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Spring 2022 Advanced Programs - Advanced Programs Face to Face or Virtual - Instr Leadership and Acad Curr

[ILAC 6033] Critical Research Paradigms - 223

Sara Beach

Course Description

Compares research paradigms and epistemologies and examines critical and transformative research approaches

Class Dates, Format, Location and Hours

DatesMarch 29-May 21, 2022
FormatVirtual; Course to take place via Zoom and Canvas.
Location for on-site coursesBuilding 2775, 2nd Floor, Room 11
Kapaun Air Station, Kaiserslautern, Germany
HoursSynchronous classes will be on Wednesdays and times are listed in CEST time.
Last day to enroll or drop without penaltyMarch 28, 2022

Site Director

NameMs. Cinthia Raez & Ms. Izete Seppala 
Office address/locationRamstein Education Center, Bldg. 2120, 4th Floor, Room 421, Ramstein AB, Germany 
Office hoursMonday- Friday on Ramstein AB- 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. 
DSN and CIV phoneDSN: 480-6807 or CIV: 49-06371-47-6807

Professor Contact Information

Course Professor: Sara Ann (Sally) Beach, PhD
Mailing Address:812 Van Vleet Oval, Rm 114, Norman, OK 73019
Telephone Number:405 325 1498
Fax Number:405 325 4061
Professor availability:The professor will be available via email/Zoom to students before and after the class sessions.

Textbook(s) and Instructional Materials

Student materials are available at the OU Bookstore Website at The website has book selling, renting, buying, returning, and order tracking capabilities. If you need help with an order, or if you have any questions contact the toll-free phone at 1-(855)-790-6637, agents are available from 9a – 5p (EST) Monday – Friday. Text prices are available online.

Materials posted on the OU Canvas learning management system: Access Canvas at, enter your OU NetID and password, and select course to access material. If you require assistance with Canvas, please click on the Help icon. You can search the Canvas guides, chat with Canvas support, or contact OU IT.  

The Foundations of Social Research Meaning and Perspective in the Research Process
The Foundations of Social Research Meaning and Perspective in the Research Process
by Michael Crotty
Published by Sage Pubns
ISBN: 9780761961062
Foundations of Education Research
Foundations of Education Research
by Egbert, Joy, Sanden, Sherry
Published by Routledge
ISBN: 9781138321038

Course Objectives

  1.  Understand the difference between conceptual framework, epistemology, paradigm, theoretical framework, methodology and methods, and use that knowledge to critique existing research
  2.  Distinguish, compare and contrast different epistemologies/paradigms that guide research
  3. Demonstrate the ability to plan a research study that is guided by a conceptual framework and demonstrates a particular paradigm/epistemology using an appropriate theoretical framework and methodology.

Course Outline

Assignments, Grading and Due Dates

Online discussion on Canvas:

The purpose of the online discussion is to provide a forum for you to try out ideas as you think about the readings and as you plan a possible research study based on your own conceptual framework and epistemology as well as to provide feedback to other members of the class on their ideas. The discussion will begin on Week 2 listed in the course outline and continue through Week 8.  You will be assigned a discussion group before the Week 1 class.  I will begin each discussion with a question and/or prompt around the readings/research plan. I’ll provide instructions on responding. Each person should respond to my question/discussion for that week by Friday and then respond to each of the other members of your groups’ posts at least  twice by Monday at 11 pm before face to face zoom classes. I’d suggest (but not require) that you find a synchronous time that you can all be online on Canvas for about an hour to discuss your responses in writing. Responses should not be evaluative (such as telling the person their post is good) but extend ideas and ask questions. Thoughtfulness is key in responding, wordiness is not, although one or two sentences will not give you full credit.

Paradigm group activity:

The purpose of this assignment is for you to delve more deeply into one or more of the paradigms in the Crotty text so that you can help others understand it/them and you can compare/contrast it/them with other competing paradigms.

·        Read Chapter 1 of the Crotty text during the week it is assigned. Using subheadings of each of the subsequent chapters, briefly look through the chapters to identify paradigms that you are interested in exploring. Based on that introduction, make a first, second and third choice of paradigms you would like to become an expert on. Go to the Google form (link provided on Canvas) and complete the survey that indicates your choices (see date due in calendar of classes). I’ll get back to you with your paradigm assignment.

·        Carefully and actively read your chapter. Before reading, jot down what you know about the paradigm. As you read, note key vocabulary or terms that others would need to understand to make sense of the paradigm; key points that summarize the main tenants of it, including beliefs about knowledge and reality and other key ideas you think others would need to know, Have those notes ready for the class indicated in the calendar.

·        During the appropriate class, work with the other members of your group to discuss your notes and reflect on your learning. As a group, create a handout that can be given to your classmates that includes key terminology, main tenants of the paradigm, and implications for research. Plan how to teach about your paradigm in an interactive way to your classmates.

·        Participate in the “teach in” about paradigms. Construct (as part of a small group) a visual/graphic that compares the paradigms.

A rubric for this assignment will be uploaded on Canvas.

Research article critiques:

The purpose of this assignment is twofold: a) compile potential research articles for your inquiry/research project to help you identify potential theories/theoretical framework for the research you will plan and b) provide practice in identifying different aspects of published research and critiquing their appropriateness.

·        Find 10 research articles that are relevant to your inquiry/research project topic and research question. You should find articles that use a variety of different research methodologies. You will use these articles as the literature review of your inquiry proposal.

·        Choose 3 of the research articles to critique. They should each use a different research methodology. Using the form provided on Canvas, identify and critique the different aspects of each article.

We will practice critiquing articles during the class.

Inquiry/research plan:

The purpose of this assignment is to provide practice in planning a research study to better understand how research is guided by a researcher’s views of the world, what counts as knowledge, and theoretical framework. Much of the work of planning will be done as part of other assignments and in class. You will need to keep track of the planning in an electronic journal and include artifacts from the other assignments when the plan is turned in. Note: You will not actually be doing data collection and analysis but will be creating a proposal for an inquiry that is grounded in a conceptual framework, appropriate paradigm and theoretical framework, and matched to an appropriate methodology.

·        Choose a topic of interest in education that you would like to find out more about. The topic may come from a previous education class or be one of interest to you that you know very little about. Your journal should include brainstorming of topics, pieces from the online discussion, and your final choice.

·        With the help of the instructor, write a research question that encompasses what you wonder about the topic. Include this in the planning journal.

·        Complete the Guiding Questions Worksheet in Appendix A of the Egbert and Sanden text.

·        Read and critique all 10 of the research articles to include in your inquiry planning journal. You will have already formally critiqued 3 of the articles to turn in. At the minimum, your journal should have notes from all 10 of the articles that you can use to help your write your review of the literature.

·        Choose (using knowledge from your previous research class on research methods) an appropriate methodology and plan the methods you would use to collect data to answer your question. Include this in the planning journal.

Note: by the time you write your paper, your planning journal should contain the following: your brainstormed ideas for a topic with feedback from peers, your research question with instructor feedback and modifications, notes from the 10 articles or critiques of the 10 articles, Guiding Questions worksheet, and your notes on planning your methodology that is appropriate for your paradigm.

·        Using your planning journal and the activities completed in class to help you plan, as well as the research articles that you compiled, write a paper that is a proposal for your inquiry/research project. The paper should include an introduction, a theoretical framework, a review of the literature (the articles you collected) which indicates a gap in our knowledge, and a methodology section which situates the study in a research paradigm, describes the methodology and indicates why it is appropriate, and describes the methods (sample, data sources, how to collect data). Your bibliography should contain a minimum of 10 sources, that is all of the research articles that you collected not just the 3 that you formally critiqued. This paper should be 10-15 pages in length (exclusive of bibliography) and follow APA format for cites in the paper, headings, and bibliography.

A rubric will be posted on Canvas.

Class Participation:

You are expected to act professionally during the class, including being prompt to class and staying for the entire time; actively participating in in large and small group discussions and activities; actively and respectfully listening and responding to the comments and questions made by fellow students; and being prepared for each class session.


This is a letter-graded course: A, B, C, D, or F.

A = 200-180; B = 179-160; C = 159-140; D = 139-120; F = below 119

Incomplete Grade Policy

Notice: Failure to meet assignment due dates could result in a grade of I (Incomplete) and may adversely impact Tuition Assistance and/or Financial Aid.


Attendance/Grade Policy

Attendance and participation in interaction, individual assignments, group exercises, simulations, role playing, etc. are valuable aspects of any course because much of the learning comes from discussions in class with other students. It is expected that you attend all classes and be on time except for excused emergencies.

Excused absences are given for professor mandated activities or legally required activities such as emergencies or military assignments. It is the policy of the University to excuse absences of students that result from religious observances and to provide without penalty for the rescheduling of examinations and additional required class work that may fall on religious holidays. Unavoidable personal emergencies, including (but not limited to) serious illness; delays in getting to class because of accidents, etc.; deaths and funerals, and hazardous road conditions will be excused.

If you are obtaining financial assistance (TA, STAP, FA, VA, Scholarship, etc.) to pay all or part of your tuition cost, you must follow your funding agency/institution’s policy regarding “I” (Incomplete) grades unless the timeline is longer than what the University policy allows then you must adhere to the University policy. Students who receive Financial Aid must resolve/complete any “I” (Incomplete) grades by the end of the term or he/she may be placed on “financial aid probation.” If the “I” grade is not resolved/completed by the end of the following term, the student’s Financial Aid may be suspended make the student ineligible for further Financial Aid.

Students are responsible for meeting the guidelines of Tuition Assistance and Veterans Assistance. See the education counselor at your local education center for a complete description of your TA or VA requirements.

OU faculty will submit grades online through ONE not later than 30 days after the course end date. Course end dates are approximately one calendar month after the final seminar date on this syllabus and are provided on the official scheduling website for reference.

Academic Integrity and Student Conduct 

Academic integrity means honesty and responsibility in scholarship. Academic assignments exist to help students learn; grades exist to show how fully this goal is attained. Therefore all work and all grades should result from the student's own understanding and effort.

Academic misconduct is any act which improperly affects the evaluation of a student’s academic performance or achievement. Misconduct occurs when the student either knows or reasonably should know that the act constitutes misconduct. Academic misconduct includes: cheating and using unauthorized materials on examinations and other assignments; improper collaboration, submitting the same assignment for different classes (self-plagiarism); fabrication, forgery, alteration of documents, lying, etc…in order to obtain an academic advantage; assisting others in academic misconduct; attempting to commit academic misconduct; destruction of property, hacking, etc…; intimidation and interference with integrity process; and plagiarism. All students should review the Student’s Guide to Academic Integrity at 

Students and faculty each have responsibility for maintaining an appropriate learning environment. All students should review policies regarding student conduct at 

Accommodation Statement

The University of Oklahoma is committed to making its activities as accessible as possible. For accommodations on the basis of disability, please contact your local OU Site Director.

Adjustment for Pregnancy/Childbirth-Related Issues

Should you need modifications or adjustments to your course requirements because of documented pregnancy-related or childbirth-related issues, please contact the professor as soon as possible to discuss. Generally, modifications will be made where medically necessary and similar in scope to accommodations based on temporary disability. Please see

Title IX Resources

For any concerns regarding gender-based discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, stalking, or intimate partner violence, the University offers a variety of resources, including advocates on-call 24/7, counseling services, mutual no-contact orders, scheduling adjustments, and disciplinary sanctions against the perpetrator. Please contact the Sexual Misconduct Office at or (405) 325-2215 (8-5), or the Sexual Assault Response Team at (405) 615 -0013 (24/7) to report an incident. To learn more about Title IX, please visit the Institutional Equity Office’s website at 

Course Policies

Extended Campus (also and formerly known as Advanced Programs) policy is to order books in paperback if available. Courses, dates, and professors are subject to change. Please check with your OU Site Director. Students should retain a copy of any assignments that are e/mailed to the professor for the course. Neither duplicating services nor office supplies are provided.

Any and all course materials, syllabus, lessons, lectures, etc. are the property of professor teaching the course and the Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma and are protected under applicable copyright.

For more information about OU Extended Campus, visit our website at:

Statement on Respect

The classroom should provide a safe learning environment where students can express their views without fear of reprisal. That freedom of expression must be balanced by demonstrated respect for other’s viewpoints and appropriate and reasonable sensitivity, especially within the context of scholarly disagreement.  Disrespectful or uncivil dialogue (including, but not limited to, personal attacks, insults, or harassment) will not be tolerated.

Recording Devices/Phones/Computers

It is important for students to be fully present during class to fully benefit from lectures, discussions, and experiential assignments. Class sessions may not be tape-recorded. All telephones and pagers should be turned off or placed on silent mode. Computers may not be used during class. Students who require an exception to this policy should discuss exceptional circumstances with the professor.


Sara Ann (Sally) Beach, Ph.D.


  •         Ph.D. June, 1991, University of California, Riverside, Emphasis: Reading, Curriculum and Instruction, Research Methods
  •         M. Ed. 1981, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, Curriculum and Instruction, Reading
  •         B. A. 1975, University of Dallas, Irving, TX, Major: Elementary Education

Current Positions

  •         Professor and Grant Family Presidential Professor, Literacy Education, Department of Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum, The University of Oklahoma
  •         Co-Director, Center for Peace and Development, University of Oklahoma

Frequently Taught Extended Campus (Advanced Programs) Courses

  • ILAC 6033

Major Areas of Teaching and Research Interest

·        Teaching: Research methods, Theoretical foundations (ILAC, curriculum, literacy), early literacy, literacy leadership, digital and multimodal literacy

·        Research: cultural ways of knowing, early literacy, opportunities for engaged learning, critical literacy for democracy, new literacies

Representative Publications and Presentations

Recent Publications

·        Beach, S.A., Nyirumbe, R., Monk, D. & Okecha, E..P. (2020). Decolonizing Beginning Literacy Instruction: Views from Ugandan Teachers. Reading Teacher (Global Literacy column),

·        Kershen, J., Raymond, K. & Beach, S. (2019) Negotiating Hierarchies: A Narrative Self-Study within an International, Service-Learning Context. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association Service Learning and Experiential Education Special Interest Group

·        Beach, S. A., Collins, J Willner, E., & Bayless, Barbara. (2018). New Literacies for New Times: 2Whats and 3Hows. In Working together to encourage equity through literacy communities: a challenge for the 21st century (Proceedings of the 20th European Conference on Literacy, Madrid, Spain). Pp.114-134. (Peer reviewed proposal and paper)

·        Callow, J., Beach, S.A., Burke, A., & Ward, A. (2018). International Perspectives on the Literate Identity of Teachers . . In Working together to encourage equity through literacy communities: a challenge for the 21st century (Proceedings of the 20th European Conference on Literacy, Madrid, Spain). Pp.147-168. (Peer reviewed proposal and paper)

·        Stroud, A., Kershen, J.L., Raymond, K., Williams, L., & Beach, S.A. (2017). Transformative Peacebulidng Efforts in Northern Uganda: The Development of St. Monica’s School of Basic Learning for Women. International Journal of Cross Disciplinary Studies in Education.

·        Collins, J., Beach, S.A., & Ruan, J. (2017). 21st Century teaching and learning: Preparing teachers for the New Literacies. Proceedings of the 19th European Conference on Literacy, Klagenfurt, Austria.

·        Beach, S.A., Ward, A., Dorsey, J., Limbrick, L, Paris, J., Lorinczova, K., Maslova, M., & Mirseitova, S. (2013). Early Adolescents’ Views of Good Readers and Writers in School and Their Literate Identities: An International Exploration. In Dunston, Fullerton, Bates, Stecker, Cole, Hall, Herro, & Headley (Eds.), 62st Yearbook of the Literacy Research Association, 157-170.

·        Beach, S.A. & Ward, A. (2013). Insights into engaged literacy learning: Stories of literate identity. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 27, 239-255.

Recent Presentations

·        Raymond, K., Beach, S.A., & Kershen, J. (2020, March). Integrating social justice through an international service learning experience. Paper to be presented at the International Studies Association Conference, Honolulu, Hawaii.

·        Beach, S.A., Monk, D., & Nyirumbe, R. (August, 2019). Embodying Change in Literacy for Women: Perspectives from Northern Uganda. Symposium to be presented at the 21st European Conference on Literacy, Copenhagen, DE.

·        Beach, S. A., Bayless, B., Vollmer, S., Willner, E., & Collins, J. (2017, July). New Literacies for New Times: 2Whats and 3Hows. Symposium presented at the 20th European Conference on Literacy, Madrid, Spain.

·        Callow, J., Beach, S.A., Burke, A., & Ward, A. (2017, July). International Perspectives on the Literate Identity of Teachers. Symposium presented at the 20th European Conference on Literacy, Madrid, Spain.

·        Beach, S.A., Ward, A., Callow, J., Dorsey, J., Lorinczova, K., Kovacs, M., Burke, A. (2015, December). Knowledgeable teachers and their perspectives on student engagement. Roundtable presented at the Annual Meeting of the Literacy Research Association, Carlsbad, CA.

·        Delgado-Brown, L. & Beach, S.A. (2015, December).. New Literacy Practices: Imaginative implications for 21st century literate identities. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Literacy Research Association, Carlsbad, CA.

·        Beach, S.A., Andima, G., Bwire, A., Winsor, P. & Ward, A. (2015, September). Kajaido teachers explore professional reading clubs. Paper presented at the 9th Pan African Literacy for all Conference, Cape Town, South Africa.

·        Collins, J., Beach, S.A., Vollmer, S., & Ruan, J. (2015, July). 21st Century teaching and learning: Preparing teachers for the New Literacies. Workshop presented at the 19th European Conference on Literacy, Klagenfurt, Austria.

·        Beach, S.A., Ward, A., Dorsey, J., Callow, J., Kovacs, M. (2015, July). Knowledgeable teachers: how teachers and learners reciprocally engage in literacy events.  Workshop to be presented at the 19th European Conference on Literacy, Klagenfurt, Austria.

·        Ward, A., Beach, S.A., Goolsby Smith, R., Callow, J., Kovacs, M., Burke, A., Lorinczova, K., & Dorsey, J. (2015, June). Knowledgeable teachers as engaged literacy learners: An international study. Paper presented at the annual conference of the Canadian Society for the Study of Education, Ottawa, Ontario, CA.

Representative Honors and Awards Received

·        Spring, 2017: OU Norman Campus Vice President for Research Award for International Engagement

Pedersen Award for Excellence in Graduate Mentoring, Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education

·        Spring, 2015: Inaugural Graddy Award for Service to the Graduate College, University of Oklahoma,

·        Spring, 2013: Thomas Sherman Grant & Lizzie Lou Otter Grant Presidential Professor

·        April, 2010: Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education Teaching Award

·        November, 2008: Orava Association Award (for long lasting contributions to education in Slovakia), Orava Association for Democratic Education, Slovakia

·        April, 2003: College of Education Citizenship/Leadership Award

Major Professional Affiliations

·        International Reading Association

·        Literacy Research Association