Methods of Inquiry
Exploration of various methods of inquiry focuses on the difference between scientific thinking, wisdom, and alternative concepts of knowledge. Existential dilemmas intrinsic to the pursuit of truth, the exploration of the meaning of actions, the process of interpretation, the perception of reality, and empirical generalizations are discussed and their influence on the definition of research problems and designs explored. The nature of the problem and assumptions and their relationship within the physical and social order are addressed with an emphasis on understanding the complexity and interrelatedness of events and the concept of ecology in research. Research designs and methods are introduced as they relate to problem definition and theory and includes an overview of the principles of basic and applied experimental research, evaluation research, and the traditions and foundation of qualitative and historical research. The role of triangulation as a methodological choice in research design and analysis is addressed to provide a more insightful approach to the exploration of complex phenomena.