different methodologies. Thomas (2009) describes the relationship between ontology, epistemology and methodology in the following way.

  • What is there to study (ontology)?
  • How can you know about it (epistemology)?
  • How do you find what you are looking for (methodology)?

These three aspects are related and are nested within a research paradigm. Awareness of these theoretical aspects of the research process is important, whether it is to evaluate research literature or to investigate practice.