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Education Inquiry - Essay Example

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Developing a social research project from initial thought to the completion and presentation of the project to the targeted audience is a vast undertaking fraught with problems and perils. Recognizing those problems and perils before starting a project, as well as keeping them utmost in mind throughout the entire process will lead the researcher to be better prepared, and ultimately will lead to a more thorough understanding and presentation of the gathered material and summation of that material.
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Education Inquiry
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Download file to see previous pages Blalock states that he wrote the book to confront the perennial problems that all social scientists face and it was his desire to ask two questions. Those two questions are, "Why aren't we doing better, and how can we improve" (Blalock, 1984, p 6).
In order to answer those two questions, we as social scientists/researchers must understand the background and environment in which we must toil. There are a number of "very tough intellectual challenges stemming from the complexity of the social world we are attempting to study" (Blalock, 1984, p 6). Blalock points out that we need to understand those intellectual challenges and the interplay of our individual intellectual backgrounds, interests and behaviors with those challenges.
The answers to these questions are what we consider as we continue the process of research. James M. Black said that "One of the most important features of the training of research scholars is the acquisition of skills required to conduct sound scientific investigations" (Black, 1976, pg 6).
We understand that there are a number of pitfalls and bias that w...
ntly will encounter as individuals in attempting research projects and that we will need to understand what and who we are in order to be proficient in our jobs and careers.. If we first work at gaining the skills that we need to answer those questions then our projects will be more readily presentable and understood by those we are attempting to influence.
One of the understandings that we must address is the characteristics of scientific research. Black says that "sociology has the following characteristics of science; 1. sociology is empirical, 2. sociology is theoretical, 3. sociology is cumulative, 4. sociology is non-ethical" (Black, 1976, p 5). The book goes on to explain that empirical means that it is based on observation and reasoning, theoretical is the attempt to summarize complex observations in abstract, logically related propositions, cumulative shows how sociological theories build upon one another and that by being non-ethical means that sociologists do not ask whether particular social actions are good or bad, they merely seek to explain them.

Social Research/ pg 3
The non-ethical statement could be the most important one of the four. As social scientists, a problem that we will almost always (in ourselves) is the urge to judge social actions, and present them as good or bad. That is not our job when conducting a research project. Our job should be conducted along the lines of maintaining the research process with stringent guidelines. As social scientists we must adhere to those guidelines in order for our presentation(s) of the material to be taken seriously. If we advocate the use of the material in certain ways, whatever ways those are, then we are no longer social scientists but could be considered as social advocates. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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