Presentation on theme: "Introduction to Educational Research"— Presentation transcript:
1 Introduction to Educational Research Based on Chapter 1 of Johnson ChristensenEDU 710Steve GibbsTouro University
2 Forget the word Proof. Replace it with evidence. Will the sun come up tomorrow?Will 1+1=2 the next time I add it up?
3 Basic vs Applied Research Basic research is about fundamental processes, like salivating, thinking of fruit. It’s usually experimental and done in controlled labApplied research is about practical questions in the real world, driven by current problemsAction research focuses on solving practitioner’s local problems. It cyclical because problems are rarely solved through one research study.Evaluation research determines the worth, merit, or quality of an evaluation object. i.e. Is the new teaching method working?
4 Action Research – solving local problems Brainstorm…What local problems could be researched?What problems could your projects solve?
5 Does teaching to the test improve learning? My 2 CentsDoes teaching to the test improve learning?Is all learning observable? Should all learning be observable?Are PLCs good or evil? Are they always practical?Does administrative performance have a statistically significant impact on classroom learning?Do students do better on silent activities when they listen to music on their iPods?Does familiarity with CA Content Standards make one a better teacher?
6 Hypothesis vs TheoryA hypothesis attempts to answer questions by putting forth a plausible explanation that has yet to be rigorously tested.A theory, on the other hand, has already undergone extensive testing by various scientists and is generally accepted as being an accurate explanation of an observation. This doesn’t mean the theory is correct; only that current testing has not yet been able to disprove it, and the evidence as it is understood, appears to support it.
7 Hypothesis vs TheoryA theory will often start out as a hypothesis -- an educated guess to explain observable phenomenon. The scientist will attempt to poke holes in his or her hypothesis.If it survives the applied methodologies of science, it begins to take on the significance of a theory to the scientist.The next step is to present the findings to the scientific community for further, independent testing. The more a hypothesis is tested and holds up, the better accepted it becomes as a theory
8 Null Hypothesis A hypothesis set to be nullified by your research When your expected hypothesis is not proven by statistically significant correlation either positive or negative, then the Null hypothesis IS proven.Hypothesis: Students with cars have lower gradesNull hypothesis: Owning a car has no negligible effect on students’ grades
9 Grounded TheoryWhen one does the research and experimenting without first reading any literature on the subject, without studying previous findings, and without having a clear hypothesis to prove.Grounded theory research is done to give researchers uncontaminated perspectives of the data collected.
10 Hypothesis & Theory Brainstorm… If you fail a student, you fail a studentSome people can’t spell and spelling cannot be taughtThe direct teaching of grammar is a waste of timeTechnology in elementary classrooms can be damaging to learningBrainstorm…What educational theories can be thrown into question?Why hypotheses do you hold to be true but have never formally tested?
11 Teaching grammar is a waste of time My 2 CentsTeaching grammar is a waste of timeTechnology in the elementary classroom can be detrimental to growth and learningNever assign writing as punishment | 2 | 3Do not attach grades to behavior
12 Criterion of falsifiability = the property of a statement or theory that is capable of being refuted by experience (Karl Popper ‘02-’94)
13 Rule of parsimony = the simplest answer is often the best Where we ended last session
15 Expectation theory – the Pygmalion effect - Limited expectations bring limited results, high expectations lead to exceptional results. Any classroom examples?
16 Formative vs. summative Evaluation Formative = focused on improving the evaluation objectEX: A new reading program designed to help struggling readers is being trialed. Formative evaluations are mid-stream observations and actions designed to tweak, modify, augment the program to make it betterSummative = focused on overall effectiveness of evaluation objectEX: End of year evaluation of the reading program
17 4 Key Questions to Pose in Evaluation Research: 1. Did the evaluation object have its intended impact? Did it work?2. How does the evaluation object operate?3. Is the evaluation object cost effective? Is there a cheaper alternative?4. How can the evaluation object be improved?Use PLCs as an example. Or others
18 Sources of KnowledgeExperience = empiricism – experiments, tests, surveys, questionnaires, interviews, focus groups, observations, secondary dataExpert Opinion = interviews, reading research articles and books (vested interest?)Reasoning = Rationalism Descartes – researchers’ evaluative skills – common sense, logic, inductive-deductive reasoning
19 Reasoning – deductive and inductive Deductive = general to specificInductive = specific to general – it’s probabilisticProblem of Induction: the past doesn’t always repeatBack to the issue of proof. Will the sun come up?Deductive – Pygmalion has merit, let me try it on Johnny.Inductive – Johnny gave me a problem and I gave him detention and he behaved. I will now give all misbehaving students detention.Deductive – Pygmalion has merit, let me try it on Johnny.Inductive – Johnny gave me a problem and I gave him detention and he behaved. I will now give all misbehaving students detention.
20 Deductive and inductive methods of science Inductive = create new hypotheses or theories (“Will detention correct behavior?”)Researcher makes observationsStudies the observations searching for a patternMakes tentative conclusion about how some aspect of the world operates – he makes a generalization
21 Deductive and inductive methods of science Deductive= test hypotheses or theoriesResearcher states a hypothesis (usually based on existing theory)Researcher collects data(“I will give detention to the next ten misbehaving students and measure their resultant behavior.”)Researcher makes the decision to tentatively accept or reject the hypothesis
22 Share examples of inductive reasoning Share examples of deductive reasoning
23 Scientific Method Empirical observations Generation and testing hypotheses“Students who own cars have lower grades.”“Students who admit to playing +5 hours a week computer games have lower/higher grades.”How could we account for contaminating variables?Building and testing theoriesAttempting to predict and influence the world positively
25 Topics that can’t be adequately researched Value, morality – right and wrong, religionIssues of school prayerAbortionCapital punishmentAbstract artNOTE: Research can be performed to gather data, such as incidence of abortions based on cultural settings, frequency of school prayer, tendencies for capital punishment to deter crime; research CANNOT prove any of these issues to be right or wrong.Pg 64
26 Other subjects that cannot be adequately researched?
27 Textbook Glossary online PDF QuantitativeVsQualitativeResearchTextbook Glossary online PDF
28 Quantitative and Qualitative Research numbersmathematicallaboratorystatisticalnarrow-angle lensdeductivecause & effect - determinismtool perform data collectionReality is objectiveStatistical reportwordshumanisticnatural settingsholisticwide-angle lensinductivebehavior is fluidResearch is the data collectorReality is socially constructedNarrative report
29 Quantitative Methods Follows Scientific Theory The generation of models, theories and hypothesesThe development of instruments and methods for measurementExperimental control and manipulation of variablesCollection of empirical dataModeling and analysis of dataEvaluation of results
30 Qualitative MethodsQualitative researchers aim to gather an in-depth understanding of human behavior and the reasons that govern human behavior.Qualitative research investigates the why and how of decision making, not just what, where, and when.Uses smaller but focused samples rather than large random samplesCategorizes data into narrative patterns for reporting:(1) participation in the setting,(2) direct observation,(3) in depth interviews, and(4) analysis of documents and materials
31 Quantitative Elements Variables – a condition or characteristic that can take on different valuesAge, Intelligence, Gender, TemperatureConstants – a single value or category of a variableMale, Female, 12-years-old, 49-years, old, IQ 130, 98.6 degrees
32 Quantitative vs Categorical Variables Quantitative Variable – varies in degree or amount, usually involving numbersCategorical Variable – varies in kind or type, usually involves groups
34 Variables vs. Constants Independent Variable – that which influences the dependent variableDependent Variable – that which is influenced by Independent Variable – usually the focus of the researchIndependent = owning car; Dependent = gradesIndependent = praise; Dependent = performanceIndependent = standardized test; Dependent = real learningIndependent = educational technology; Dependent = real learning
35 Share other examples of independent and dependent variables
36 Extraneous VariableExtraneous Variable = research pollution = may compete with independent variable’s influence on dependent variable. Can result in alternative explanations or rival hypotheses. An issue in experimental research.
38 Extraneous VariablesIndependent = standardized test; Dependent = real learningExtraneous = quality of test; faculty – student attitudes, subject matterIndependent = educational technology; Dependent = real learningExtraneous = appropriate use; teacher skill; selection of application
39 Share extraneous variables to your previous independent-dependent variables
40 Intervening Variables Another form of possible pollutionA variable that comes between indep/depend in their causal chain X Y; X I YX = test, I = familiarity with test, Y = retestX = test, I = growth of participant, Y = retestX = text, I = researcher change, Y = retest
41 Experimental and nonexperimental research (both quant, & qual.) Experimental = manipulates independent variable; uses random assignment to control group & controlled settingQuasi-Experimental = does not provide full control of confounding variables because it does not randomly assign participantsNon-experimental = no manipulation of independent variable. Simply observes what transpires (quan or qual)Causal-comparative research = type of non-experimental research where the primary independent variable is categorical – gender, religion, ethnicity
42 Experimental and nonexperimental research (both quant, & qual.) Correlational research = non-experimental method that studies relationships between two or more quantitative variables such as class size and reading scores.Correlation coefficient = Do the two objects increase together (positive correlation) like GPA and SAT scores, or do they push in opposite directions (negative correlation) such as malnutrition and performance level.
43 Qualitative ResearchEthnography = Writing about PeopleShared attitudes, values, norms, practices, language and material things of a group of people.
44 Qualitative ResearchHolistic = how members make a group. The group is more than the sum of the parts.Does not dissect the frog to learn about frogs; it observes frogs in their ponds
45 Qualitative ResearchHistorical – examines the trends in education over the years; examines the changes in culture and careers; examines impacts of various reform policiesEx: How has technology integration changed in BUSD schools since the inception of the PC in the 1980s and the Internet in 1992
46 Quantitative Research ExperimentalQuasi-experimentalNon-ExperimentalCausal-ComparativeCorrelational
48 Multi-method research Recommended that serious topics are approached in a variety of ways. This allows for full coverage and future meta-analysis.
49 Other Forms of Research Individual case-studyGroup case studyDevelopmental over timeDescriptiveAction – direct application of hypothesis, theory in the classroomGonzo – You make it happen. You are the Independent Variable (Hunter S. Thompson)
50 ReferencesJohnson, B, & Christensen, L. (2000). Educational Research: Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches. Needham Heights, MA: Pearson Education Company.Isaac, S., & Michael, W. (1987). Handbook in Research and Evaluation.San Diego, CA: EdITS Publishers.
53 Pygmalion EffectThe Pygmalion effect, Rosenthal effect, or more commonly known as the "teacher-expectancy effect" refers to situations in which students perform better than other students simply because they are expected to do so. The Pygmalion effect requires a student to internalise the expectations of their superiors.
54 Pygmalion EffectIt is a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy, and in this respect, students with poor expectations internalise their negative label, and those with positive labels succeed accordingly. Within sociology, the effect is often cited with regards to education and social class.
55 Literary OriginsThe effect is named after George Bernard Shaw's play Pygmalion, (My Fair Lady) in which a professor makes a bet that he can teach a poor flower girl to speak and act like an upper-class lady, and is successful.