Paradigms and Methodologies for Knowledge Building

Josep Gallifa (FPCEE Blanquerna, Ramon Liull University)


A diversity of methodologies can be utilized for knowledge building in social sciences, particularly in education. Nevertheless, in order to give meaning to the research fndings and progressively create theories, an awareness of the epistemological framework appears to be necessary. The aim of this article is to present the main epistemological paradigms and their coherent correspondence with respective ontologies and corresponding methodologies. This article supports and describes four paradigms or epistemological traditions: logic empiricism, constructivism, conceptualism or Aristotelian tradition, and phenomenology. Understanding the diverse possible epistemologies as well as the coherence with methodologies is a necessary step for presenting well-informed research. Knowledge building requires comparison, replication, generalization or integration of results in theories, and all these processes need the critical instance of the epistemological and methodological coherence. Additionally some concrete examples of methodologies have been detailed to illustrate the diversity of available ways of knowledge building in education. The Review of Educational Theory, as a new journal that aims to create a scientifc community, will increase the research quality by enhancing the epistemological and methodological awareness of their pieces of research.


Knowledge building; Epistemologies; Research methodologies; Ontologies; Logic empiricism; Constructivism; Aristotelian tradition; Phenomenology

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