Researchers at the ESRC Festival of Research Methods, 2010

New paper: A conceptual-empirical typology of social science research methods pedagogy

We’re delighted to announce the publication of a new open access paper based on research from the Pedagogy of Methodological Learning project. A conceptual-empirical typology of social science research methods pedagogy is published in Research Papers in Education, and shares findings from our across our four year study with advanced methods teachers and learners. The full abstract and reference follow below.


The challenge of research methods teaching is gaining attention among policy-makers keen to build social science research capacity and, critically, among educationalists keen to enhance the pedagogy. This paper addresses pedagogy, presenting a new conceptual-empirical typology of pedagogy for social science research methods teaching. Taking a sociocultural perspective, pedagogy is seen as encompassing both actions and underlying values. A mix of qualitative methods was used to engage more than 100 methods teachers (plus students) from diverse UK and international contexts. An expert panel method and focus groups helped elucidate pedagogical knowledge. Video-stimulated reflective dialogue added detail to that knowledge. Thematic analysis was used to make sense of teaching practice with individuals and across the dataset. A typology of research methods teaching developed iteratively across this process, proposing the core categories of approach, strategy, tactics and tasks. In-depth case studies helped to gain nuance and test the emergent typology in situ. The paper argues that the typology contributes a dynamic tool for developing practice. It transforms the way we think about teaching and can be applied in any social science research method teaching context, benefitting the pedagogic community by enabling greater focus in planning and reflection.