Ethical Framework

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Ethical issues surface in everyday social work and conducting research through a social work lens creates opportunity to experience ethical dilemmas. Rubin and Babbie (2007) suggest “values can influence any phase of the research process” (p. 118). Considering objectivity, we did not come into this project without a pre-formed opinion of restorative justice. Our topic was chosen based on our current interest, so we need to be aware of how this interest affects our research. In considering three ethical issues that may surface, we focused on ensuring parental consent if interviewing minor students, using trauma-informed care principles when gathering data, and increasing awareness of various levels of power between participants and researchers.…show more content…
Considering the nature of our topic within these three different paradigms provides some valuable clarity around the direction of our research/study. Within a positivist framework, the goal is to seek a comprehensive understanding of prior studies and existing body of literature to establish the specific focus that will inform new, cutting edge research. This framework informs the construction of a hypothesis that seeks to investigate, as objectively as possible, in order to “maximize the accuracy of the answer to the question” (Rubin & Babbie, 2014, p. 55). Applying a positivist approach to our topic of restorative justice in public schools would require extensive research on prior studies and literature to identify critical areas in need of further exploration to contest or illuminate previous findings. In contrast to a positivist paradigm, the fundamental building blocks of the interpretivist approach focus on human experience while seeking to “gain an empathetic understanding of how people feel inside” (Rubin & Babbie, 2014, p. 57). An appreciation for the subjective experience guides this framework. In the case of restorative justice in…show more content…
This aspect of generalizability comes with power and influence to either sustain or change the dialog around an issue. This framework would help build a study that gains information about restorative justice in schools in a systematic way to help shape important conversation and action around this issue. However, this approach steers away from utilizing qualitative data, eliminating the human experience that can play a vital role in helping inform practice and further research in this area. Furthermore, the level of understanding is limited based on the systematic and objective measures utilized within a positivist paradigm. Through a critical examination of these paradigms, we note the kind of knowledge that could be built from our study, as well as the importance of utilizing aspects of the positivist approach to inform the other
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