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The Landscape of Educational Research

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Presentation on theme: "The Landscape of Educational Research"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Landscape of Educational Research

2 Positivist Research August Comte emphasized observation and reason as means of understanding human behavior. True knowledge is based on experience of senses and can be obtained by observation and experiment. Positivistic researchers use the scientific method as a means of knowledge generation.

3 Positivist Research Research approach Quantitative Research methods
Surveys longitudinal, cross-sectional, correlational; Experimental Examples - Attitude of distance learners towards online based education - Relationship between students’ motivation and their academic achievement. - Effect of intelligence on the academic performances of primary school learners

4 Positivist paradigm -There is a single reality that can be measured.
-There is a single reality that can be measured. - The researcher and the research participant can remain independent of one other and not influence one another. - Findings of research can be generalized from the study sample to the larger target population. -Cause and effect relationships can be tested. - Research can be conducted objectively and value free.

5 Quantitative research
Objective Deductive reasoning used to synthesize data Focus is concise and narrow Tests theory Basis of knowing- cause and effect relationships. Basic element of analysis – numbers and statistical analyses Single reality that can be measured and generalized.

6 Qualitative Emphasizes that social reality is viewed and interpreted by the individual according to the ideological positions she possesses. Knowledge is personally experienced rather than acquired from or imposed from outside. Reality is multi-layered and complex, and a single phenomenon is having multiple interpretations.

7 Qualitative Research approach Qualitative Research methods
Biographical; Phenomenological; Ethnographical; Case study Narrative Action Examples - A study of autobiography of a great statesman. - A study of dropout among the female students - A case study of a open distance learning Institution in a country.

8 Context Natural setting: Realities cannot be understood in isolation from their contexts. For fullest understanding, participants are recruited and studied within their natural day-to-day environment.

9 Instrument Human as instrument: The researcher uses themselves and other humans as the primary data gathering instruments vs. paper and pencil or physiologic measures (quantitative). It is believed that the researcher influences the study findings through their interaction with participants.

10 Purposive sampling: This is a process that involves the conscious selection of certain participants for the study. The goal of qualitative research is meaning, discovery, and richness of detail of the phenomena of interest.  

11 Negotiation Negotiated outcomes: Both the researcher and the participant – often through a negotiated process – determine findings from qualitative research. A process called “member checking” occurs, which involves the researcher taking the data/information that they have gleaned and reflecting this information back to the participant. The process allows for give and take, and there is a belief that the results will be a more accurate reflection of reality.

12 Application: The goal of the research is not generalizability but an understanding of a phenomenon of interest for a group of participants within a very small slice of time. Philosophically, the belief is that realities are multiple, different, and change over time and may not be duplicated anywhere else. Thus, the qualitative researcher is likely to be hesitant about trying to make broad application of findings.

13 Action Research Cycle Systematic Inquiry
What problematic situation or questions drive the work? What does the “researcher” want to make better? What data did the researcher collect? Where? How much? How did researcher go about collecting data? What “tools” did the researcher use? What were the researchers’ methods for analyzing the data? What new, ideas (teaching methods, strategic practices/beliefs, theories of how/when/if people learn) came out of the researchers’ analysis of the situation? What are the implications of the research? What do the findings and work “suggest” for future work in the classroom? In other classrooms? By other teachers? What further questions would be useful to ask? What doesn’t the researcher know now? Link to critical theory

14 Looking at research questions:
What is the author’s big question? What are some sub-questions? Do you get an idea of what will happen in the study? Where the data might come from? What kind of study will this be? Do you get a sense of the context/background for the study? What’s the so what? What’s the burning issue?

15 Sample question I asked teachers at my school in grades pre-k through 12 to work with a common poem. I assumed in choosing a common poem, that this would help me clarify individual “theories of literature” and magnify individual readings and interpretive approaches regarding the teaching of poetry. Through creating the common experience of working with one poem across the grade levels, I hoped to explore the following questions: 1. What happens when teachers working in one school, in grades pre-k through 12, teach the same poem? 2. What, if anything, might I learn about how teachers’ “theories of literature” as well as their personal and professional experiences working with poetry prepare them to teach this poem?

16 Prompt What connection can you make between this presentation and this week’s reading? What implications for research might Chimamanda Adichie’s message(s) have?

17 Workshop Loop-writing Charette

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