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The Power of the Paradigm in Scholarship in Higher Education

The Power of the Paradigm in Scholarship in Higher Education
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Author(s): Lorraine Ling (Victoria University, Australia & La Trobe University, Australia)
Copyright: 2020
Pages: 34
Source title: Emerging Methods and Paradigms in Scholarship and Education Research
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Lorraine Ling (La Trobe University, Australia) and Peter Ling (Swinburne University of Technology, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1001-8.ch002


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In this chapter, the six paradigms explored in this book – positivist, neo-positivist, interpretivist, transformative, pragmatic, and supercomplexity – are described and the key elements of each paradigm are discussed. The paradigms are discussed here as they apply not only to research, though this is the usual area of scholarship to which they are applied, but also to the other areas of scholarship as identified by Boyer. Scholarship as discussed is based upon Boyer's definitions of the four scholarships of discovery, application, integration, and teaching, and his subsequent addition of the scholarship of engagement. The key elements of paradigms are ontology, epistemology, axiology, methodology, intent, and outcomes. The paradigm is the focal point here because awareness of the paradigm within which the scholarship is undertaken helps to ensure consistency between elements of the activity and clarifies within the scholar's mind how best to undertake their scholarly activity.

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