Research is the application of scientific method for the solution of the problems in any field of life. Scientific method, when applied in various phenomenon help us in reaching the solution for the problems and in the investigation of truth.
Historically speaking, it is the curiosity of man that impelled him to observe the forces of nature and ponder over various events. In the beginning man used only deductive method, but this method did not help him much.
Then came the inductive method for gaining knowledge. This method involves the observation of natural phenomenon and to arrive at the conclusions. With the passage of time man mixed these two methods using inducto-deduction method in the investigation of truth and finding new knowledge. It was actually the inductive-deductive method, which lead man to the scientific method of research.
The steps of the scientific method will be discussed in detail in the coming paragraphs of this unit, but it is to be mentioned here that the scientific method is mostly used by the descriptive researchers and surveyors in different fields of life.
An other set of definitions has attracted the attention of experimenters in the field of research and these definitions focus our attention on the cause and effect relationship. Population Education has also entered into this field of research and a number of experimental designs have been recommended to be used in this area of education.
The researchers in this field have recommended a number of experimental designs in Population Education and these will be discussed in detail in the coming sections of this unit.
To sum up, research is the application of scientific method in the solution of various problems that puzzle mankind. And it is an effort to determine cause and effect relationship in the process of the investigation of truth.
We shall now discuss different types of research with the application of these types in the area of population education.
MAJOR TYPES OF RESEARCH
The discussion in the types of research can be conducted in many ways. Traditionally historical, descriptive and experimental are the three major types of research.
In historical research, the major emphasis is on the types of sources for data collection (i.e. primary an secondary sources) and on the criticism of data (both internal and external criticism). Historical researches can be conducted in the field of population education and this type of researches can be conducted in this area of education for the determination of past trends and characteristics of population.
Description research deals with what exists. All types of surveys are included in this type of research. Scientific method can be very usefully applied in this type of research and I am sure that descriptive research can be very fruitfully used in population education. Research studies dealing with the demographic data and studies for the investigation of existing trends of population etc. all fall in this area of descriptive research.
Experimental research can also be very effectively applied for the purpose of conducting research studies in the area of population education. Herein the main emphasis is on the determination of cause and effect relationship between different variables. Some designs for the conduct of experimental research studies have been proposed in the later part of this unit.
Besides these traditional and general types of researches; there is possibility of many other types of research; the most significant of these being the projection types of research studies, wherein an effort is made to project future estimates of certain phenomenon.
For example, we can observe population growth over the last few years in a country and can very easily determine the approximate rate of the population increase. This rate of population growth can be applied in the calculation of the estimated population in a country over the future plan period. These projections may be named as trend projections. In this way demographic data can be projected over the plan periods and can be used as base data in different sectors and sub-sectors.
Although different types of research designs can be proposed in this area of education, but it is the job of the researchers to design research studies according to their requirements. It is however, to be mentioned that scientific method can be used in all the types of research studies mentioned above