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What is Research? How to Motivate Students to Do Research Dr. Gene Research Skills Development Unit Education Institute.

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Presentation on theme: "What is Research? How to Motivate Students to Do Research Dr. Gene Research Skills Development Unit Education Institute."— Presentation transcript:

1 What is Research? How to Motivate Students to Do Research Dr. Gene Research Skills Development Unit Education Institute

2 Research Skills Development Unit What is research?

3 Research Skills Development Unit What is Research? Research is diligent and systematic inquiry or investigation into a subject in order to discover or revise facts, theories, applications...

4 Research Skills Development Unit What are the key characteristics of research? A good question A hypothesis or prediction A systematic way of answering that question; a plan for ways of collecting data Some findings... what did you find out? Conclusions... what does it all mean?

5 Research Skills Development Unit Is this research? The science teachers at Wafa preparatory school want to teach students the importance of recycling. So they start a school recycling project. Bins are set up around the school for collecting paper, plastic, and glass. Everyone in the school is encouraged to use the bins. Each week, the collected materials are taken to a recycling center where they are weighed, and the school receives money for the materials. Project Research How could you turn this project into a research project?

6 Research Skills Development Unit Is this research? The students at Darwish primary school take a field trip to the Orxy Farm near Shahaniya. They get a chance to observe these beautiful creatures and listen to a lecture about preserving them. When they return to school, they write an essay about endangered species. Field Trip Research How could you turn this project into a research project?

7 Research Skills Development Unit Is this research? The students at Doha International School are interested in organic farming. They start a small class garden at the school and grow vegetables organically using all natural materials. When the vegetables are ripe, they pick and sell them. The money is used to buy books for the classroom. Project Research How could you turn this project into a research project?

8 Research Skills Development Unit What is research? Paper Research/Library Research Definition: Given a topic, search for information on that topic and summarize what you find. Example: Write a report on global warming. Advantages: Teaches student how to search for information, how to evaluate information (ICT Literacy), and how to summarize and synthesize information Disadvantages: Students copy information or knowledge rather than creating it.

9 Research Skills Development Unit What is research? Scientific Research Definition: Given a topic or question, systematically investigate that topic to discover new information, facts, or principles. Example: What do secondary students think about having to do community service? Advantages: Teaches students how to create new knowledge; empowers them to study issues that are important to them Disadvantages: Takes a lot of one-on-one or small group instruction; and not all students are interested

10 Research Skills Development Unit Where did the idea of scientific research come from? Ibn Al Haytham ( ) is considered the father of scientific research. He came up with the idea of systematically controlling variables as he studied light, optics, reflection, and refraction.

11 Research Skills Development Unit Types of Research Case studies Historical research Descriptive research Correlational research Experimental research

12 Research Skills Development Unit Who is responsible for teaching research? What research skills should be taught at each grade? (7-12) Should all students be expected to do research? A school-wide research model may help answer these questions.

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14 Research Skills Development Unit A Research Model Every department in the school has a sense of ownership; a part of the research puzzle Research is often interdisciplinary so that teachers in different departments should work together A model can help you form a plan of differentiated instruction: – By grade – By ability level – By interests

15 Research Skills Development Unit What traits must students have to be successful in research? Curiosity Ability to ask good questions Skepticism... dont believe everything you read, see, or hear Ethical... play by the rules? Critical thinking skills

16 Research Skills Development Unit Its all about critical thinking! What does that mean in... Science? Mathematics? English?

17 Research Skills Development Unit In Science it means... Teaching the process skills of scientific enquiry Observing Comparing Measuring Discovering Investigating

18 Research Skills Development Unit In Mathematics it means... Teaching the process skills like... Problem solving Reasoning Data handling

19 Research Skills Development Unit In English it means... Teaching skills like... Critical reading Locating and evaluating information Synthesizing and summarizing Writing to explain and summarize

20 Research Skills Development Unit Motivation How do we motivate students? How do we get them interested in research? There are no magic answers!

21 Research Skills Development Unit What makes classes more or less motivating? E.J. Sass (1989) study Asks his classes to recall two recent class periods (blocks) – one in which they were highly motivated and one in which their motivation was low Each student makes a list of specific aspects of the two classes Students meet in small groups to reach consensus on characteristics that contribute to high and low motivation Found the same eight characteristics over 20 courses What are those eight characteristics?

22 Research Skills Development Unit What makes classes motivating? Instructors enthusiasm Relevance of the material Organization of the course Appropriate difficulty level of the material Active involvement of students Variety Rapport between teacher and students Use of appropriate, concrete, and understandable examples

23 Research Skills Development Unit Where do we teach students about research? In Regular Classes Science Maths English Social Studies In Extracurricular Opportunities After School Clubs Elective Courses Competitions Collaborative Projects

24 Research Skills Development Unit Developing Young Researchers Teachers ManualStudent BookletResource Kit Series of 12 lessons (English and Arabic) Hands-on activities for students Prepares them for doing an independent research project Piloted in Spring 2008

25 Documenting Qatari Coastal Plant Assemblages. مدرسة عمر بن الخطاب الثانوية العلمية المستقلة للبنين قسم الأحيــــــــــاء Rapid industrialization, land development and overgrazing are a global threat to plant communities and subsequently animal populations. With the recent trend toward ecosystem restoration and species re-introduction, a complete understanding of assemblages and the effects of local stressors is critical. This project documents the species assemblages of native coastal plant communities that has been largely protected from anthropogenic disturbances.

26 Documenting Qatari Coastal Plant Assemblages. مدرسة عمر بن الخطاب الثانوية العلمية المستقلة للبنين قسم الأحيــــــــــاء The project team conducted an early summer vegetation survey using 10m x 10 m square plots, identifying species presence as well as species abundance over a distance of approximately 500 meters. This survey provided the baseline data for coastal vegetation and will form the first survey of a multi-year, multi season analysis investigating the effects of anthropogenic disturbance and environmental conditions on plant communities. Future work may include analysis of vegetation recovery as a region adjacent to Ras Laffan Industrial City, previously having open access, has recently been acquired for use by the industrial site and will subsequently be included in the Ras Laffan security fence...

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33 Looking Ahead This School Year For project based learning and international collaboration, consider: iEARN (sponsored by ROTA) ROTA is the Qatar sponsor for iEARN Look for them to offer schools opportunities for professional development and participation Check out iEARN to view the many projects it offers in all subject areas and all grades GLOBE (Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment) International collaboration in science National Student Research Fair Competition; rewards

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36 Research Skills Development Unit Looking Ahead This Year Professional development opportunities: Workshops for schools that want to start a research center, offer a research club, or research elective A team of teachers from a school would attend 8 two-hour sessions learning how to run research clubs, science clubs, international collaboration, competition Then they would come back to their school and start an extracurricular activity

37 Research Skills Development Unit Resources for Action Research

38 Research Skills Development Unit Resources for Action Research

39 Research Skills Development Unit Stay in touch with whats happening Link to Research News and Resources

40 Research Skills Development Unit Stay in touch with whats happening

41 Research Skills Development Unit Thank you for listening! If you have questions about research or need additional information, feel free to contact me. Dr. Gene Office: Mobile:


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