Monday, February 2, 2009

Theoretical Framework


Can an article lack a theoretical framework? I guess if you dig enough you could pin it to some kind of theory but I didn't think that was the point. It seems to me that a discipline has a set of theories to help organize and guide the knowledge that is found while doing research. One challenge that this presents is that if a theory is not explicitly mentioned in an articel unless one knows most of the theories for that discipline then it will be hard to see the theoretical framework in which a study was carried out. Either this is the case for 60% of my articles or they simply did not have a theoretical framework to guide them but rather they were finding holes or things that had not been looked at that dealt with technology or a social component of distance education and studying it. So can an article lack a theoretical framework? I would say it automatically does if the initial planning was not based on some theory.

None specifically mentioned (6)

Jung's theory on cognitive style (1)

Transactional distance (2)

Various other theories pieced together (1-2)


Charles Graham said...

What literature do they cite in the lit reviews?

Peter Rich said...

Dr. Williams just asked me the other day, "does anyone care about theory anymore?" I think it's entirely possible for people to report on their studies without grounding them in a theory. Think about that word for a moment, "grounding." It is entirely possible to also have an electrical appliance that is not grounded, but what happens when you put any sort of stress or load on that ungrounded thing?

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