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Caribbean Journal of Education

Ethical and Methodological Dilemmas in Education Research

Publication Date: 
August 2020

This paper utilized a non-empirical theoretical research framework for the purpose of examining possible solutions to the ethical and methodological dilemmas facing educational researchers. Two questions guided the examination: a) How relevant is research ethics in education research? and b) Which paradigm is a good fit for education research? A study of over two decades of seminal works and conference presentations revealed that education research is subject to the same professional code of ethics and guidelines as other Human and Social Sciences Research; therefore, educational researchers should avoid questionable practices by adhering to the “relativist utilitarian ethics of consequences” in the research process. While no single paradigm was identified as a good fit for education research, the quantitative–qualitative continuum, mixed–methods research, and alternative ways of teaching research methods courses were considered as possible approaches for addressing the methodological dilemmas that educational researchers encounter. Instructors of research methods courses are therefore expected to reflect on and re-evaluate the different ways in which philosophy, pedagogical strategies, and learning goals influence the redesign of their course.

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