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Examining Worldviews, Research Paper Example

Pages: 3

Words: 886

Research Paper

Many students have difficulties with reading comprehension due to their vocabulary being inadequate.The reader’s conception is underdeveloped, making it difficult to understand what the writer is trying to teach or express.  The proposed study is to find effective ways teachers could take part in enhancing the expansion of vocabulary through the use of instructions.  Teaching reading comprehension is not an easy or straight forward task.  However, certain worldviews may offer guidance to see the problem in a different light.  To understand the potential resources, there has to be an understanding of what each consists of.  A worldviewis “a basic set of beliefs that guide action” (Guba, 1990).  By utilizing concepts from the four worldviews of post-positivism, constructivism, advocacy/participatory, and pragmatism we can structure a better research to address the growing issue of reading comprehension.

The first worldview theory is post-positivism.  This is one belief that personal knowledge is not based on a solid unchallengeable foundation, but more so on human conjectures. “A post-positivist might begin by recognizing that the way scientists think and work and the way we think in our everyday life are not distinctly different. Scientific reasoning and common sense reasoning are essentially the same process” (Trochim 2006). This worldview implies that perhaps the problem should be viewed with simple reasoning and common sense.  Reading comprehension among students is a growing issue, there will never be intellectual growth without basic vocabulary understanding.  Implementing a means for the student to use basic common sense, maybe expressing their opinion on what a specific word means this would enable the individual to use rationale and reasoning for future situations where a teacher may not be available to aid. This worldview also holds determination and reductionism, both of which could aid in the design of a successful vocabulary program as well.

Consider an alternate worldview of constructivism. This theory teaches that we can generate meaning and knowledge from an interaction between experiences and ideas.  This is “learning is not understanding the “true” nature of things, nor is it remembering dimly perceived perfect ideas, but rather a personal and social construction of meaning out of the bewildering array of sensations which have no order or structure besides the explanations which we fabricate for them” (Hein 1991). Using the theory behind this worldview, a program would be implemented to allow a more hands on approach to teaching reading comprehension.  For expression purposes a touch, feel, smell association. One typically has a vast amount of recollection of their personal activities and involvements. By utilizing a research design that would link ideas, experiences in with a person’s reading, they will be able to get a  much better idea of what they are reading.  As this process continues, comprehension would go, vocabulary expands, and word recognition would be much higher.

Advocacy/ participation are another worldview which, “holds that research inquiry needs to be intertwined with politics and a political agenda. Thus, the research contains an action agenda for reform that may change the lives of the participants, the institutions in which individuals work or live, and the researcher’s life” (Creswell 2008).   This worldview could allow us to view the inadequate reading comprehension issue as being attributed to empowerment or being change-oriented.   In any given classroom setting, teacher can face a vast amount of difficulties in teaching simply because of the fact that there are always students on different levels than others.  Collaboration could be a great way for individuals to better expand their vocabulary, which will directly help with reading comprehension.  Focusing on change, will provide a direction to work towards.  Other methods of research and training have not been successful in addressing the growing problem with comprehension, therefore an alternative route would be the best option for pursuing a better outcome.

Finally, consider the worldview of pragmatism.  Pragmatism is the theory of linking practice and theory.  The present dilemma in the theory of pragmatism is “a fundamental and apparently irresoluble clash between two ways of thinking about things.” (Hookway 2008)  This problem-centered worldview allows us to view the reading comprehension issues differently.   The problem could be associated with the way things are being taught.   For example, an individual has a idea in mind, it is not easy to come in and simply say, “change your idea” it would almost have to be proven that a different idea would be better.   The same goes for reading comprehension.  If a person “knows” what something means, why would they ever think to question it to look for alternate meanings.  Real-world practice orientation would be a great way to go about changing, or redirecting two ways of thinking.

By utilizing concepts from the four worldviews of post-positivism, constructivism, advocacy/participatory, and pragmatism we can structure a better research to address the growing issue of reading comprehension.  A research design needs to create solutions for specific areas.  The traditional methods of teaching have not proven to promote the success necessary to address this problem.  Utilizing different views to see the problem will allow a clearer focus for the solution.

References

Creswell R.D. (2008) The Selection of a Research Design. Retrieved from                                             http://www.sagepub.com/upm-data/27395_Pages5_11.pdf

Guba, E. G. (1990) The Alternative Paradigm Dialog.  The Paradigm Dialog.  Newbury Park,   CA: Sage.

Hookway, Christopher. (2008) Pragmatism.  Retrieved from                                                                     http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/pragmatism/

Hein, Professor George E. (1991) Constructive Learning Theory.  JerusalemIsrael, 15-22.

Trochim, William M.K. (2006)Positivism & Post-Positivism. Retrieved from                                          http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb/positvsm.php

 

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