7101.08 - Theory in Academic Research

Course number
Theory in Academic Research
The goal of this module is threefold: (1) The students will gain insight into concepts and issues in the history of science and research, and will be able to distinguish between the theoretical frameworks that shape contemporary scientific discussion. (2) The students will learn to see how no research is neutral, but rather, how all scientific enquires are based in particular theories of knowledge and knowledge acquisition. (3) The students will learn to see the importance of scientific theory and method for their vocation as either teachers or social educators.
Among the topics covered are: the nature of knowledge, scientific theory, objectivity, the acquisition of empirical data and other knowledge, distinctions between practical and specialised knowledge, the history of scientific consciousness, the nature of paradigms, factors in the unsettling of paradigms, the relationship between paradigms and chance, and between power games and social interests, and the difference between positivism, phenomenology and social constructivism, and between modernism and postmodernism.
Learning and teaching approaches
The module contains 11 3-hour lectures. The students will meet in groups after each lecture for discussion, and to work on assignments, which are based in the themes and questions the lecturer has raised. The students are entitled to 45 minutes of individual consultation. The students can elect to substitute this with a group consultation.
Assessment method
On completion of the course, the students will write a paper. They will be able to choose between 3 to 4 topics. They will receive the topics a week before they need to turn the paper in. The paper will be written in groups of 3-4 students, and should be between 5 and 8 pages. Internal examiners will be used for this course. The grade will be based on the 13 point scale. The grade will be recorded in the students’ diploma. The grade will be based on the following criteria: (1) Use of theoretical concepts, ideas and issues; (2) the structure and composition of the paper; (3) linguistic competence (use of language, syntax and spelling); and (4) use of the APA system of notification. Students will receive the grades in week 38. If a group fails to pass (receives a grade of 00, 03 or 5), it will need to write a new paper. The group will receive their new topic in week 42, and will have one week to complete the paper.