Educational Research Chapter 1

Major steps involved in conducting research study

 scientific method is an orderly process that entails recognition and definition of a problem, formulation of hypotheses, collection and analysis of data, and statement of conclusion regarding confirmation or disconfirmation of the hypotheses.

Four Steps involved when conducting a educational research

          Selection and definition of a problem: a problem is a question of interest that can be tested or answered through the collection and analysis of data.

          Execution of research procedures:  the procedures are the activities involved in collecting data (e.g. how data are collected and from whom).

          Analysis of data:  Usually involves the application of statistical techniques, to help the researcher answer the question.

          Drawing and stating conclusions: Stating whether the researchers hypothesis was correct or not.  Advance the general knowledge of the topic in question.

Goal of the Scientific method

 to describe, explain, predict, and/or control phenomena.

Limitations of the scientific method

          Can’t answer all questions: Scientific method cannot answer all questions

          Never going to get the complete picture, more research and test can always be done.  Application of the scientific method can never capture the full richness of the individuals and environment under study. No application provides full comprehension of a site and its inhabitants.

          Measurement instruments are imperfect: Measuring instruments will always have some type or degree of error

          Research is done by humans and we are not perfect

Scientific method is preferred over other “ways of knowing”

 because it is a more efficient and more reliable than relying solely on experience, authority, inductive reasoning, and deductive reasoning as a source of knowledge.

Goal of educational research

 the decision to study and/or describe something-to ask questions and seek an answer.

Basic research

 purpose of developing or refining a theory, not to solve immediate practical problems. It provides the theory. Not concerned with immediate utility.  It may take years before it leads to a practical educational application. Develop and refine theory

Applied research

 applying or testing theories to find solutions to current practical problems.  Provides the data that can help support, guide, and revise the development of the theory. Solve educational problems

Evaluation research

the systematic process of collecting and analyzing data about the quality, effectiveness, merit, or value of programs, products, or practices. Focus is on making decisions about other programs (e.g. research may decide to continue or abandon a program. “Is the new curriculum better than the old?” monitor progress, judge impact, make decisions

R & D (Research and Development)

Process of researching consumer needs and then developing products to fulfill those needs.  Focus is not on creating theory rather develop product for school (e.g. teacher training materials, learning materials, behavioral objectives).

Action research

any systematic inquiry conducted by teachers, principles, school counselors, or other stakeholders in the teaching-learning environment to gather information about the ways in which their particular schools operate, the teachers teach, and the students learn. 

Purpose: provide teacher-researchers with a method to solve everyday problems in their own setting.

Qualitative research

The collection, analysis, and interpretation of comprehensive narrative and visual data to gain insights into a particular phenomenon of interest.

(e.g. narrative, ethnographic, case study, grounded theory, historical).

Quantitative research

 The collection of numerical data to explain, predict and/or control phenomena of interest.

(e.g. correlational, causal-comparative, experimental, single subject).

Quantitative vs. Qualitative

 Quantitative                                Vs                          Qualitative

Numerical data                                                 nonnumeric narrative and visual

Hypothesis state at start                               research prob. and methods evolve with research

Manipulates context                                      no manipulation of context

Large sample size                                             smaller sample size

Research relies on stat. procedure           research relies cat. and org. data into patterns, descriptive, nar.

Little participant interaction                        extensive participant interaction

world is predictable an measurable         world has many meaning, context and perspective based

Descriptive Research (Survey)

determines and reports the way things are; it involves collecting numerical data to test hypotheses or answer questions about the current status of the subject of study.

          What percent of students with college degrees are involved in traffic accidents

          How do parents, teachers, and administrators feel about the new grading system.

Correlational Research

involves collecting data to determine whether, and to what degree, a relationship exists between two or more quantifiable variables.

          What is the relationship between scores of NTE and ratings of teacher effectiveness

          What is the relationship between IQ and reading achievement

Causal-comparative Research

 attempts to determine the cause, or reason, for existing differences in the behavior or status of groups of individuals. Determine causative relationships among variables.

          Effects of single-parent homes on student adjustment to school

          The effects of gender on students self-ratings in math competence

Experimental Research

 at least one independent variable is manipulated, other relevant variables are controlled, and the effect on one or more dependent variables is observed. Determine cause-effect relationships.

          The effects of different modes of computer based instruction on student academic instruction

          The effects of contracting on student behavior and achievement

Quantitative Approaches

Descriptive Research (Survey)

 

Correlational Research

 

Causal-comparative Research

 

Experimental Research

 

Single Subject (type of exp. research)

 

 

Qualitative Research

Narrative Research

 

Ethnographic Research

 

Case Study Research

Ethnographic

 to provide insight on the functioning’s of individuals in a naturalistic setting

          A case study of disciplinary practices of middles school teachers

          Parent and Professional behavior during IEP Conferences

Narrative

 the study of how individuals experience the world.  The researcher typically focuses on a single person and gathers data through the collection of stories that are used to construct a narrative about the individuals experience and the meanings that he/she attributes to them

          What are the experiences of a veteran teacher that has moved into an administrative role.

          What does “inclusion” mean to a child with special needs who is placed in a regular classroom.

Case study

 research approach to conducting research on a unit of study or bounded system

                                    –          Individual teacher

                                    –         Classroom

                                                        –      A school

What is the complinentary nature between Quantitative and Qualitative Research?

The Complementary nature is that both may be utilized in the same studies, as when the administration of a (quantitative) questionnaire is followed by a small number of detailed (qualitative) interviews to obtain a deeper explanations for the numerical data.

Ethical Principles that should guide the conduct of educational researchers

          Composition ( 5 members, mixed gender, one nonscientist, one there to look out for participant)

          Protection from harm- physical harm and ridicule

          Informed consent-

          Deception

          Confidentiality- researcher know who the subject is, but does not disclose any personal info

          Anonymity- no one knows anyone

“Two overriding rules” of ethical research

          Participants should not be harmed in any way- physically, mentally, or socially

          Researchers must obtain the participants’ informed consent.

Informed consent

 making sure that research participants enter the research of their free will and with understanding of the nature of the study and any possible dangers that may arise as a result of participation.

Protection from harm

 no exposing participants to undue risks. This can be physical harm and protections from embarrassment and ridicule

Deception

 hiding the true nature of the topic of study. Double edged sword, sometimes deception to an extent is necessary.

Confidentiality

Subject’s identity is not known by the researcher, but information is not disclosed. Researcher knows but doesn’t tell

Anonymity

subject’s identity is not disclosed to the researcher. Nobody know

Describe the Purpose and Composition of

Human subjects Review Board

To remind researchers of their responsibilities and to behave in a trustworthy/ ethical manner

Composed of: 5 members, mixed gender, one nonscientist, one concerned mainly with the welfare of the participant

List and describe the two major pieces of legislation that affect educational research

National Research Act of 1974: Authorized the creation of National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research.  This is the IRB.

          If you do research on Humans or animals you must go through a review board.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974: referred to at Buckley Amendment. It was designed to protect the privacy of student’s records.

Describe the procedures for gaining access to research sites

Procedure for gaining access to Research sites

          Identify the required procedures for gaining approval to conduct the study in the chosen site (usually granted by superintendent, principle, school board)

           Fill out forms describing the nature of the research, request being made, and the benefits of the site.

          Permission from the site of the research (from principle, superintendent)

          Permission of those involved (teachers, parental permission form)

          Communication to all those involved (administrators, teachers, parents, students) is key

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