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wealth of information for a researcher, but only if the researcher has a clear idea of what he or she wants to study and how the past work of others can be used in order to provide ideas for the future based on the work done in the present. There should be a logical progression from what was done in the past, through what the researcher is doing currently, and on to what can be done in the future. Without a proper framework based on theory that relates to the context of the study, the researcher will have nothing on which to build and on which to base his or her analysis. If a researcher failed to have a framework for the focus of his or her research, the results could be devastating when it comes to providing clear analysis and conclusions.
In Langer's (2002) study there were two key variables, which were the use of learning journals and the non-traditional students. The students were examined as a comparison to traditional students, and the learning journals were used to gauge the response of something unexpected, since the class in which they were used was technical in nature. Langer (2002) connected his theoretical framework to these variables in order to show that traditional and non-traditional students look at things differently. At the same time, however, Langer (2002) also showed that the style and content of the class itself made a difference when it came to the learning tools that were used (and expected). He was greatly helped by the clear theoretical framework he had, which allowed him to focus his study more effectively. It is easy to see the importance of the theoretical framework in Langer's (2002) study, because non-traditional and traditional learners do have different needs and expectations, especially based on the style of class they are taking.
In the article by Brawer, et al. (2002), the theoretical framework was used to connect the key variables, which were research, supervision, course work, and systematic coverage of a particular area of content. An example of how this was done is important to discuss for clarity. The paper surveyed directors of clinical training in an effort to determine what changes had been made, and in what areas. Religion and spirituality were the foci of the study, and the changes in them and the way they were taught based on the variables were addressed carefully. Results showed that systematic coverage did not increase, but that there were more programs that were at least providing some form of coverage (Brawer, et al., 2002). In the field of psychology, some see a place for religion and spirituality, and others do not. That is interesting, because it shows the differences in people even though they have studied the same things and are focused on the same profession.
The research topic and question are important, as is the identification of the variables. Additionally, it is important to explain the role of the specific theory that linked the key variables. The goal for the study was to survey the directors and see how they felt when it came to linking clinical psychology with religion and spirituality (Brawer, et al., 2002). Was the linking systematic and across the board, or did it pertain only to a few select classes? What were the reasons behind that distribution, and what did that mean for the students and instructors who were being taught this information? It is easy to theorize that religion and spirituality have no place in psychology, but just as easy to theorize that they do have a place there, when dealing with the mind and the beliefs of the individual - many of which are often very personal. Dedicated courses on the issues and including them as part of other courses was on the rise in Brawer, et al.'s (2002) study. This could potentially indicate the importance of the issue for psychology in the future.
Other articles have addressed the same or similar issues. These include Howitt (n.d.), and . In Howitt's (n.d.) article, he addresses the issue of an outcomes-based learning model to continue to teach unchanging truth in a world that is rapidly changing. In other words, he uses qualitative methods and focuses on the study's purpose, which is to show that unchanging religious and spiritual truths can be taught and appreciated and held as…[continue]
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