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EPOL 593 ONL - Role of Theory in Ed Research

Campus: Urbana-Champaign


All research is guided by theory. Theory provides a vocabulary, a set of laws or generalizations, a background literature, and a conceptual framework for any effort to plan, design, and execute a research study. There is no theory-free inquiry. This is true in the social sciences as well as the natural sciences. All research seeks to explain phenomena: a theory provides an explanation for those explanations. However, these theoretical assumptions are often implicit and unreflective. Researchers may think they have no theory, or have a theory that is so taken for granted that they don-t recognize it as an assumed theory. Much of educational research suffers from this lack of theoretical self-awareness. Like any other aspect of research, theories are falsifiable. They must stand the test of evidence - which may go against them. The goal of the class is not to identify the "right" or "best" theory, but to make the identification and selection of a theory more critical and reflective.

Special Instructions:

Synchronous attendance required. Moodle LMS, delivered on Zoom.

Academic Program Restrictions:

EDD:Ed Pol Org &Ldshp Onl-UIUC

Option 1

Number of Required Visit(s): 0

Course Level: Graduate

Credit: 4

Term(s): Spring


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