Social Work 7411

Philosophy of Science & Research Design

This course has two main parts. First, it provides an overview of the history of the Philosophy of Science. Topics discussed include epistemology, ontology, and metaphysics.

Debates within these sub-disciplines are explicated and paradigmatic shifts are discussed, particularly as they relate to research in social work. Second, the course reviews elements of research design and the choices that face the social work researcher.

Included in discussions are: the conceptualization of research, including issues of operationalization and measurement; methods for sampling subjects and/or data; approaches for gathering data, including survey research, field research, intensive interviews, and unobtrusive measures; and a brief introduction to the methods employed for data analysis.

As well, the course will review issues around the protection of human subjects in social work research. Discussion of these topics will be oriented toward social work and social policy settings.

Co-requisites or prerequisites: SCWK 7010 & SCWK 7020