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Chapter 4: Effective Research
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Section 2 Becoming a Researcher/Scholar / Chapter 4 Effective Research
The phrase, “Find Your Purpose,” GCU's slogan, can mean different things depending upon a learner’s subject position; however, at GCU it begins with a learner’s understanding of the Bible and his or her relationship with God. At GCU, a Christian worldview is essential to “Finding Your Purpose,” because it informs all aspects of one’s life and learning. GCU’s worldview is stated clearly in the university’s , which is a statement of faith affirming the institution’s religious and spiritual belief system.
According to Goheen and Bartholomew (2008), “Worldview is an articulation of the basic beliefs embedded in a shared grand story that are rooted in a faith commitment and that give shape and direction to the whole of our individual and corporate lives” (p. 23). Everyone has a worldview of some kind that helps people make meaning and understanding of the world. The Christian worldview varies amongst denominations, but the basic belief system rests in the knowledge bestowed from God through the writings found in the Bible. “The integration of faith and learning means relating of one’s biblical worldview to the learning that is taking place in the academic or cultural arenas” (Cosgrove, 2006, p. 54). The main area of difference revolves around an individual’s interpretation of the Bible and its teachings.
There are various levels of social, cultural, intellectual, spiritual, and experiential development that have an impact on a learner’s understanding. According to Cosgrove (2006),
This worldview does matter when one engages in the learning process. Our beliefs affect: (1) the subject areas we take an interest in studying, (2) the methods we use to study anything, and (3) the interpretations of, or meaning we bring to, the accumulations of facts. In other words, the learning process in school is never an academically unbiased process; one’s learning is always affected by one’s worldview beliefs. The worldview model, therefore, seeks to transform culture and ideas rather than reject, ignore, or just mix with culture and ideas (pp. 57-58).
This paradigm suggests the Christian worldview plays a prominent role in guiding individuals to connect with their academic learning opportunities. Learners have a firm foundation on which to stand, and their faith is not threatened or challenged, but, rather, enriched through the union of faith and academics.
It is important for learners to recognize their subject position, in order to critically evaluate data, as well as communicate their subject position within a research study to minimize bias. Sometimes research can appear disconnected and impersonal, but in reality it is the opposite. Research is a committed act from an individual dedicated to gaining a greater understanding of an unknown in order to create new knowledge for others. The passion that Christians devote to the Bible is a quality that can transfer to their role as researchers looking for answers to their questions. Grand Canyon University supports academic and spiritual growth with the belief that the combination of the two will make a positive impact on scholarship and the individual.
The Christian worldview varies amongst denominations, but the basic belief system rests in the knowledge bestowed from God through the writings found in the Bible.