In the first chapter of her book Research and evaluation in education and psychology, D.M. Mertens presents four major paradigms of educational and psychological research. It can be appreciated that Mertens begins this section of her work with an indication as to the difficulty of trying to classify all of educational and psychological research into four distinct paradigms. She acknowledges that there are quite a few more paradigms, and perhaps it would be impossible to clearly identify all possible paradigms.
Key takeaways are as follows:
The second takeaway from the reading was way each aspect of the paradigms were intrinsically connected. That is to say, one could not take the ontology of postpositivism and interchange it with that of the pragmatic paradigm, for in doing so each of the other aspects epistemology, methodology, etc. would also change. Consequently, a research is pressed to understand the paradigm through with they are pursuing their study because it will have an affect on nearly all aspects of their research.
The third key point was, specifically, the importance placed on ethical considerations in each of the research paradigms. Though the paradigms themselves may approach the ethical considerations in slightly different ways, it’s clear that the ethical considerations have a significant impact on the research design in each of the paradigms. Mertens describes this specifically, but also alludes to the ethical nature or implications throughout the discussion on paradigms.