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A physicist may be focused on the refraction of light to make fog appear to be “sitting” above the ocean. While observing the same “objective event,” the scientists are operating under different theoretical frameworks that provide a particular perspective or “lens” for the interpretation of the phenomenon. Each of these scientists brings specialized knowledge, experiences, and values to this phenomenon, and these influence the interpretation of the phenomenon.

education researchers

It also reveals the researcher’s subjectivities, for example, values, social experience, and viewpoint . It is essential that a novice researcher learn to explicitly state a theoretical framework, because all research questions are being asked from the researcher’s implicit or explicit assumptions of a phenomenon of interest . As new education researchers may be less familiar with theoretical frameworks than with literature reviews, this discussion begins with an analogy. Envision a biologist, chemist, and physicist examining together the dramatic effect of a fog tsunami over the ocean. A biologist gazing at this phenomenon may be concerned with the effect of fog on various species. A chemist may be interested in the chemical composition of the fog as water vapor condenses around bits of salt.


In terms of Vygotsky , this finding provided new insights into the learning context in which productive interactions can occur for students. It is important to state at this point that there are many different theoretical frameworks.

  • A more nuanced finding was that group composition had a conditional effect.
  • Both frameworks are popular and it ultimately boils down to personal preferences as well as aptitude to choose the framework for research.
  • They provide a way of organizing information and making sense of it in order to answer questions or solve problems.
  • Academics refer to their theoretical frameworks when publishing papers or experiments to explicitly identify the assumptions that inform their work.
  • Whether the researcher selects a theoretical or a conceptual framework varies upon a number of items, and the published literature does not always clearly distinguish between a theoretical and a conceptual frame.

A What are the variations between conceptual framework and theoretical framework? holds assumptions about how the phenomenon will be effected, influenced, changed, or portrayed. It is ultimately the researcher’s assumption about the phenomenon that aligns with a theoretical framework.

Investigate theory

Conceptual frameworks are often laid out at the beginning of a paper or an experiment description for a reader to understand the methods used. Conducting a literature review, selecting a theoretical framework, and building a conceptual framework are some of the most difficult elements of a research study. It takes time to understand the relevant research, identify a theoretical framework that provides important insights into the study, and formulate a conceptual framework that organizes the finding. In the research process, there is often a constant back and forth among these elements as the study evolves.

This study reveals the complexity of individual roles in a COP in order to support institutional instructional change. The research strategy dictates the major direction of the research and constitutes one of the important decisions made by the researcher. However, researchers’ understanding on theory at the outset of the research guides the design of the research. The paper presents an overview of the involvement of theory within different research philosophies, approaches and methods.

Constructing Conceptual Frameworks

This links to Vygotsky , because inquiry instruction involves interactions among group members. A more nuanced finding was that group composition had a conditional effect.

  • Upon the establishment of a conceptual framework for a research study, the researcher can then start to determine how to write his or her dissertation.
  • The scientists’ theoretical frameworks influence how they design and carry out their studies and interpret their data.
  • Both explain the future course of the research study justifying the reliability of the study.
  • A control variable is a variable that could affect the dependent variable, however it is held constant, so it doesn’t interfere with the outcome.
  • This clarifies the need for their study, which is described and highlighted through specific research aims.
  • Some of them believe that the theoretical framework is used for qualitative research as this paradigm produces detailed and comprehensive information about an area from where one can discern a number of themes and patterns.

The between data and theory is an issue that has been long debated. Theoretical and conceptual frameworks are two important components of research. They provide the foundation for understanding the research problem and how to approach it. While both are important, there are some key differences between them that should be understood. All those involved in conducting a research inevitably face the problem of choosing the right framework to proceed and to remain confined within it. There are both conceptual as well as theoretical frameworks that are equally popular.

Post Author: alphaminds