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Posing New Researchable Questions as a Dynamic Process in Educational Research

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Stylianides, Gabriel J.  ORCID logo
Stylianides, Andreas J. 


Abstract: In this paper, we argue that posing new researchable questions in educational research is a dynamic process that reflects the field’s growing understanding of the web of potentially influential factors surrounding the examination of a particular phenomenon of interest. We illustrate this thesis by drawing on a strand of mathematics education research related to students’ justification schemes that has evolved rapidly during the past few decades. Also, we reflect on the possible boundaries of the domain of application of the thesis, and we hypothesize that it would apply equally to other strands of educational research. To support this hypothesis, we briefly consider how the thesis would be applicable in two additional research strands. We conclude by elaborating on three important implications of the thesis: (1) as new potentially influential factors about the phenomenon of interest are identified, findings from past research that had not accounted for those factors might prove to be insufficient or be put into question; (2) there are increased methodological challenges for researchers as they seek to design new studies that pay due regard to research advances about all relevant and potentially influential factors surrounding the phenomenon of interest; and (3) as a wider range of potentially influential factors get discovered and considered about a particular phenomenon, research knowledge becomes not only more refined, and presumably more accurate, but possibly more fragmented too.


Funder: University of Oxford


Article, Educational research, Justification schemes, Proof, Researchable questions

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International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education

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Springer Singapore